Lufthansa sees surge in Christmas holiday flight bookings

FILE PHOTO: Lufthansa planes are seen parked on the tarmac of Frankfurt Airport, Germany June 25, 2020. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

BERLIN (Reuters) - Lufthansa recorded a big jump in bookings for long-haul and European flights over the Christmas and New Year holiday period and is increasing capacity accordingly, the German airline said.

Like most airlines, Lufthansa has been hard hit by the collapse in travel due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to the German government imposing a 10-day quarantine on citizens returning from countries with high infection rates.

Nevertheless, Lufthansa said in a statement that it saw up to 400% more bookings last week compared to the previous week, with destinations like South Africa, Namibia, the Canary Islands, Madeira, and northern Finland proving popular.

The airline said it was responding by adding more flights, including to the Canary Islands from Frankfurt and Munich, as well as resuming flights to Seville and Palermo.

Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Caroline Copley