Lufthansa is significantly extending its presence in India, with Air India becoming a new partner of Lufthansa from 1st October 2004. Within the scope of an extensive agreement covering a far-reaching bilateral cooperation, Wolfgang Mayrhuber, Chairman of the Executive Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, and V. Thulasidas, Chairman & Managing Director of Air India, have signed a code-share contract in Mumbai. The objective of the partnership is particularly the expansion of the offer of flights between Germany and India. All flights between the two countries will be operated by the two airlines in future in code-sharing. New routes are expected to be added. Through the cooperation in the area of frequent flyer programs, customers on flights of both airlines can in future collect and redeem miles for the respective programmes - Miles & More and Flying Returns.
“India is an important market with great growth potential. Lufthansa is today already the European airline with the largest offer of services to India for its customers” explained Wolfgang Mayrhuber. “We are banking on the dynamism of this market and can see considerable potential through the cooperation”, Mayrhuber added.
V. Thulasidas announced that Air India has been accorded the IOSA Audit Certificate by IATA recently and is amongst the first airlines conforming to the required quality standards. He also said that India-Germany/ Europe and India-USA were very important markets for Air India which it plans to serve over Frankfurt in alliance with Lufthansa. Air India will soon link Bangalore & Hyderabad directly to Frankfurt and enhance Delhi-Frankfurt operations to a daily going beyond to US West Coast.
In addition to the code-sharing between Germany and India, the code of Air India will also be bookable on Lufthansa connecting flights from Frankfurt to Berlin, Munich, Stuttgart and Düsseldorf to Amsterdam, Geneva, Zurich and Lyon as well as to Washington, Denver, Detroit, Chicago and Los Angeles.
The cooperation agreement signed today results from a memorandum of understanding which the two carriers signed on 26th August 2003. In it, cooperation in the area of sales and marketing is also foreseen as well as cooperation in the medium term in other areas, for example, in the area of IT.
Various working groups are currently working on the design and further development of the various areas of cooperation.
Lufthansa currently flies from Frankfurt to Delhi (once daily), Mumbai (once daily), Chennai (once daily) and Bangalore (five times a week) as well as from Munich to Delhi (three times a week.) As a result of the new cooperation, there will now be a further six weekly flights between Frankfurt and Mumbai as well as three weekly flights between Frankfurt and Delhi which are operated by Air India and can now be booked with a Lufthansa code.