Lufthansa cancels India-Germany flights till Oct 20 after dispute with Centre
Lufthansa airlines on Tuesday said that it will not be operating any flights between India and Germany scheduled from September 30th till October 20th as the dispute with Centre deepens.Updated: Sep 29, 2020, 22:16 IST
Lufthansa airlines on Tuesday said that it will not be operating any flights between India and Germany scheduled from September 30th till October 20th as the dispute with Centre deepens.
The German carrier cited “unexpected rejection” of its flight schedule by the Indian government.
“Due to the Indian government’s rejection, Lufthansa will now have to cancel all planned flights between Germany and India between 30 September and 20 October. An updated Lufthansa flight schedule is available for customers,” the airlines said in a statement.
On March 23, India suspended all scheduled international passenger flights due to the lockdown imposed to curb Covid-19 spread. However, under an “air bubble” arrangement with 13 countries including Germany, Centre has permitted special flights to function.
“There are restrictions in place for Indian nationals desiring to travel to Germany which was putting Indian carriers at a significant disadvantage resulting in inequitable distribution of traffic in favour of Lufthansa,” Aviation regulator DGCA said in a statement on Tuesday.
India and Germany had formalised an air bubble in July this year.
“As against Indian carriers operating 3-4 flights a week, Lufthansa operated 20 flights a week. In spite of this disparity we offered to clear 7 flights a week for Lufthansa which was not accepted by them. Negotiations continue,” DGCA added.
Stating that India has not yet accepted Germany’s invitation to talk, Lufthansa urged Centre to work together with the German government in order to “establish a temporary travel agreement between both countries”.
“Such an agreement is necessary to address the urgent need of tens of thousands of Indians and foreign nationals for travel to and from India and would also help balance the interests of both countries’ airlines,” it said.
“This appeal follows the unexpected rejection of Lufthansa’s planned flight schedule for October by Indian authorities. Lufthansa had applied for the continuation of special flights it was granted to operate until the end of September,” the statement further read. “October flight schedule would essentially have been an extension of the already limited number of flights between India and Germany that Lufthansa has been reintroducing to the Indian market since June,” it added.