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Interview

Entry bans by Asian countries slow air recovery: Lufthansa CEO

Pre-COVID travel demand not expected "before 2024"

Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr stressed that "it will take at least until 2024 before demand bounces back to where it was in 2019."

FRANKFURT -- The head of Lufthansa said the German airline will not be able to resume pre-COVID flight frequency to Japan and China as quickly as hoped. "We've now realized that it will take a marathon to get through the crisis, not a sprint," CEO Carsten Spohr told Nikkei in an interview.

Demand for air travel remains weak. As of the end of August, the number of Lufthansa flights was around one-third of the pre-pandemic level. Passenger traffic was down by 75%, and the carrier operates roughly half the number of regular routes. Of the 760 planes in its fleet, only 300 are active.

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