Lufthansa cuts 90% of long-haul flights: statement

Airplanes of German carrier Lufthansa are parked at the Berlin Schoenefeld airport as the German capital is to close all bars, clubs, cinemas, theatres and concert halls with immediate effect as Germany ramps up its efforts to slow the spread the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Schoenefeld, Germany, March 16, 2020. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

BERLIN (Reuters) - German airline Lufthansa said it would further cut its flight schedule after Monday’s announcement that its Austrian Airlines division was scrapping all flights in response to the coronavirus-induced collapse in passenger demand.

The airline group said in a statement that it would cut long-haul capacity by up to 90% from Tuesday, and would only operate 20% of intra-Europe flights it had planned to operate. So far, Lufthansa Cargo had operated all its flights as usual, and said it would do everything possible to keep doing so in order to preserve international supply chains.

The company said it was preparing to run further evacuation flights to repatriate citizens from its home markets of Germany, Austria and Switzerland and Belgium who were still stranded abroad.

Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Riham Alkousaa