March 06, 2013
The restructuring of Lufthansa’s European operations will begin with six routes from Hamburg Airport, which will be assumed by the operator’s revamped Germanwings low-cost unit at the beginning of the summer schedule.
Germanwings eventually will take over all intra-European routes not operated from Lufthansa’s hubs at Frankfurt and Munich airports, but until now the transition was not revealed. But now, as part of its summer schedule announcement, Lufthansa says the transfer will begin with routes from Hamburg to Vienna, Stuttgart, Nuremberg, Dubrovnik, Nice and Palma de Mallorca.
Lufthansa, however, does not provide a specific transfer date for these six routes. The summer schedule operates from March 31 to Oct. 26.
More routes will be transferred gradually to Germanwings, starting July 1, Lufthansa adds.
The airline also says it has expedited a business-class retrofit for its long-haul fleet and will now complete the fleet-wide upgrade mid-2015, a year earlier than initially planned. Lufthansa is investing €50 million [$65 million] to speed up the cabin upgrade.
The German operator also says it has almost completed the installation of FlyNet across its long-haul fleet, and so far has equipped 88 aircraft with the Internet service. Boeing 747-8s and Airbus A380 are the only fleet types that require the FlyNet retrofit. Five more 747-8s are scheduled to join Lufthansa’s fleet this year, and in March the aircraft will replace 747-400s currently operating between Frankfurt and Hong Kong International Airport.
Lufthansa’s summer schedule increases the carrier’s total network to 218 destinations, two more than in the same period last year, although it reduces the number of countries served by one to 82.