Yet again Lufthansa will suspend London Gatwick to Frankfurt

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  • AMcWhirter
    Participant

    After little more than one year it appears Lufthansa has again suspended its Gatwick-Frankfurt route.

    Checking Lufthansa.com the display shows the non-stop flight removed after June 30.

    I believe this has happened twice already.

    I remember taking Lufthansa on this route in the 1990s on a Sunday night and the 737 was full of German nationals returning home after a weekend in London. Not sure about the yield though.

    Then in 2011 Lufthansa restarted Gatwick-Frankfurt only to suspend the route the following year – see link below.

    Note that Lufthansa has yet to inform UK media.

    Lufthansa to suspend Gatwick-Frankfurt route


    LHRSENflyer
    Participant

    Thanks for the update, Alex @AMcWhirter.
    My understanding is that LH and its subsidiaries are cancelling multiple routes. The rationale appears to be the recall of the P&W engines on the 320neo fleet, resulting in capacity constraints. Thus, even other metal within the group is impacted.
    I was checking LHR/FRA/INN. Jump in price from GBP350 to approximately GBP650 and that involved a 2h30 bus ride from Munich. I had assumed this was EU regulation discouraging short flights where there are alternative means of transport. Then I found the article this article (in German) https://www.merkur.de/lokales/garmisch-partenkirchen/kreisbote/frankfurt-strecke-temporaer-gestrichen-lufthansa-anpassungen-am-flughafen-innsbruck-92873824.html. The statement makes clear this is not the end of FRA/INN forever. I imagine LGW could fall into this category – when all is well it feeds additional pax to the higher-yield long-haul network, when times are tough it’s an easy route to cull. However, as you duly note the airline has form for starting and dropping the route, I remember those 90s days when it had competition from Dan Air and some fifth-freedom carriers TWA, Philippines, Air Seychelles, Royal Air Nepal spring to mind to keep fares and yields in bargain basement territory!
    Air Dolomiti (EN) was the operating airline FRA/INN in recent years, but it seems their Embraer regional aircraft are now needed to gap-fill capacity elsewhere.
    This is the official line with which LH went to the Austrian press. Clearly a big loss of global connectivity for a small regional airport.
    On the other hand, I have recent experience with LX where the 21N operating the 17.10 ZRH/LHR had sat idle since arriving from its previous leg. That was LHR/ZRH the night before. I imagine this probably reflects ongoing insufficient post-Covid crewing. Or cynically, careful LX yield management: Restrict capacity and keep yields high to make up for the strike-impacted Q1 losses at the parent.


    alainboy56
    Participant

    @LHRSENflyer

    Regarding your last comments, are you sure this wasn’t the fault of most beloved and dearly departed ex LHR CEO Tristan Fortescue – StJohn Smyth (yes I cannot remember his name, but he was so utterly useless, perhaps we should).
    You know the guy who could not recruit enough staff to unload/load aircraft or refuel them, so he asked airlines like EK and QR to stop flying so many flights to LHR!!!
    However with all his suited and booted ‘managers’ (and I use that term extremely loosely), he was able to put in place a drop-off charge to screw the very people giving ‘raison détre’ for his position – THE PASSENGERS.
    Now he has ridden off into the sunset with his multi-million retirement package and once again, as is quite normal in the UK ‘Failure is suitably rewarded’.

    On a different tack, it is strange that LX should pay excess gate parking fees for nothing.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    @LHRSENflyer Thanks for explaining a possible reason for LH suspending LGW-FRA. The late afternoon departure would feed the many long-haul flights heading east from Frankfurt.

    The final flight operates on June 30. On and from July 1 the LGW-FRA flight is removed from the schedule.

    As for the “EU regulation discouraging short flights where there are alternative means of transport” the airlines have axed a few short flights but really they haven’t changed because they [the airlines] value the feed traffic.

    Many times I have reported that KLM continues to ply Brussels-Amsterdam multiple times daily even though there is a direct Eurostar (Thalys) to Schiphol. In air miles that’s a distance of just over 100 !

    Likewise with Air France which operates multiple times daily Lyon-CDG even though there’s a direct TGV (to the CDG train station) taking two hours.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    LHRSENflyer
    Participant


    @AMcWhirter
    I am indeed aware that there has been very little impact on ultra-short routes, another classic is ZRH/STR with a flying time of 20-25 minutes is still offered multiple times daily!

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    LHRSENflyer
    Participant


    @alainboy56
    I do agree that it seems to be passengers that are often considered an inconvenience these days.
    And the reward for failure culture is rampant at all higher echelons in UK corporate and political life.
    Not only is there the drop-off charge, but free buses to the local area were canned on his watch and the pedestrian/cycling tunnel appears never to be reopenable, so access to the Central terminals for passengers and non-management staff remains an expensive business.
    I have chuckled at T2 at the newly-appointed management that is intended to queue bust at the security checkpoint as they invariably stop the real workers from screening as they bristle and bustle to no effect.


    LetsFlyNow
    Participant

    Indeed i believe this route is getting the axe due to a shortage of planes. Same issue why LH decided that from April 1st they’re better off plying a bus from INN to MUC and then transferring passengers to FRA and using that plane to more lucrative routes. Innsbrück is anyway more lucrative in winter when people are going skiing,

    MUC-NUE (30Min) was the first route to be cut for enviromental reasons but that was around 2021. Then came MUC-INN. Both are ofcourse served 3-4 times daily by very comfy buses.

    STR-ZRH is probably way too lucrative with Mercedes Benz, Porsche being headquartered in Stuttgart to be axed. Those managers won’t take the Bahn.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    Slayeronwings
    Participant

    Responding to the ex LHR CEO, How can we forget the useless git? If right in the middle of the peak holiday season his stupid decision forced us to spend an extra £1K on 3 easyJet flights to Madrid out of our own pockets because our original airline removed us from the flight. Charged this man back and his useless PA refused to provide an apology or our funds back due to his “executive decision” I do wish him an enjoyable retirement! Useless prat!


    alainboy56
    Participant

    @Slayeronwings

    And yes, we have just seen that this Numpty’s investments in ‘top notch technology’ completely failed this last week at the e-gates.
    He probably went for the cheapest tender for this system and it was probably designed in Bangladesh (this is a jokey comparison I/we use with locals here where I live) ………….. a bit like the drainage system in Dubai, although that is actually just purely a matter of $$$.

    Anyway this crass fool has installed systems that regularly fail (Just like that other incompetently managed outfit BA), and there seems to be no back up. Probably a Bengali system is half the price of a European or Japanese one, so he actually COULD have bought TWO ……. what a complete and utter Richard Head!


    AndrewinHK
    Participant

    Just a side note, the e gate failures have nothing to do with the LHR CEO. The failure was nationwide and down to issues with border force computers.


    alainboy56
    Participant

    @AndrewinHK

    Ahh apologies – so the responsibility was with yet another bunch of useless halfwits.
    Thanks for correcting me – sorry to all, I did not fully read the whole story in depth.

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