German airlines suspend flights to Mallorca during Holy Week


Berlin correspondent

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The airline Lauda, ​​main connector of tour packages between Hannover and Mallorca, has canceled all its flights scheduled for Easter (April 3 -18) justifying the suspension as "Covid-19 effects". "All affected customers have been notified by email and SMS and will be given the option to request a refund or rebook their trip," said a company spokesman.

«Due to the Covid-19 virus, Lauda is forced to cancel a series of short-haul flights by a period of three weeks, from March 18 to April 8 », he explains on his website. And he adds: "We are currently receiving many inquiries and are asking for patience with specific questions." Most customers are asking for their money back, according to a company spokesperson, because «Now there is more fear of traveling and in addition the clients do not have vacations in any date ».

Three out of every five flights from Düsseldorf have also been suspended. Other airlines like Eurowings and Condor They have already provided their customers with the conditions of change of reservation and cancellation. And due to the exceptional circumstances created by the coronavirus and the drastic decrease in reservations, as well as the numerous flight cancellations, Lufthansa Group has decided to reduce the flight capacity on offer up to 50% even more than previously planned, the airline said in a statement.

The main effects of Conoravirus could be felt, however, in the longer term. The suspension of the Berlin Tourism Fair, the largest in the sector in Europe, has caused a sales gap hardly surpassed. Some Spanish authorities have decided to travel to Berlin on their own to try to hold some of the meetings planned under the ITB, but even so, «the suspension of the fair has meant a big blow to the entire industry global tourism, at its most fragile moment in a long time », according to ITB sources.

Tui, Der, FTI and Alltours have held meetings and videoconferences with some of the Spanish bidders and the IHIF hotel investment forum has been postponed for the first Monday in May. Special mention deserves particular crusades such as Councilor for Tourism of Zamora, Christoph Strieder, which has traveled on its own to the German capital and has scheduled meetings with representatives of companies and wholesalers in cafes and bars in the city, to “prepare new strategies to promote the Zamora tourist presence at different levels for both companies in the sector and end customers », a strategy that is now trying to imitate other regional administrations such as the Balearic government, which have also announced that they will travel to Berlin to hold meetings with TUI.

«90% of the negative effects of this crisis will not be from the epidemiological spread of the virus, but from the decisions derived from panic », alerts the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). The Spanish Confederation of Hotels and Tourist Accommodations (CEHAT) estimates that reserves have fallen between 20% and 30% since the sanitary crisis of the coronavirus broke out, a decline in contracting that especially affects the Catalan and Valencian coast, the Balearic and Canary Islands and Madrid. Madrid hoteliers talk about 24% falls, in general of urban business hotels, while the hotel sector in Barcelona calculates a 20% decrease in reservations.

The World Tourism Organization estimates that the number of tourists worldwide will fall between 1% and 3%, compared to the 4% increase expected for this year. And he predicts an economic loss of between 30,000 and 50,000 million euros. Data that fall short of those released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which estimates that only the industry of airlines will lose 113,000 million in revenue for the fall of passengers.

The crisis will also have consequences on the structure of the sector. The British airline Flybe has been the first to declare bankruptcyto. If the situation lengthens in the spring and affects summer vacations, others in critical situations will be added. The volume of flight cancellations, first with Asian destinations and in recent days also with Italy is unprecedented. In the sector they say that «not many were suspended even after the attacks of 9/11 in 2001».

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