Lufthansa is growing in Berlin
30 new destinations from summer 2012- Lufthansa’s Berlin fleet is set to grow from nine to 15 aircraft - Seating capacity increased by over 40 per cent - Capital expenditure of more than EUR 60 million at BER Airport - Expansion will create several hundred new jobs in the region - Lufthansa to christen next A380 “Berlin”
In the year ahead, the Lufthansa Group intends to give its strong presence in the capital city and the surrounding region a further boost by stationing a modern Airbus fleet there, considerably expanding its flight plan, creating several hundred new jobs in Berlin and investing more than EUR 60m. “The opening of the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport ’Willy Brandt’ in June next year will provide an extra impetus and new market opportunities,” commented Carsten Spohr, CEO Lufthansa German Airlines, in Berlin. “We are investing in Berlin and are determined to seize a disproportionate share of capacity growth at BER in future.”
35 aircraft on Berlin routes
At the moment, the Lufthansa Group and its partner airlines account for a quarter of the 21 million passengers in Berlin. To increase this share substantially, the Group is to deploy a total of 35 aircraft on routes to and from Berlin from summer next year. Lufthansa will station an Airbus fleet of 15 jets from the A320 family at BER Airport. Altogether, 23 Airbuses (A321, A320, A319) will ply Berlin routes under the Lufthansa flag. They will be supplemented, as today, by flights operated by other members of the Lufthansa airline group - Germanwings, Swiss, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and bmi - bringing the total number of Lufthansa Group aircraft on routes to and from Berlin to 35.
The additional capacity in Berlin means that more staff are required. Around 130 pilots and more than 200 additional flight attendants are needed solely for the Lufthansa jets stationed at the new airport, which are to be deployed in German and European point-to-point traffic. The recruitment process will take place in the Berlin region in the months ahead. Furthermore, the Lufthansa Group’s planned growth in Berlin will create several hundred new jobs in and around the capital city’s new airport.
30 new Lufthansa destinations - route network to grow from eight to 38 destinations
In future, passengers from Berlin and Brandenburg will be able to choose from a vastly expanded LH route network, with 28 new European destinations and two new Middle Eastern destinations. The new flight plan runs from 3 June 2012 and includes a total of 38 non-stop Lufthansa connections. Together with the other airlines in the Lufthansa Group and the Star Alliance partners, there are a total of 49 destinations in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa on offer. Compared with the current flight plan, the additions to next summer’s flight timetable represent a fivefold increase in capacity. The main European cities and those most popular with passengers will be served by frequent direct flights from Berlin in future, often with services at both ends of the day, i.e. with outbound and return journeys in the morning and evening. New LH destinations currently without a non-stop service from Berlin include Valencia, Bologna and Birmingham.
This will mean an increase in the number of scheduled Lufthansa take-offs and landings in Berlin to more than a thousand a week in the 2012 summer flight timetable. This represents a rise of 35 per cent. The number of seats available from Berlin will go up by more than 40 per cent and total available seat kilometres will nearly double. At the same time, Lufthansa will arrange the flight plan to suit the demands of the Berlin/Brandenburg clientele, with optimal departure times for local passengers to join flights.
New price system: one-way tickets from EUR 49
Passengers from Berlin have another reason to look forward to all the new European routes: Lufthansa’s special new pricing system for the Berlin market. The new headline price for European routes is to be advertised as “Europe from EUR 49 all-inclusive”. The new one-way basic price of EUR 49 includes bonus miles, baggage and a variety of in-flight catering. All flights will be offered in a two-class cabin throughout with Business Class and Economy Class.
Lufthansa passengers can combine all the ticket prices in the attractive new one-way and round-trip pricing system for European routes with bookings involving Lufthansa Group airlines and Star Alliance partners. This enables them to take advantage of Lufthansa’s worldwide flight programme in addition to the Berlin network.
All of Lufthansa’s future connections from and to Berlin (BER) can booked as of today via all the relevant channels - internet www.lufthansa.com, Lufthansa Call Center (tel.: +49 (0)1805 805 805 - €0.14/minute), Lufthansa travel agency partners or Lufthansa sales counters at airports.
