Lufthansa Group has cancelled a total of 23,000 flights during April, as coronavirus continues to have a major effect on demand.

The cancellations cover short, medium and long-haul services, between the period from March 29 to April 24.

Last week the group said it could reduce capacity in the coming weeks by up to 50 per cent, and it has been reported that Lufthansa will ground its fleet of 14 A380 aircraft until May.

In a statement provided to Business Traveller the group said:

“Due to the exceptional circumstances caused by the spread of the coronavirus, Lufthansa today publishes reduced flight schedules of its passenger airlines for the period from 29 March to 24 April.

“The flight cancellations will be implemented successively in the booking systems, and affected passengers will be informed of the changes and rebooking options as of today. For all passenger airlines in the Lufthansa Group, a total of 23,000 flights must be cancelled. Further cancellations are expected in the coming weeks. Flight schedule adjustments for the period after 25 April will be made at a later date.

“The capacity adjustments mainly affect Europe, Asia and the Middle East. In the cancellations, care will be taken to ensure that all destinations on all continents can be reached with a Lufthansa Group airline via the hubs of Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Vienna and Brussels.”

The group is set to publish “key financial figures” at its annual press conference on March 19.

Airports Council International today said that traffic at EU airports could fall by 187 million passengers this year due to the ongoing coronavirus epidemic.

Read Business Traveller’s latest coverage of how coronavirus is impacting the aviation and hotel industry.