The situation at Lufthansa is worse than expected.

In a staff briefing today, CEO Carsten Spohr was reported by Bloomberg as saying that the airline must prepare itself for more drastic cutbacks both for staff and for the airline fleet.

The statement said that quarantine rules around the world “have had a catastrophic effect on bookings. For October, seat reservations stand at less than 10 per cent of a year ago.”

Lufthansa says it could take until the middle of the decade for travel levels to return. That represents a five year delay, which is the longest admitted by any airline chief so far.

“It is not clear when, if at all, revenue will recover to its 2019 levels,” reports Bloomberg.

The reason for the uncertainty is that Lufthansa relies heavily on business travellers and the corporate market has declined.

There will also be further changes to the fleet.

Lufthansa wants Airbus to accelerate delivery of those A350s it has on order.  These would replace some of the carrier’s older four-engined aircraft.

Existing four-engined B747-400s and A340-600s will be retired.

Of the B747s only the B747-8s (these are the newest B747 variant) will be retained.

So what about Lufthansa’s last remaining A380s which were expected to restart operations from Munich in 2022?

Carsten Spohr said, “We will decide next week if more A380s are phased out. And more [A380s] would mean all.”