Despite the fact it could be on the brink of financial collapse, German-based airline Lufthansa is trying to do its bit during the pandemic. With many flights around the world – both international and domestic – currently grounded, airlines (Lufthansa included) are finding ways to keep some of their inactive fleet, active.
Following in the footsteps of Air Canada – which recently gutted three of its Boeing aircraft – the flag carrier airline of Germany announced on Instagram it had ripped the seats out of six of its Airbus A330 aircraft so that they could be used to transport vast quantities of medical supplies to the countries who need them most. Lufthansa added that a few A350 aircraft have also been (temporarily) transformed into freight carriers.
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The airline added, “A very special mission for six of our A330 – to deliver urgent medical products and to maintain the global supply chains, our passenger aircraft are currently flying around the globe as freighters with unusual cargo.”
“Extended seats in Economy, Premium Economy and Business Class create plenty of space for the urgently needed goods.”
The move has received a lot of support on Instagram, with many users congratulating the airline for a “good job!”. It’s certainly a selfless act considering it could soon see its entire fleet grounded for an indefinite amount of time unless it manages to secure a bailout.
The German government and the airline are currently in the middle of negotiations, but with some $13 billion required to keep it afloat, the government in return wants an equity stake and seats on the board. Business Insider claims “CEO Carsten Spohr regards as impossible requirement”.
As of today, May 4th, Lufthansa and other airlines in the Lufthansa Group, have made it mandatory for passengers to wear facemasks when boarding flights that are currently running, although recommends they remain worn for the entire duration. Passengers will, however, need to supply their own masks, and the rules are said to be in place until at least August 31st.
Germany currently has 166,000 confirmed cases of the virus and just under 7,000 deaths at the time of writing. The country has certainly managed to contain it far better than its neighbours Italy, Spain and the UK, which all have death tolls above 20,000.
As ABC reports, Chancellor Angela Merkel has a degree in quantum chemistry, so has been able to explain to her country the effects of the coronavirus and how it’s transmitted in a way that is much easier to understand, along with guidelines to be followed that receive more attention and respect.