German airline Lufthansa does not expect the entry ban for European travellers to the United States to be relaxed before Christmas.
An easing of travel restrictions is really not expected until late in the fourth quarter, board member Harry Hohmeister said at an online conference hosted by fvw TravelTalk magazine.
Lufthansa hoped that the ban on non-essential travel, which has been in place since March last year due to the corona pandemic, would be lifted in July this year. After that, Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr set his sights in September but soon indicated he no longer trusted himself with making predictions.
The European Union lifted its restrictions on American travellers in June. However, Hohmeister said he could not understand the logic behind the US decision to enforce an entry ban for Europeans, as vaccination rates in the US and many countries in Europe are at similar levels.
US flights remain profitable for Lufthansa, despite low demand, due to US citizens taking transatlantic flights and a boom in the air cargo sector. As a result, Lufthansa is filling its passenger planes “to the brim with cargo,” Hohmeister said.
Spohr predicted a “long, cold winter” for the airline group a few days ago, especially as China is unlikely to ease travel restrictions until after the second quarter of next year. In normal years, Lufthansa derives much of its profits from long-haul flights to North America and Asia.