Lufthansa is axing its flights between London Gatwick and Frankfurt, a route only reintroduced in October last year.
The Lufthansa Group confirmed the move in a statement announcing the group’s results for the first half of 2012, with an operating loss of €20 million.
However the group reported an “upward trend in earnings performance in the second quarter of this year”, with an operating profit of €361 million, nearly countering the first quarter operating loss of €341 million.
It said that positive factors included “consistent capacity and yield management in passenger and cargo traffic, clear restructuring successes at Austrian Airlines and good earnings contributions from the service companies”.
Regarding the separate airline businesses within the Lufthansa Group, Lufthansa made an operating loss of €300 million for the first six months, while Swiss made a profit of €48 million, and Austrian made a profit of €26 million.
The Lufthansa Group said that its Passenger Airline Group segment plans to cut available seat-kilometres year on year by 2.5 per cent, “using the capacity reduction to phase out older aircraft ahead of schedule and for seasonal adjustments to the flight timetable”.
As a result Lufthansa is to suspend flights from Frankfurt to Casablanca, London-Gatwick, Larnaca, Palma de Mallorca and Naples for the 2012 winter season, although the carrier says it is still selling tickets for the Gatwick-Frankfurt service for the summer 2013 season.
It’s a blow for passengers based in the Gatwick catchment area, as Lufthansa had only reintroduced flights to Frankfurt from the south London airport in October last year (see online news July 6, 2011).
As things stand it will leave Gatwick without a direct, non-stop service to Frankfurt from the start of the winter season.
For more information visit lufthansa.com.
Report by Mark Caswell