Does anyone know why Lufthansa has cancelled flights to India up to 20th October?

  • 24
    Global pandemic + Severe entry restrictions = Very low Demand.
    – Hilmar
    Commented Sep 30, 2020 at 18:01
  • 3
    @Hilmar That was my guess, too. But I know that there are many Indians who would like to go home, and they can enter. Commented Sep 30, 2020 at 18:09
  • 4
    "Wanting to go home" is likely to be balanced against "not being able to return" and/or "home may be in a higher risk environment than where they are right now".
    – alephzero
    Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 1:29
  • 3
    FYI, airlines (e.g. United) are currently canceling flights into Australia due to very strict limits on returning citizens - and there is a backlog of an est. 100,000 Aussie citizens still waiting to be repatriated.
    – smci
    Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 9:31
  • 2
    I suppose many Indians also agree that now is probably not a great time to return given COVID numbers in the country...
    – xuq01
    Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 18:09

2 Answers 2


Answer on Indian Express (mirror):

In a fallout between authorities in India and its air-bubble partner Germany, the European country’s national carrier Lufthansa said Tuesday it will have to cancel all planned flights between India and Germany between September 30 and October 20 because of an “unexpected rejection” of its flight schedule by Indian authorities. The Indian side said that Lufthansa was offered a curtailed schedule to mitigate the disadvantage being faced by Indian carriers due to inequitable distribution of traffic in favour of Lufthansa.

  • 2
    Thank you! This gives good background. I´ll check also a few other Indian newspapers. Commented Sep 30, 2020 at 18:31
  • 4
    Indeed: The Hindu reports similarly: thehindu.com/news/national/… . Commented Sep 30, 2020 at 18:35
  • 1
    It also helps to know that airspace access in India is a lot different than in other jurisdictions, with a lot of airspace being controlled by the military. Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 10:59
  • 22
    COVID-19 has caused a drop in passengers. It appears that Air India is disproportionally hit. That hints at a deeper problem; Air India might have been a second choice for most passengers. Now that COVID-19 has freed up capacity on Lufthansa's flights, passengers that would have traveled on Air India to Germany could now be choosing Lufthansa. Indian authorities might be trying to hide this embarrassment.
    – MSalters
    Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 11:45
  • 3
    Looking at this article, thehindu.com/news/national/… , one could also say that Lufthansa went into a fight about market share against Air India at this time of crisis. And they do it on the back of the customers: I know of one concrete case, where they did not bother to inform their passengers that the flight from Frankfurt to Delhi was cancelled. Commented Oct 3, 2020 at 10:29

Just a guess, diminished demand due to COVID 19.

Almost all governments in the world have asked their citizens to avoid all travel, unless it is essential.
Add to that the situation in India, and in Europe, and most people will not take the risk traveling.
That will result in a huge drop in required capacity and many airlines have cancelled flights, some cancel them a few days before they are due, others do it well in advance.

Lufthansa clearly does not expect demand till the 20th of October, not enough to warrant the flights going. Likely they do not expect enough demand for a longer period but have not yet officially cancelled the flights or just not published the fact.

I am not sure but their might also be restrictions by India for airlines. I have not seen the actual rules but have heard that not all airlines are allowed to land. Any case, only a few planes will be enough for returning Indian citizens.

See the accepted answer, India restricted Lufthansa, but all due to COVID 19.


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