The historical Saxon capital will be linked to London from April 19 when Lufthansa inaugurates a new daily service to Dresden. And it is about time seeing as this city in the former Eastern Germany is expanding its tourism and business industries.
Lufthansa will be using an Airbus A319 which is being operated on its behalf by Bmi. Timings are:
LH4767 depart Heathrow 1235 to arrive Dresden 1530
LH4766 depart Dresden 1605 to arrive Heathrow 1705
These schedules, although not totally perfect for London-based business people, do allow for easy domestic and international connections at Heathrow for passengers coming in from elsewhere.
Fares are extremely good value in economy class. For travel in late April, Lufthansa’s website quotes an excursion rate from London starting at £90 return with tickets for trips (without a Saturday night stay) being priced between £120 and £191. But at £650 return the business class rate is costly.
Until now, with no direct flights from the UK, Dresden has been an awkward and costly destination for travellers to reach. The previous non-stop air link (a daily British Airways service from Gatwick) lasted barely a year while an Air Berlin service to nearby Leipzig (100km west) was recently withdrawn.
Getting to Dresden meant having to fly to Berlin (200km north) and then proceeding by train. That was the most economical option. An alternative was to take Lufthansa via one its hubs such as Dusseldorf, Frankfurt or Munich. But the latter method was costly with even the cheapest tickets priced at around £200 to £350 return.
Since reunification Dresden has re-emerged as a leading cultural and economic centre of Germany. Local businesses include car manufacturing, micro-electronics and pharmaceuticals.
Report by Alex McWhirter