Young Airbus fleet at the BER homebase
The economic foundation for the new programme includes a modern, standardised fleet, cost advantages in fleet management and a new flight plan that allows the aircraft to be deployed very productively. This means that unit costs can be cut by around a third compared with the existing cost structure in Lufthansa’s European traffic. “With this set-up we will show that Lufthansa can be profitable with competitive cost structures on German and European routes and need have no fear of competing head-on with no-frills airlines. The combination of the strong Lufthansa brand, reduced unit costs and considerably better quality than our low-cost competitors will be a success. This means Berlin can become a blueprint for our European traffic outside the major hubs in Frankfurt and Munich,” emphasised Spohr when presenting the growth plans in Berlin.
The new Lufthansa fleet at BER will consist partly of brand new Airbus jets as well as planes up to two years old. The tender age of the fleet cuts costs for maintenance and overhaul significantly. The design of the new European network will make it possible to achieve high load factors for the aircraft in use. Further contributions to low-cost flight operations should come from the efficient deployment of aircraft thanks to optimised scheduling and local maintenance of the Berlin-based jets in the new Lufthansa Technik maintenance hangar currently under construction in the western section of the BER Airport precinct (homebase concept).
The plan to station cockpit and cabin crews locally and optimise their flight rosters will also help to cut all factor costs substantially. A separate Lufthansa crew base will be created for direct traffic at BER Airport for on-board staff. The recruitment of around 200 new flight attendants in Berlin and Brandenburg is due to start as early as December. Lufthansa will cooperate with an external provider in order to remain sustainably competitive in Berlin.
Lufthansa at BER - seven bridges and three islands
The layout of the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport will be extremely convenient for Lufthansa passengers. All the service counters for Lufthansa, its group and partner airlines in the Star Alliance are just a few steps apart in the main hall of the terminal building.
Lufthansa passengers have an “island” there, with twelve check-in counters for their exclusive use. At peak times, this area can be extended by up to ten counters. In addition, passengers can print their own LH boarding card at one of 23 service machines. The ticket counter area with experienced Lufthansa staff covers two “islands” with a total of 14 counters, three of which are reserved for passengers travelling with Star Alliance partners.
From June 2012, the jets operated by Lufthansa and its group airlines will dock at the main pier of the BER terminal. A total of seven passenger bridges are available for disembarking; two of a total of nine gates are reserved for the non-Schengen area.
Over 1,500 sq m lounge area
The Lufthansa Business/Senator Lounge - including a VIP Suite - is 1,565 sq m in size and therefore 150 sq m bigger than the existing lounge area at Tegel Airport. The check-in area for First Class passengers, Senators and HONs will also be much larger and more comfortable than at Tegel. Premium guests at BER will also be able to enjoy the personal atmosphere of a 100 sq m waiting lobby with four check-in counters in future.
Lufthansa is promoting Berlin in Europe - ninth A380 will be given the name “Berlin”
With a large, varied advertising campaign in the weeks and months ahead and the slogan “See all the sights - Europe from €49”, Lufthansa will invite people from Berlin and Brandenburg to make good use of the numerous European connections from the capital city’s new airport. A massive promotional campaign is also planned for the European target markets in order to spur tourists from all over Europe to visit the most talked-about metropolis in the centre of the continent. Tourism in Berlin is growing faster than in Paris, London and even New York.
To attract even more international guests to Berlin, Lufthansa is cooperating with numerous Berlin-based institutions in the fields of art, culture, fashion and dining that are of interest to both tourists and locals. Carsten Spohr commented: “The new BER Airport will reinforce the pace of growth and help to establish Berlin firmly in the heart of Europe. Lufthansa will do all it can to support its ’birthplace’, Berlin.”
As a special sign of its commitment to Berlin, Lufthansa will christen its next A380 after the German capital. The aircraft with the registration number D-AIMI is expected to be delivered to Lufthansa in April 2012 and is due to carry the name of Berlin out into the world as soon as the airport is inaugurated. The A380 is planned to take off on the first scheduled Lufthansa flight as part of the official opening ceremony on 3 June 2012.
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