Lufthansa’s new Munich A380 flights go on sale

Flights for Lufthansa’s recently announced A380 services from Munich to Los Angeles, Beijing and Hong Kong are now available to book, with the first flights set to take off on March 25 next year.

The first new A380 flight to depart Munich will be LH452 to Los Angeles, which takes off at 1200, followed by LH722 to Beijing at 1915 and finally LH730 to Hong Kong at 2230.

The first A380 return flights from each of the three destinations, meanwhile, will fly at the following times: LH453 departs Los Angeles at 1715 on March 25; LH723 departs Beijing at 1250 on March 26; LH731 departs Hong Kong at 2330 on March 26.

All three routes operate daily.

Return-ticket prices from Hong Kong to Munich start from around HK$5,900 (US$755) for economy, HK$11,400 (US$1,460) for premium economy, and HK$31,800 (US$4,070) for business class.

Return prices from Beijing to Munich start at about 6,200 yuan (US$905) for economy, 10,900 yuan (US$1,590) for premium economy, and 24,000 yuan (US$3,500) for business class.

Lufthansa’s 14-strong fleet of A380s is currently based entirely in Frankfurt, however five of these are scheduled to be shifted to Munich ahead of the three March 2018 services. This is being done to better compete with rivals such as Emirates and Singapore Airlines, as well as mitigate rising operating costs at its Frankfurt Airport hub due to a new charging policy.

lufthansa.com

Lufthansa to base five A380s at Munich

Lufthansa-A380

Lufthansa to base five A380s at Munich

Report by Alex McWhirter

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

https://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news/56858-lufthansa-talks-tough-on-fraport-fees

 

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 (who will create more passenger traffic) are being encouraged to operate at Frankfurt.

(See Online news,  February 28)

https://www.businesstraveller.com/news/2017/02/28/ryanair-poised-major-frankfurt-expansion/

Quoted in 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.”

https://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news/56858-lufthansa-talks-tough-on-fraport-fees

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].”

http://www.airliners.de/lufthansa-a380-frankfurt-muenchen/41631?utm_content=bufferad785&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

However, as one might expect, Munich is overjoyed.

http://www.airportzentrale.de/lufthansa-stationiert-fuenf-a380-am-flughafen-muenchen/53540/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Quoted by German’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 Online news, April 22, 2016.

https://www.businesstraveller.com/news/2016/04/22/munich-airport-opens-terminal-2-satellite/

At the time of writing Lufthansa.com is yet to be updated with the A380 schedules at Munich.

Lufthansa.com

 

 

 

 

Lufthansa eyes Asia and US with new routes and A380 deployments

Lufthansa-A380

Lufthansa is tightening its focus on Asia and the US next summer with the introduction of two new routes along with three A380 deployments to destinations in both continents.

Notably for business travellers within Asia-Pacific, the German carrier’s summer 2018 schedule will see the resurrection of its Munich-Singapore service. Lufthansa had previously cut the route in October 2012 due to lack of capacity at Munich at the time and the high fuel costs of the A340 that it previously deployed on the route. 

The new service doesn’t have a set start date beyond “summer 2018” and the aircraft that will fly the route hasn’t been confirmed, but the airline has stated it will fly the route five times weekly.

The revival of the Munich-Singapore route likely ties in with Lufthansa’s joint venture with Singapore Airlines, which came into effect in April and aims to expand codeshare ties and align the airlines’ corporate programmes in response to growing competition from rival Gulf airlines.

The Star Alliance member has been particularly active on this front, even partnering with rival oneworld Alliance member Cathay Pacific on codeshare and frequent flyer programme services in order to enhance its connectivity between Europe and Asia-Pacific.

Both of these partnerships will allow Lufthansa (and its subsidiaries Austrian Airlines and Swiss) to feed travellers from Europe into its main Frankfurt and Munich hubs and onward to Singapore and Hong Kong, where travellers can then make use of Singapore Airlines’ and Cathay Pacific’s extensive Asia-Pacific networks.

Indeed, along with the revival of its Munich-Singapore route, Lufthansa will be deploying its A380 on three of its Munich services next summer – Hong Kong, Beijing and Los Angeles. The airline began flying its A380 to Hong Kong back in October 2015 on its Frankfurt-Hong Kong route. In total, five of Lufthansa’s 14 A380s will be transferred from Frankfurt to Munich in order to serve these routes.

