Grounded no more, more flights resume in Europe


By AGENCY
  • Global
  • Thursday, 11 Jun 2020

A man walks through a tunnel at a terminal in Vienna's International Airport. More airlines in Europe are resuming operations. - AFP

Austrian Airlines said that it would resume flights from June 15 after almost three months of being grounded due to the new coronavirus pandemic, which has heavily restricted international travel.

Flights will resume to destinations in Europe, including London, Paris and Brussels, as well as Tel Aviv from June 15, the carrier, a subsidiary of the German giant Lufthansa, said in a statement.

More cities, including in Austria, will be added from June 22 bringing the total number of destinations up to 37, it said.

The airlines said the flights, mostly serviced by smaller planes such as the Embraer 195 and Dash 8, represented about five percent of the capacity offered during the same period last year.

The carrier said it was considering adding long-distance flights in July depending on demand for short- and medium distance flights.

Passengers will have to wear masks covering their mouths and noses, the airlines added.

The carrier is currently in negotiations with Austria’s government for state aid.

Initially it demanded US$844mil (RM3.64bil), but recent media reports suggested the amount could have gone down after the airline’s employees accepted pay cuts.

Politicians from the Green party, the junior partner in conservative Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s government, have said that any state aid should be tied to policies to combat climate change.

Suggestions for what that could mean in practice have included slashing the number of short distance flights and using alternative fuels.

Coronavirus-stricken airline group Lufthansa wavered Wednesday on grabbing a nine-billion-euro German state lifeline, throwing up new turbulence for a rescue that could decide the fate of the historic company.

Green light for SAS

Meanwhile, Airline SAS has also said it would resume flights on several domestic and international routes in June, over two months after the operator grounded most of its fleet over the new coronavirus’ impact on travel.

“This primarily includes domestic flights within and between the Scandinavian countries, but flights to New York, Chicago and Amsterdam from Copenhagen are also set to resume, ” SAS said in a statement.

The Scandinavian airline announced in mid-March it was halting most of its traffic and furloughing around 90% of its staff.

In late April the airline, whose two largest shareholders are the Swedish and Danish states, announced it was laying off about 5,000 people, representing 40% of the company’s workforce.

In early May the company secured a state-guaranteed credit line of US$344mil (RM1.48bil) to help it navigate the impact of the new coronavirus.

Even with the resumption of some flights, the airline continues to operate at a reduced capacity, but the added routes means an effective doubling of the aircraft in use from 15 to 30, according to SAS.

Finnair, of Nordic neighbour Finland, announced early recently it would start resuming its long-haul flight to Asia in July. – AFP Relaxnews

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
   

Did you find this article insightful?

Yes
No

100% readers found this article insightful

Next In Travel

5 popular restaurants Malaysian foodies can visit in the future
Over-the-top gardens are the new vacation spots
MCO 2.0: Hotels in Malaysia feel neglected, being 'left to collapse'
MCO 2.0: Tourist guides need more than RM500 assistance to sustain livelihood
MCO: Malaysians feel the travel ban blues, but happy to avoid nosy relatives
Let’s get beefed up for wagyu, the meat that melts in your mouth
Are travellers ready to brave 19 hours (and more) in a plane?
KL to be transformed into street art capital
Gordon Ramsay to open restaurant in Malaysia, netizens want the 'Idiot Sandwich'
Fire razes Andaman Langkawi, guests safely relocated

Stories You'll Enjoy