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German carrier Lufthansa has grounded around 700 aircraft of its 763-unit fleet, as the crisis deepens for the global aviation industry due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

The carrier has reduced its passenger capacity by 95% and working hours, as well as suspended dividends, to mitigate the impact of the disease on its financial performance.

It also noted that the airlines will not be able to sustain without financial assistance if the pandemic continues.

Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr was quoted by Reuters as saying: “Our business, and I speak with 30 years experience, is in an extraordinary situation.

“For weeks, hardly anyone has wanted to fly. Now, hardly anyone can.”

The airline employs around 138,000 people and owns Swiss International, Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines.

Spohr also said that the company is currently discussing with aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Boeing on the delivery and payment of the orders already placed with them, as the revised circumstances eliminated the need to expand its fleet.

Since early this month, several governments worldwide have started shutting down borders, forcing the airlines, including Lufthansa, to reduce operations.

According to global airlines group IATA, the aviation industry will need up to $200bn in financial support to recover from the crisis.

Earlier this week, US carrier Delta Air Lines grounded nearly 600 aircraft.

Meanwhile, the global Covid-19 death toll crossed 10,000.