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Lufthansa will not operate flights to and from India from Sept 30 to Oct 20

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on September 29, 2020 Published on September 29, 2020

Plans of connecting Chennai on hold

The Indian government has withdrawn permission to German carriers to operate flights to and from India.

In a statement, Lufthansa said it will cancel all planned flights between Germany and India from September 30 to October 20. The ban means that Lufthansa’s plans of connecting Chennai to Germany and its global network, which it was planning from October will not start as planned.

Sources in the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said that India formalised an air bubble with Germany in July this year. “However, 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. 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 seven flights a week for Lufthansa which was not accepted by them,” sources in DGCA said, adding that negotiations were continuing.

Meanwhile, Lufthansa in a statement sincerely urged the Indian authorities to work together with the German government to establish a temporary travel agreement between both countries.

This appeal follows the unexpected rejection of Lufthansa’s planned flight schedule for October by Indian authorities, the statement adds, pointing out that Lufthansa had applied for the continuation of special flights that it was granted to operate till the end of September. “This application process is necessary since India has so far not accepted the invitation by the German government to discuss details regarding a temporary travel agreement between both countries,” the statement adds.

Lufthansa had originally scheduled flights for October in order to continue connecting Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru with Europe and other regions in Lufthansa’s worldwide network.

The development comes in the back drop of Hardeep Puri, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, informing the Lok Sabha on September17 that India had entered into air bubbles with 10 countries including Germany, US, Canada, UK, Qatar among others. The establishment of air bubbles allows foreign airlines of each of these countries to operate flights to and from India and it allows Indian carriers to operate flights from India to these countries. The establishment of an air bubble saw Vistara, starting flying four times a week between India and the UK.

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Published on September 29, 2020
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