In the forthcoming winter timetable, Lufthansa is offering flights to 160 destinations in 72 countries. Come October 26, a Lufthansa aircraft will be taking to the skies 1,550 times daily, or more than 10,800 times weekly, in a network spanning the globe. Compared with the previous year`s winter flights schedules, moderate growth is in the offing in Lufthansa`s European and intercontinental services.
“The serious crisis besetting the industry has certainly bottomed out. Air traffic is slowly but surely picking up again. Lufthansa will harness the trend to further expand its leading position in the airline business,” said Ralf Teckentrup, Executive Vice President Network Management, IT and Purchasing. “Measured and circumspect growth is our maxim,” he added, “we still have 66 aircraft idle on the ground. We will naturally exploit every opportunity but avoid any excess capacity.”
In intercontinental traffic ex Frankfurt, air travellers to South America especially will profit from attractive timetable newcomers: From 8 December, Lufthansa is again laying on a daily flight to Rio de Janeiro. The route from Frankfurt through Sao Paulo to the city backed by the Sugar Loaf Mountain will be operated by a Boeing 747. Lufthansa had to discontinue its non-stop flights ex Frankfurt to Rio on economic grounds two years ago. Flights to the Brazilian east coast will be on offer initially for the duration of the winter timetable up to the end of March 2004. More frequencies will also be available from Frankfurt to Sao Paulo: Instead of the previous seven flights weekly, Lufthansa is offering ten weekly initially up to mid-December.
The winter flight schedules also feature more Lufthansa flights to the Middle East: Instead of two flights weekly, passengers travelling to Kuwait will have choice of five - two flights via Cairo, the other three direct from Frankfurt to Kuwait.
Munich with its highly modern Terminal 2 is also the starting venue for air travel to new and attractive intercontinental destinations. With booking figures reviving since the end of the SARS crisis, Lufthansa is increasing flights from Munich to Shanghai from thrice weekly to five. An Airbus A340 will be leaving Munich Far East-bound daily except for Thursdays and Saturdays. Good news, too, for Lufthansa passengers heading for Japan: Six flights weekly will be available from Munich to Tokyo in winter instead of the previous weekly three.
Travellers seeking to escape the chilly winter months in Europe in warmer climes will be tempted by flights to popular destinations on offer from Munich to Dubai, Johannesburg/ Cape Town and Miami: five weekly flights to Dubai, six weekly to Johannesburg and beyond to Cape Town and seven flights weekly to Miami. Flights to these sun-blessed destinations are available only in the winter timetable. In turn, flights less in demand ex Munich to destinations such as Boston and Montreal will be dropped from the winter schedules. On these routes, Lufthansa will still be offering good connections from the Frankfurt hub. Weekly frequencies from Munich to Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York will be reduced.
After capacity adjustments occasioned by global economic weakness, the Iraq war ad the SARS virus, the first connections in the European network are cautiously being raised. In the new winter flight schedules, for example, seven additional flights weekly will be available on the routes from Frankfurt to London/Heathrow (since 1 September), Milan, Brussels, Turin, Amsterdam, Dusseldorf, Bologna and Katowice. A further seven weekly flights are being added to the connections between Munich and Amsterdam, Madrid, Milan and Zagreb, five additional frequencies weekly will benefit travellers flying between Munich and Hamburg as well as between Munich and Zürich.
With measured capacity increases, Lufthansa is also offering better services to passengers flying point-to-point in regional traffic. The winter timetable includes five additional flights weekly between Cologne and Berlin, Cologne and Paris, and between Hamburg and Nuremberg. Four more flights weekly will be added to connections between Dusseldorf and Hamburg. Two extra flights will please passengers travelling by air between Dresden and Dusseldorf as well as Nuremberg and Paris.