German state airline Lufthansa has said that hundreds of its aircraft will remain grounded until 2023 due to the prolonged impact of coronavirus on global aviation.
In a letter to staff seen by Reuters, the flag carrier said that next year would see 300 of its 763 planes grounded, with the number falling to 200 in 2021.
It said: “In the summer of 2023, when we will hopefully will have put this crisis behind us, we will still likely have a fleet that is 100 aircraft smaller”.
Lufthansa is currently negotiating a €10bn bailout from German authorities, who are set to take a 25.1 per cent stake in the firm in return.
The airline is currently flying around one per cent of its normal schedule, but has announced plans to begin flights to destinations including Los Angeles, Toronto and Mumbai from next month.
Chief executive Carsten Spohr said last month that the airline was burning cash at a rate of €1m an hour.
In the first quarter, Lufthansa fell to a €1.2bn loss as a result of the pandemic, which has grounded planes around the world.
A series of stringent travel bans and border closures, along with passengers reticent to fly due to health concerns, have crashed demand for airlines.
Lufthansa is in negotiations with multiple European states, including Switzerland, Belgium, and Austria, where it has hubs, over state aid.