Restricting air traffic between India and Germany is hurting both economies: Lufthansa CEO

Restricting air traffic between India and Germany is hurting both the economies and the Lufthansa group is eagerly waiting for the Indian government to allow more flights between the two countries, said its CEO Carsten Spohr here on Sunday.
Lufthansa Group CEO Carsten Spohr (Photo: Reuters)
Lufthansa Group CEO Carsten Spohr (Photo: Reuters)
Indian aviation regulator DGCA currently allows Lufthansa to operate just 10 weekly flights from India to Germany, after it had accused the airline in September 2020 of being beneficiary of “inequitable distribution” of traffic. 
At a media briefing on the first day of 77th annual general meeting of International Air Transportation Association (IATA) here, Spohr said: “The first thing we need is more traffic right now (between India and Germany), to the ‘’open skies’’ we had before, because I think, right now, we are blocking business between the economies of India and Germany by not allowing enough travellers to go back and forth.” 
“So, that is hurting both economies because both economies are dependent on imports and exports,” Spohr mentioned. 
He stated that the German and Swiss governments are in constant dialogue with the Indian government to have “additional flights”. The IATA has around 290 airlines as its members comprising 82 per cent of global air traffic. Currently, there are no international flights operating between India and Switzerland, he stated, hoping that the services between the two countries would resume soon. 
Germany-based Lufthansa group operates various European airline brands including SWISS, Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines. 
Scheduled international passenger flights have been suspended in India since March 23, 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic. 
However, special flights have been permitted under “air bubble” arrangements India has formed with approximately 28 countries, including Germany. According to aviation industry sources, just around 20 per cent of pre-COVID international flights are being operated from India right now.

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