The FINANCIAL — In their winter flight schedule, the Lufthansa Group hub airlines will be offering over 700,000 additional seats on flights within Germany.
This is a response to the greatly increased and continuously high demand after the market exit of Air Berlin, in particular on the routes they already serve most frequently. On a large number of routes, Lufthansa’s hub airlines have increased their capacity between September 2017 and March 2018 by a total of 25 percent, and by as much as 60 percent on some routes. With this move, the airlines are reestablishing 45 percent of the previous capacity of Air Berlin.
This includes the use of the 747-400 between Frankfurt and Berlin-Tegel in November and December. The jumbo jet will shuttle between the two cities approximately 90 times in total. Going forward, Lufthansa plans to exclusively use the larger version of the Airbus A321, which seats 200 passengers, on the route between the capital and its most important hub whenever possible, according to the Lufthansa Group.
The main focus of the changes in capacity is on a large number of additional flights within Germany by Lufthansa’s hub airlines. For instance, this winter, Lufthansa will be offering approximately 100 additional flights from Munich to Berlin-Tegel, Hamburg, Düsseldorf and Cologne.
The connections between Frankfurt and Berlin-Tegel (seven additional flights per week) and Frankfurt and Düsseldorf (14 additional flights per week) will also be increased.
Austrian Airlines will be offering 14 additional weekly flights between Vienna and Berlin-Tegel as well as 14 additional flights between Vienna and Düsseldorf, while Swiss will be offering 21 additional flights between Zurich and Berlin-Tegel as well as 15 additional flights between Zürich and Düsseldorf.
In order to meet demand on the busiest travel days in October, the Lufthansa hub airlines used intercontinental aircraft for flights to Berlin-Tegel from all four hubs (Lufthansa: six Airbus A340-600 from Munich and three Airbus A340-400 from Frankfurt; Swiss: six Airbus A330 from Zürich; Austrian Airlines: one Boeing 777 from Vienna).
Lufthansa’s winter schedule also includes two new long-haul destinations. Since November 2017, Lufthansa has been connecting Berlin with New York five times a week and Düsseldorf with Miami three times a week.
These increases in capacity are made possible by the reactivation of operational reserves, deployment of new aircraft and cancellation of less frequented routes, as well as through wet-lease agreements for a number of aircraft owned by other airlines.