December 21, 2017 / 4:36 PM / a year ago

CORRECTED-Lufthansa's Eurowings drops nearly 300 flights from winter schedule

(Corrects headline, lead and second paragraph to correct reason for flight cancellations, due to a misunderstanding of spokesman’s comment)

BERLIN, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Lufthansa’s budget carrier Eurowings said on Thursday it has cancelled nearly 300 flights from the rest of its winter schedule.

A spokesman for Eurowings said it had slightly less capacity available than it initially planned for, and that the reduced capacity amounted to less than 1 percent of that originally provided for until the end of March.

Lufthansa last week abandoned plans to buy failed rival Air Berlin’s Austrian airline Niki due to competition concerns.

And earlier on Thursday the European Commission approved Lufthansa’s purchase of LGW, another Air Berlin subsidiary, after it agreed to give up some runway slots.

Most of the flights being cancelled, which amount to less than 1 percent of the winter schedule until March, are on domestic German routes, the Eurowings spokesman said, adding that the changes were not set in stone and some routes could be added back at a later point in time.

German weekly Focus earlier cited company sources as saying Eurowings had notified customers of the cancellations by e-mail and said it was trying to provide alternative flights on Lufthansa.

Eurowings had expected to increase its fleet to 210 aircraft from 160 had Lufthansa acquired both LGW and Niki from Air Berlin. (Reporting by Victoria Bryan and Klaus Lauer; Writing by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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