While the White House is creating international travel policies that seem to wobble and shift and the global travel industry attempts to keep up in a kind of chaotic dance, one airline company has decided to dance to its own tune.
The Lufthansa Group has announced its airlines will continue flights to Chicago, New York Newark and Washington DC, after the US announced a stringent new travel ban in response to the coronavirus.
The Trump administration announced this week that non-US citizens who have been in any of 26 countries within the Schengen border-free travel area within 14 days of their travel to the US will be denied entry as of 2359 Eastern Daylight Time on Friday March 13.
The countries are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
The Lufthansa Group said in a statement:
“Despite the new travel guidelines ordered by the US administration on passengers from the European Union, Switzerland and other countries, Lufthansa Group Airlines will continue to offer flights to the USA from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Belgium.
“The Lufthansa Group will continue operating flights from Frankfurt to Chicago and Newark (New York), from Zurich to Chicago and Newark (New York), from Vienna to Chicago, and from Brussels to Washington beyond March 14, thus maintaining at least some air traffic connections to the USA from Europe.
“The airlines are currently working on an alternative flight schedule for the US. Passengers will still be able to reach all destinations within the US via the US hubs and connecting flights served by partner airline, United Airlines.
“In addition, all other US flights will be suspended until further notice due to US administration restrictions, including all departures from Munich, Düsseldorf and Geneva. The Lufthansa Group will continue to serve all destinations in Canada until further notice.
“As planned, the Lufthansa Group’s airlines are offering 313 connections to 21 destinations in the USA from Europe in the winter schedule, which is still valid until March 28.”
It added that it is currently evaluating its flight program to India after that country suspended all tourist visas and e-visas granted on or before March 11.
The group has already announced it will likely reduce capacity in March, and cancel 23,000 flights in April. Finnair, too, has canceled all flights to the US and Delhi for the next month.