By Bahattin Gonultas
BERLIN (AA) - German airline Lufthansa on Wednesday confirmed that it applied for short-term employment assistance for cockpit, cabin and ground crews amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The move will cover 87,000 employees worldwide between March and April as the company cancels flights in line with measures taken by authorities to protect public health as the outbreak continues to spread.
Lufthansa Group employs a total of 138,000 employees with its carriers Lufthansa, Eurowings, SWISS, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, and Edelweiss.
The company has grounded 700 of its 760 aircraft after large numbers of flights were canceled.
On March 19, Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said the longer this crisis lasted, the more likely it would be that airlines would be able to operate without state aid.
After first appearing in Wuhan, China, in December, the virus, which causes COVID-19, has spread to at least 180 countries and regions, indicates the Johns Hopkins University database.
The data shows the confirmed number of cases worldwide has surpassed 874,000, with the death toll over 43,200, and more than 185,100 recoveries.