Ever since Lufthansa acquired its 14-strong fleet of Airbus A380s they have been based exclusively at Frankfurt.
But in a change of tack Lufthansa will now transfer one-third of its super jumbo fleet to Munich.
It’s great news for passengers transferring in Munich or who are based in Munich itself or in neighbouring Bavaria, Austria or Switzerland.
The five A380s will be transferred from Frankfurt to Munich in time for the summer 2018 schedules.
They will be deployed on services linking Munich and three long-haul destinations: Beijing, Hong Kong and Los Angeles.
“With the A380 we can offer our Munich customers a premium aircraft at a five star hub,” said Harry Hohmeister, a Lufthansa Board member with responsibility for Hub management. “In recent years we have made great progress in steering our hubs. We are now more flexible in utilising our aircraft at different locations.”
All well and good. But the real story is two-fold.
Lufthansa is having to move these A380s to Munich and will improve its product offerings at Zurich and Vienna (Swiss/Austrian Airlines are Lufthansa Group members) in order to better compete with rivals.
Gulf airline Emirates, for example, operates A380s at Munich, Vienna and Zurich. Singapore Airlines (SIA) offers A380 service at Zurich.
The other reason is that Lufthansa is displeased with Fraport (the body managing Frankfurt airport) because of its new charging policy which, reports ch-aviation, incentivises airlines to increase passenger numbers.
It will push up Lufthansa’s operating costs at Frankfurt and will lead to more competition for its European routes as low-cost airlines (LCCs) such as Ryanair (which will create more passenger traffic) are being encouraged to operate at Frankfurt.
Quoted on Swiss website ch-aviation.com, Harry Hohmeister says “Frankfurt is simply too expensive. Whilst the charges at London and Amsterdam are going down, those in Frankfurt, which is already one of the most expensive European airports, have increased. This is incomprehensible and will endanger potential growth.”
But Germany’s airliners.de reports that a Frankfurt airport spokesman said, “We regret Lufthansa’s decision and consider it wrong. The [Lufthansa] decision confirms Fraport’s move to open up to other providers [such as Ryanair].”
However, as one might expect, Munich is overjoyed.
Quoted by Germany’s airportzentrale.de, Munich’s manager Dr Michael Kerkloh said, “This is a great day for Munich as a transport hub. Our airport has finally and permanently arrived in the circle of the major European hubs.”
For details of Munich’s new Terminal 2 satellite see
At the time of writing Lufthansa.com is yet to be updated with the A380 schedules at Munich.