Lufthansa Group introduces compulsory face mask measures for passengers

From Monday May 4, the Lufthansa Group and its airlines are asking all passengers to wear a face mask covering the nose and mouth on board their flights. In addition, the group recommends that passengers wear them throughout the entire journey. This includes prior to and after the flight, and throughout the airport when the required minimum distance cannot be guaranteed without restriction.

A group statement said that despite numerous adjustments to service procedures, it is not always possible to maintain the required distance on a flight. Therefore, this measure serves as additional protection for all passengers. All flight attendants on Lufthansa Group flights in direct contact with customers will also be required to wear a mask.

The Lufthansa Group said the move enabled it to comply with the official regulations of numerous European countries where it is now compulsory to wear a mouth and nose cover in public places.

All passengers are requested to bring their own face mask and a reusable fabric mask is recommended, but all other types of coverings such as simple disposable masks or scarves are also acceptable.

The Group’s airlines will inform their passengers in advance by SMS or e-mail and on their websites about the new regulations.

The obligation to wear the mask will preliminarily apply until August 31, 2020.

The mask requirement will bring the current Lufthansa Group Airlines’ regulation to keep the neighbouring seat free in Economy and Premium Economy Class to an end, as the Group believes that wearing the mouth-nose cover provides adequate health protection.  However, it added that, due to the current low passenger numbers, seats allocations will still be distributed as widely as possible throughout the cabin.

The statement concluded that, in principle, passengers are “very unlikely” to become infected while onboard an aircraft and, since the outbreak of the pandemic, the Group knows of “no concrete cases of transmission” onboard its flights.

As this story went to press, it was revealed that the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) union that represents the pilots of Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo and Germanwings, has put forward a proposal that its members could take a 45% pay cut for at least two years in order to preserver their jobs during the Covid-19 crisis.  A VC statement said: “The concessions amount to more than 350 million euros and make a significant contribution to the viability of the company.” The negotiations continue.