April 6, 2020 / 9:19 AM / 2 months ago

Lufthansa's Belgian carrier suspends flights until mid-May

FILE PHOTO: Brussels Airlines planes parked on the tarmac at Zaventem International Airport near Brussels, Belgium, July 27, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgium’s Brussels Airlines, a Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) subsidiary, has extended its suspension of flights until at least May 15, it said on Monday.

The Belgian carrier had previously grounded flights until Apr. 19 but said it was extending that by four weeks because of “low to no demand”, owing to travel restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus.

The company, which has a workforce of 4,200, said it would prolong the temporary short-time work scheme under which wages are cut but topped up by the government to help companies to manage liquidity problems resulting from the crisis.

Customers with bookings during the suspension have until August to rebook and will be able to push back travel dates as far as the end of April 2021.

Airlines have been among the hardest-hit industries as the spread of the COVID-19 respiratory disease trigerred by the new coronavirus has brought travel to a grinding halt in many parts of the world.

Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by David Goodman

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