Austrian Airlines has extended the suspension of all scheduled flight operations until mid-May, with CCO Andreas Otto stating that “we continue to stand ready to initiate a slow restart”.
The Lufthansa Group carrier halted all regular scheduled services on March 19, and has gradually pushed back the date for a planned restart of flights, initially from March 28 to early May, and now until May 17.
In a statement Austrian said:
“Unfortunately, worldwide entry bans imposed as a consequence of the coronavirus continue to be in force or have even been extended in some cases.
“For this reason, Austrian Airlines has to prolong the cessation of its regular scheduled flight operations once again, this time for an additional two weeks, namely from May 3, 2020 to May 17, 2020.
“The precise time when regular flight operations will be resumed depends on the easing of travel restrictions and the related increase in demand.”
The airline said that it is continuing to operate special flights to transport relief supplies, and around 30 repatriation flights have been carried out on behalf of the Austrian Federal Government, to rescue around 7,000 stranded passengers.
Fellow Lufthansa Group carrier Brussels Airlines has also extended all flight suspensions until mid-May, and last week published a video showing how its aircraft are being put into storage at Brussels airport.
Meanwhile Lufthansa is operating just a fraction of its long-haul services, and has taken the decision to decommission selected A380 and B747 aircraft, as well as its entire fleet of A340-600s.
Earlier this month Lufthansa Group said that restructuring programmes at subsdiaries Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines would be “further intensified due to the coronavirus crisis”, with reductions in fleet sizes at both carriers.