Lufthansa`s 2003 summer timetable contains a number of innovations on intercontinental and continental routes. As plans stand at present, Lufthansa will be offering flights to 340 destinations in 89 countries when the new summer timetable goes into effect on 31 March 2003. The Lufthansa timetable will thus encompass about 3,500 flights per day or just under 25,000 flights a week. That represents ca. eight per cent more seat kilometres offered (SKOs) on intercontinental routes and ca. three per cent more SKOs on continental routes than in the 2002 summer timetable.
Passengers on intercontinental flights from Frankfurt will benefit from the new connections and additional flights. The daily service from Frankfurt to Portland, Oregon, which will be launched on 31 March, is the only direct flight to the city from Europe, and will therefore be highly attractive - not only to passengers travelling from Germany, but also from all other European markets. This will bring to 17 the number of North American destinations served non-stop by Lufthansa. Three extra flights a week to Mexico City will be offered from Frankfurt, raising the number of weekly flights to that city to ten. Passengers travelling to Chennai (Madras) will also benefit from the increased frequencies. This summer Lufthansa will offer six flights a week to the South Indian city, twice as many as before.
To coincide with the opening of Terminal 2 at Munich on 29 June 2003, Lufthansa is also offering more intercontinental flights and serving new destinations from its hub in southern Germany. From 30 June - pending government approval - Lufthansa will offer three flights a week from Munich to Beijing. At the end of March, services from Munich to Los Angeles, which were withdrawn in autumn 2001, will be resumed, with at least one daily connection. Three additional flights a week will be available for passengers to Hong Kong and Shanghai. Lufthansa will thus serve Hong Kong six times a week from Munich, and fly to Shanghai daily.
In recent months Lufthansa has registered a drop in demand for First Class travel on some intercontinental flights to destinations with a stronger tourist character. Deploying aircraft with a two-class configuration on some of these routes has enabled Lufthansa to make better use of its capacity and thus operate more profitably and, in addition, adapt its offer to changing market demand. Since the beginning of January, Lufthansa has been operating aircraft with a two-class configuration on routes from Frankfurt to Philadelphia and Boston, flights to Atlanta will follow in March. Plans are underway to introduce this configuration on one of the three daily flights from Frankfurt to New York (JFK), on the daily flight from Frankfurt to Caracas, on the six flights a week on the Frankfurt - Cairo - Asmara route and on one of the five weekly flights on the Frankfurt - Cairo - Addis Ababa route. Apart from these individual local differences, the offer of three travel classes on long-haul flights will continue to be the standard Lufthansa service. First Class is a premium product that will remain an essential element of Lufthansa`s customer service in future, wherever it is requested by passengers.
On domestic and intra-European routes, Lufthansa is adjusting services to changes in customer demand. On 21 January, the Lufthansa Executive Board decided to cut capacity and take a further nine airplanes out of service in view of the continuing economic downswing in Germany. With effect from 1 February, Lufthansa is suspending services between Munich and London City Airport (previously twelve flights a week) and on its Stuttgart - Geneva route (previously eleven flights a week). With the changeover to the new timetable, a number of other routes will be withdrawn from the timetable: Dortmund - Zurich (previously eleven flights a week), Hanover - Milan/Malpensa (previously twelve flights a week), Cologne - Dresden (previously 24 flights a week), Cologne - Friedrichshafen (previously 16 flights a week), Cologne - Stuttgart (previously eleven flights a week), and Münster/Osnabrück - Zurich (previously five flights a week).
More AiRail services: from 5 May Lufthansa passengers will also be able to take the high-speed ICE 3 link from Cologne`s main rail station to Frankfurt Airport, and travel under a Lufthansa flight number. An ICE express will operate this route at least 16 times a day, and with an hourly service will provide an ideal connection to the airport. Journey time is 57 minutes. Passengers check in their luggage at Cologne`s main station and collect it at their final flight destination. Since March 2001, Lufthansa has been offering this service between Stuttgart`s main station and Frankfurt Airport in conjunction with Deutsche Bahn (German Rail) and Fraport, which operates Frankfurt Airport.