German airline Lufthansa is to launch its all business class product to Dubai and Pune (India) over the coming months.
Flights will be operated by 48-seater Airbus A319s with angled lie-flat seating in business class. The planes are chartered from Swiss carrier Privatair. It is a similar concept to the transatlantic flights which Lufthansa has operated for several years out of Germany.
Services to Dubai will be operated six times a week from Munich. Flight LH638 will leave Munich daily (except Tuesday) at 2130 to arrive in Dubai at 0530 the following morning. It will return as LH639 (daily except Wednesday) departing Dubai at 0745 and landing in Munich at 1210.
The Munich-Dubai route is currently served by Emirates using Airbus A330s featuring a traditional first, business and economy class layout. So Lufthansa will be aiming for the top of the market.
The new service from Frankfurt to Pune gets under way on July 1. This will be a useful service for business people because, as there are no direct flights, the only way to reach Pune from Europe is to route via Dubai. And the single Dubai-Pune service, operated by Indian Airlines, operates just four times a week.
Flight LH768 will leave Frankfurt at 1615 (daily except Saturday) to reach Pune at 0400 the next morning. It will return as LH769 at 0529 (daily except Sunday) arriving in Frankfurt at 1050.
Readers will spot that timings for both these services are convenient for connections to a wide range of destinations both in Europe and beyond.
Pune is located 200 kms southeast of Mumbai. It’s an industrial city and the centre of India’s automotive industry. It’s also the home to many large international firms in the IT, biotechnology and biochemistry sectors.
The addition of this route makes Lufthansa easily Europe’s leading airline in India. Says Dr Karl-Rudolf Rupprecht, the airline’s senior VP hub management in Frankfurt, “With seven non-stop destinations and 55 flights a week it means we have almost quadrupled our flights to India since 2001, when we operated 15 flights a week to three destinations.”
But these new services mean that Lufthansa has withdrawn its previous all-business class flights linking Dusseldorf with Chicago and Munich with New York. These services are now being operated by larger A330/A340 planes with conventional seating accommodation.
The recently introduced daily (except Saturday) Frankfurt to New York Newark service (operated by a B737) will be Lufthansa’s sole all-business class transatlantic service.
For more information to go lufthansa.com.
Report by Alex McWhirter