MIAMI – Austrian Airlines (OS) announces a full reduction of its operations as of March 19 due to the COVID-19 effect in travel restrictions and demand.

The Lufthansa Group (AG), owner of OS, notes that the last flight of the airline will be on March 19 while all remaining flights will be suspended until March 28. The group added that it will add other cuts to its short and long-haul schedules on March 17.

As result, seat capacity on long-haul services will be reduced by 90% in the next months; on short-haul it will be about 20%.

“Now it is no longer about economic issues, but about the responsibility that airlines bear as part of the critical infrastructure in their home countries,” said Carsten Spohr, AG’s CEO.

Concerning other measures

Not only OS, Lufthansa (LH) and Eurowings (EW), but other airlines under AG, have scheduled more than 20 special flights with over 6,000 passengers to get travelers back to their original destination before the measure is implemented.

Passengers who have booked flights during the affected time will be rebooked on other airlines where possible, according to the airline group, which also informed about its website rebooking and self-service options being available to face the high demand of customer service.

At the same, the European Commission (EC) following the slot rule ban proposed a ban on all non-essential travel to Europe, denying the entry in the next 30 days.