“With the A380 we can offer our Munich customers a premium aircraft at a five-star hub,” said Harry Hohmeister, an executive board member of Deutsche Lufthansa AG who is also responsible for hub management. “In recent years, we have made great progress in steering our hubs. We harmonised and integrated processes and are now more flexible in utilising our aircraft at different locations. Quality, efficiency and growth will always remain our top priority.”

Meanwhile, the deployment of the A380 on its Munich-Los Angeles route will be joined next summer by the addition of a brand new route between Frankfurt and San Diego. As with the Munich-Singapore service, this new San Francisco route hasn’t got an exact confirmed start date at this time, and the aircraft it will deploy on the route hasn’t been specified. Lufthansa says it will operate the route five times weekly.

Finally, Lufthansa’s summer 2018 schedule includes another change to its US services, namely an increase of flights from Munich to Chicago. The airline’s current daily service is set to become a 10-times weekly one.

lufthansa.com

Short-haul Lufthansa Group planes to get wifi

Lufthansa-onboard-wifi

Short-haul Lufthansa Group planes to get wifi  

Lufthansa, Austrian and Eurowings are rolling out wifi on short- and medium-haul A320-family aircraft over the coming months

 The Lufthansa Group is to roll out its FlyNet wifi service on short- and medium-haul planes over the coming months.

 By the end of March, 20 A320-family Lufthansa aircraft will be fitted with technology to allow passengers to get online.

By April, 31 Austrian Airlines planes will receive the capability; and by the summer, 69 Eurowings aircraft will also have wifi. By summer 2018, the whole A320 fleet will be wifi-enabled.

Passengers aboard the first ten Lufthansa and Austrian aircraft will be offered free internet for the duration of the test phase. The free trial period (over the first quarter of the year) will allow the group to collect data on how people use the onboard wifi.

After its official market launch, passengers can pick between three services:

  • FlyNet Message costs €3 and allows you to use email, iMessage or WhatsApp
  • FlyNet Surf allows passengers to surf the web for €7
  • FlyNet Stream, at €12, also allows video streaming

The packages can be paid for via credit or debit card and through payment services such as Paypal.

Harry Hohmeister, who is sits on the board of directors of Deutsche Lufthansa AG and is responsible for Hub Management, says: “I am pleased that we can soon offer broadband internet to our passengers on inner-European flights, giving them the chance to have a seamless digital experience.”

Lufthansa launched its first aircraft with onboard internet access in 2003. Since June 2015, FlyNet has been available on 107 long-haul Lufthansa planes, priced by the hour.

Lufthansa Group’s Swiss has also started offering wifi on its long-haul flights. The possibility of extending the service to its short-haul and mid-range flights is now under consideration.

 

Lufthansa axes Frankfurt-Tokyo Narita service

Lufthansa Munich Satellite 2

Lufthansa will be permanently ceasing its Frankfurt-Tokyo Narita service starting January 9, according to industry website routesonline.com.

The German carrier originally planned to temporarily suspend its three-times-weekly LH710/LH711 service as a seasonal cancellation in the first quarter of 2017, from January 9 to March 25.

However, this now has been changed to a permanent cancellation, with reservations for the summer season from March 26 onwards no longer available.

Travellers going between Frankfurt and Tokyo Narita can still take Swiss- or ANA-operated flights, on which Lufthansa currently codeshares. Lufthansa will also continue to operate its direct service from Frankfurt to Tokyo Haneda as well as via Munich, along with codesharing on direct ANA-operated flights between the cities.

lufthansa.com

Singapore Airlines-Lufthansa joint venture gets CSS approval

Singapore Airlines' B777-300ER

The Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS) recently granted approval to a proposed joint venture between Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Lufthansa Group that would see the two airlines expand codeshare ties, align their corporate programmes and expand commercial cooperation in Europe, Southeast Asia and Australia.

The CCS’s approval of the joint venture is the latest step for the airlines towards introducing the wide-ranging partnership agreement and comes following approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in September this year. SIA and Lufthansa first signed the agreement – which also includes SIA subsidiary Silkair and Lufthansa subsidiaries Swiss and Austrian Airlines – in November 2015, in response to growing competition from rival airlines.

