Lufthansa has significantly increased the price of all short-haul tickets in a bid to limit new bookings, as the airline struggles to cope with ongoing staff shortages and flight disruption. July.
A recent wave of flight cancellations has further reduced availability, and has led the airline to take drastic action. The move pushes the price of even the most basic one-way fare from Frankfurt to London Heathrow to over €600. For comparison, in August , a ticket on the same route can be found for as little as €72.
A sample booking for July 5th shows prices in excess of €600 for a one-way flight from Frankfurt to London Heathrow. Photo: Lufthansa
Confirming the temporary measure, a Lufthansa spokesperson said,
“Lufthansa does the utmost to offer an alternative travel option to all guests who are affected by a flight cancellation. To ensure this, Lufthansa has reduced availabilities for new bookings on Lufthansa operated flights in July.”
The reasons behind the high prices
As the peak summer holiday season approaches, the airline, like many others, is struggling to cope with the sudden increase in demand, and is finding it difficult to operate the schedule it put on sale in a bid to drive its recovery from the pandemic.
The drastic situation has led the airline to cancel a total of 3,100 flights, and the airline has blamed the disruption on a variety of factors, including staff shortages and the conflict in Ukraine.
The measure should deter the majority of new bookings, reducing demand for an already limited flight schedule. Photo: Lufthansa
Thousands of staff across the aviation industry were let go during the pandemic, and the current wave of Covid infections across Europe has only exacerbated the staff shortages. Airlines, airports, and ground handling companies have all been impacted.
The conflict in Ukraine has also meant that available airspace in Europe has become more restricted, leading to additional delays, and according to Lufthansa, causing “massive bottlenecks in the skies.”
The reaction from the airline
Lufthansa’s CEO, Carsten Spohr, was quick to recognize the airline’s own role in the current situation, stating recently in an internal memo,
“We certainly made mistakes while saving our company and more than 100,000 jobs over the past two years. Did we go too far in cutting costs here and there, under the pressure of the more than 10 billion euros ($10.6 billion) in pandemic-related Certainly, that too.”
Lufhansa’s CEO has recognized the airline’s own role in the ongoing disruption. Photo: Getty Images
From airlines to airports and ground handlers, the industry is racing to hire thousands of new employees. The German government for example has approved plans to hire temporary airport workers from Turkey. However, Lufthansa has said that the full effects of such measures are unlikely to be felt until summer 2023.
With tickets on most other carriers still available at normal prices in July, the move is likely to dissuade many travelers from making a new booking with Lufthansa, and should provide the airline with some much-needed breathing space to help stabilize its operation.
What do you think about Lufthansa raising its short-haul ticket prices to the most expensive category? Would you pay over €600 to travel from Frankfurt to London? Share your thoughts by commenting below.