Over the years we have reported many times on Lufthansa’s rail-air initiatives.
Indeed Germany’s national airline was, I believe, the first in Europe to operate a mainline rail-air service decades ago.
Readers with long memories will recall Lufthansa’s chartered “airtrain” which ran between Dusseldorf and Frankfurt airport.
Today Lufthansa and Deutsche Bahn (DB) announced further expansion.
Bald geht's noch entspannter mit dem #ZugzumFlug. Wir bauen mit @Lufthansa_DE unsere gemeinsamen Express Rail-Angebote aus – u.a. mit fünf weiteren Städten und extraschnellen #Sprinter-Zügen auch zum Flughafen #FFM. Alle Details unter https://t.co/7MqsQK7pdQ #starkeSchiene pic.twitter.com/r1cx59KRt1
— Deutsche Bahn AG (@DB_Presse) March 8, 2021
Currently DB operates 134 daily feeder trains to Frankfurt airport from 17 cities within Germany.
These are regular trains and not exclusively operated for Lufthansa customers.
They cater for those travellers taking flights with Lufthansa and many other foreign carriers.
From July there will be rail-air links from Hamburg and Munich while December 2021 sees the addition of Berlin, Bremen and Muenster – see the chart on the above tweet.
Also from this December there will be what DB calls a “superschnelle Sprinter” which will operate twice daily Munich-Nurnberg-Frankfurt airport.
These trains will operate non-stop from Munich and Nurnberg. Travel times will be three and two hours respectively which is considerably faster than today.
This development raises the question of whether or not Lufthansa will remain committed to domestic flights, which Germany’s Green lobby want banned.
Personally I believe Lufthansa will continue to ply the main routes as it only flies long-haul out of Frankfurt and Munich.
I envisage Lufthansa continuing with domestic flights into Frankfurt from Berlin, Hamburg and Munich, but there must be a question mark over Nurnberg.
Readers may wonder why there is no rail-air link at Munich.
It’s simply because rail-air is not practical as Munich airport is not located on DB’s mainline network.