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Lufthansa to Increase Ticket Prices

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FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) _ Germany's Lufthansa will charge an added $8 per ticket to pay for toughened security and costlier insurance in the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks in the United States, the company said Friday.

The airline also announced new cuts in flights to North America, which will result in a 20 percent reduction in its trans-Atlantic seating capacity and the removal of 28 airplanes from service.

The surcharge applies to each individual flight leg and takes effect Oct. 1. Tickets already issued are not affected.

Airlines worldwide are under financial pressure with predictions of a sharp drop in passenger traffic because of the attacks.

Lufthansa officials had warned that extra security and insurance costs would inevitably be passed on to passengers. The airline has said it will put sky marshals on planes, strengthen cockpit doors and add extensive new background checks for employees.

Insurers canceled German airlines' coverage for war and terrorism after the attacks, in which hijackers crashed airliners into the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon. Another hijacked plane crashed in Pennsylvania.

The insurance companies say they can no longer offer the standard $1 billion per plane in coverage. They later offered $150 million, which the airlines say is not enough for them to fly. The German government is currently covering airlines for war and terrorism while the airlines and insurance companies seek a private-sector solution.

Lufthansa, Europe's No. 2 airline after British Airways, also said Friday that it would drop four of seven flights on its Frankfurt-Phoenix and Munich-Los Angeles routes as well as one of its seven weekly flights from Frankfurt to Atlanta.

It already had announced it was dropping its Berlin-Washington route and one daily flight from Frankfurt to New York and Frankfurt to Washington.

Lufthansa will continue to offer four flights a day to New York, it said.

Earlier this month, the airline put on hold plans to buy new jumbo jets from Airbus and Boeing and froze hiring.
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