“The joint venture with Lufthansa Group will provide an attractive proposition to travellers, with unparalleled network connectivity between Europe and the Asia-Pacific,” said SIA CEO, Goh Choon Phong. “It is yet another example of how partnerships with other airlines enable us to provide more options to our customers which we would otherwise not be able to provide on our own.”

Lufthansa Group CEO Carsten Spohr echoed Goh’s statement, saying: “This joint venture will allow the two world-leading airlines to optimise their premium services in a fiercely competitive environment for the benefit of our global customer base. Together the Lufthansa Group and SIA will be able to offer even better connections and services throughout Europe and Southeast Asia than are already available.”

singaporeair.com; lufthansa.com

Widespread disruption expected in Lufthansa strike

Lufthansa aircraft at Munich Airport

 

Lufthansa flights will be affected by a strike tomorrow.

The pilot’s union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) called for strike action on 23 November 2016 from 00:01 to 23:59 (local times). Lufthansa short and long-haul flights departing from Germany are affected.

Lufthansa  release a statement saying that the pilot’s union  “is ignoring the option of a mediation and is thereby not taking care of its responsibility as a collective bargaining partner”.

Lufthansa says it is “apologizing in advance”.

Lufthansa is doing its utmost to inform customers the best possible way and – if possible – rebook them on other airlines or means of transport,” It said, in a statement. “Moreover, the capacities in the call centres will be ramped up. A special timetable is currently being created. This timetable will be published on LH.com as soon as possible”.

For more details see http://www.lufthansa.com/de/en/Travel-information

Lufthansa introduces part-pay option

Lufthansa aircraft at Munich Airport

Lufthansa has announced that members can now use up a flexible amount of award miles against the cost of a flight.

The German airline will allow passengers to use their miles to pay for award flights either in part or in full, for flights with Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Germanwings and Eurowings.

The rolling launch will begin on November 17, starting in Germany, with Switzerland, Belgium, Finland, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain and Italy planned for early 2017.

To use the part-pay option, members must have accrued at least 7,000 award miles. The service can be used in all classes as well as for all flight connections available on the Lufthansa website. Members will continue to collect award and status miles with these bookings too.

Lufthansa to upgrade its Mumbai-Frankfurt flight

German airline Lufthansa will replace the current 747-400 with a 747-8 on its Mumbai-Frankfurt route from October 30.

Even though the B747-8 has eight seats lesser than the current aircraft, it has an additional First Class, more seats in Business, and fewer in Economy.

  • Boeing 747-400 — 67 Business Class, 32 Premium Economy Class and 272 Economy Class seats.
  • Boeing 747-8 — eight First Class, 80 Business Class, 32 Premium Economy and 244 Economy Class seats.

Flight timings will remain the same though.

Daily flight LH757 departs off from Mumbai at 0255 and lands in Frankfurt at 0720. Return flight LH756 takes off from Frankfurt at 1235 and lands at 0100.

The upgrade will also include, “an enhanced comfort, experience and new technology including premium on-board products like modern cabin design concepts and the most up-to-date on-board amenities in all classes”.

These, the airline says, is in the spirit of Diwali, India’s largest celebration of lights.

Lufthansa has a presence in the India market of over 50 years and is committed to offering its passengers outstanding quality and service, in line with our philosophy of More Indian Than You Think,” says Wolfgang Will, director — South Asia at Lufthansa Passenger Airlines. “Adding to the festive cheer, we bring the Queen of Skies [Lufthansa] to Mumbai, one of the most important cities in the world and a key destination in our global network. The deployment of Boeing 747-8 shows once again our strong commitment to the Indian market.”

lufthansa.com 

“Lufthansa has a presence in the India market of over 50 years and is committed to offering its passengers outstanding quality and service, in line with our philosophy of More Indian Than You Think,” says Wolfgang Will, director — South Asia at Lufthansa Passenger Airlines. “Adding to the festive cheer, we bring the Queen of Skies [Lufthansa] to Mumbai, one of the most important cities in the world and a key destination in our global network. The deployment of Boeing 747-8 shows once again our strong commitment to the Indian market.”