Together, Lufthansa and fast-growing low-cost subsidiary Germanwings will serve 211 destinations in 81 countries in their forthcoming winter flight schedules, a marginal expansion of services which includes at least one new destination, the Russian resort city of Sochi on the Black Sea.
The two airlines’ joint capacity in terms of available seat-kilometers will increase overall by 1.1 per cent, due to the deployment of larger aircraft.
Lufthansa will serve 199 of the 211destinations itself, while Germanwings will operate to 64 destinations in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. This winter, Lufthansa and Germanwings will operate a weekly combined total of 12,162 flights. Worldwide, statistically, a flight by Lufthansa and Germanwings will be taking off on average every 50 seconds.
Meanwhile, the entire Lufthansa Group complement of airlines (Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Germanwings and Swiss International Air Lines, as well as their associated regional and charter subsidiaries) will be serving a total of 274 destinations in 106 countries on four continents, in addition to offering numerous codeshare flights along with their own services.
Each week, Lufthansa Group airlines will operate 19,798 passenger flights in the group’s new winter timetable, which runs from Sunday, October 27 to Saturday, March 29.
The new timetable includes services to Shanghai, Chicago and Mexico City with bigger aircraft. Lufthansa has already begun operating the Airbus A380 five times a week from Frankfurt to Shanghai, the aircraft upgrade beginning at the end of September.
Lufthansa has been operating Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental widebodies on the Frankfurt–Mexico City route since September. The airline will also begin operating 747-8Is on its Frankfurt-Chicago service when the winter timetable comes into force.
Additionally, Lufthansa will increase its service frequency to daily flights on its routes from Frankfurt to Philadelphia and to Dammam in Saudi Arabia, in order to accommodate growing demand.
This winter, Lufthansa will again offer seasonal non-stop service from Munich to Cape Town. This seasonal destination is popular among holidaymakers exploring the delights of the South African city and the nearby coastline, according to the German airline.
Lufthansa will also launch seasonal service this winter to Sochi on the Black Sea for the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics games. This service will operate from January 24 to March 17, using Airbus A321 jets. Winter sports enthusiasts will be able to fly non-stop from Frankfurt to the Olympic arenas and skiing events up to five times a week in just three-and-a-half hours.
Meanwhile, Lufthansa will continue to transfer more of its point-to-point flights in Europe to Cologne-based Germanwings. This is a fundamental feature of Lufthansa’s new short-haul strategy, which eventually will see all of Lufthansa’s mainline short-haul services from cities other than Frankfurt and Munich (Lufthansa’s two main hubs) handed over to its lower-cost subsidiary.
As the route transfer continues, Lufthansa is handing over to Germanwings additional Airbus A319 and Airbus A320 jets from Lufthansa’s own fleet, so Germanwings can operate its enlarged route network.
Today Germanwings operates somewhere over 40 Airbus A320-family jets (some of which have already been transferred from the Lufthansa mainline fleet) and ultimately Germanwings will have a fleet of around 80 A320-family aircraft.
Lufthansa Group’s current planning for the 2103-2014 winter timetable calls for flights to 23 destinations previously served by Lufthansa from Hamburg and Berlin to be transferred to Germanwings. Each route will be transferred successively.
In the coming months, Germanwings will take over Lufthansa’s routes from Hamburg Airport to Amsterdam, Birmingham, Budapest, Geneva, London, Madrid, Milan, Manchester, Oslo, Paris, Stockholm and Zurich. The transfer of flights from Hamburg will be completed by the end of the winter flight schedule at the end of March 2014.
Germanwings will also operate this winter from Berlin-Tegel Airport to Birmingham, Bologna, Bucharest, Geneva, Helsinki, London, Málaga, Nuremberg, Rome, Milan and Vienna. The transfer to Germanwings of all of Lufthansa’s short-haul services from Berlin will be completed in the course of summer 2014, according to the group.
Lufthansa Group is also planning for Germanwings to take over Lufthansa’s short-haul flights from Dusseldorf in the summer 2014 schedule. Lufthansa passengers who have already booked flights will automatically be re-booked on Germanwings.
Although Lufthansa is marginally increasing capacity and its destination list this winter, the carrier is discontinuing on economic grounds its non-stop services from Frankfurt to Libreville in Gabon and Pointe Noire in the Republic of Congo, from the turn of the year.
In what Lufthansa Group says is an industry first, the group has launched a new online travel-planning tool – the ‘Lufthansa Journey Planner’ – for passengers to plan door-to-door itineraries easily, even on intercontinental routes, using diverse transport options.
Alongside all Lufthansa Group airline flight schedules at www.lufthansa.com/door-to-door, users of the tool can view all other transport options to and from the airport, be it by train, by car, ferry, on the underground or on foot.
For instance, the Journey Planner has all the details on how to get from Cologne Cathedral to New York’s Central Park.
Aside from all the flights operated by Lufthansa Group airlines, the new online journey planning tool offers information on the timetables of more than 600 urban or public transport systems, as well as those published by rail and shipping companies.
Intermodal travel, using diverse modes of transport, is regarded highly by Lufthansa Group, which believes that using public rather than private transport makes compelling sense environmentally.