Lufthansa suspends 7,100 flights in March, including to Israel

FILE PHOTO: An Airplane of German carrier Lufthansa takes off at Munich international airport, Germany, March 2, 2020. REUTERS/Michael Dalder/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - German airline group Lufthansa LHAG.DE said on Thursday it is cancelling about 7,100 flights up to the end of March due to lower demand and the spread of coronavirus.

The group, which includes Swiss International Air Lines and Austrian Airlines, added it will reduce capacity by up to 25%.

Among the affected flights are high-frequency connections in Germany and to Italy, which has reported thousands of coronavirus infections and is one of the hardest-hit countries in the world.

Lufthansa also said it will suspend all flights to Israel, starting on Sunday, until March 28.

Israel on Wednesday ordered travelers arriving from Germany, France, Spain, Austria and Switzerland to go into home quarantine over coronavirus concerns.

Citizens from these countries will not be allowed into Israel unless they can show they made quarantine arrangements ahead of time.

Reporting by Thomas Seythal, editing by Thomas Escritt