German airline Lufthansa will ground 150 flights due to coronavirus outbreak, a spokesperson for the company said on March 4. According to reports, Lufthansa will ground 150 aircraft out of its fleet of around 770 due to the sudden escalation of coronavirus cases in Europe. The latest development came after Lufthansa on March 2 announced that flights to mainland China have been suspended until April 24 and to Tehran until April 30. The German airline informed that frequencies of flights to Italy, South Korea, and Hong Kong have also been reduced due to the outbreak.
Last month Lufthansa announced that it was reducing its short-haul operations by up to 25 percent and the long-haul aircraft that are not in service were increased from 13 to up to 23. The group further added that the economical impact caused by coronavirus is not yet estimated but it will publish the key financial figures at an annual press conference scheduled for March 19.
Germany has so far not reported any deaths from coronavirus although it has confirmed 262 cases in the country and out of which 59 cases have come into light just recently. Europe has increased the level of risk from moderate to high after cases in Italy rose sharply in the past month. Italy is the worst affected country in Europe with over 107 deaths due to the virus. Spain, France, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom are some of the most affected countries in Europe.
The new coronavirus also known as COVID-19 has claimed more than 3,200 lives across the globe and has infected over 95,000 people since December 2019. According to reports, at least 268 people have died outside mainland China, which makes it the worst disease outbreak in the 21st century. Iran and Italy have reported the most number of deaths outside China. The virus originated from a seafood market in Wuhan city, where animals were being traded illegally. Hubei province in China has been most affected by the contagious disease, which is also the epicentre of the virus.
Lead Image Credit: AP