NEW DELHI: German airline Lufthansa on Tuesday said it will cancel all planned flights between Germany and India from September 30 to October 20.
The airline’s move comes after Indian authorities rejected Lufthansa’s planned flight schedule for October.
The airline said in a statement, “Lufthansa had applied for the continuation of special flights it was granted to operate until the end of September. This application process is necessary since India has, so far, not accepted the invitation by the German government to discuss the details regarding a temporary travel agreement between both the countries.”mes after Indian authorities rejected Lufthansa’s planned flight schedule for October.
Lufthansa was operating these flights under the “Air Bubble” agreement between India and Germany. This type of arrangement allows nationals of both countries to travel in either direction.
As per the statement, 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 October schedule would also have seen the addition of flights to and from Chennai, one of the most important cities in southern India,” it said.
The airline urged India to work together with the German government in order to establish a temporary travel agreement between both the 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 the countries’ airlines. As visa issuance is restarting and demand for flights to and from India is increasing, it is regrettable that Lufthansa is currently being unnecessarily restricted in its ability to serve its loyal Indian customers and enable their desired travel,” the airline said.
However, aviation regulator DGCA in a statement, “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. Negotiations continue.”
Earlier, Lufthansa had said that it will operate 160 flights between India and Germany in September. This would have been a four-fold increase in flights to and from Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru. Lufthansa has been operating flights from India for several months between Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru and its hubs in Frankfurt and Munich.