German airline Lufthansa announced yesterday the launch of flights from Munich to Bengaluru starting Summer 2020 schedule. The five weekly flights will be operated by the A350-900 XWB aircraft which is configured in three classes comprising 48 Business Class seats, 21 Premium economy and 224 economy class seats. The aircraft also flies in a version with 36 Business Class seats, 21 Premium economy and 262 economy class seats.
The flight to Bengaluru is yet to be assigned a number but will depart on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 1155 hours from Munich and reach Bengaluru at 0005 hours the next day. On the return journey, the flight will take-off at 0145 hours and would reach Munich at 0730hours on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Lufthansa has been building its Munich hub efficiently with most flight launches happening from Frankfurt and when the market builds up, a flight is added from Munich – unless for short haul European destinations. The airline started moving its A380 to Munich last summer and by Summer 2020, would have seven A380s.
India has been a key focus area for Lufthansa with flights to Mumbai and Delhi from Frankfurt and Munich. The airline operates to Bengaluru and Chennai from Frankfurt. Until recently, it operated a flight to Pune with a Privat Air B737 BBJ which stopped after Privat Air declared bankruptcy. The airline is looking at ways to resume this service.
Munich Airport is the second busiest airport in Germany and a second hub for Lufthansa. While the airline started expanding at Munich to tide over the capacity crisis at Frankfurt, the airport has grown in its own might thanks to the flourishing businesses in Bavaria region – of which Munich is the main city.
Bengaluru has shown rapid growth in the last couple of years and is now the third busiest airport in the country. The airport will operationalize its second runway in a couple of days from now and is building a new terminal to accommodate the needs of the city. Bengaluru is the Information Technology hub of India with a sizable traffic to USA.
Post the suspension of Jet Airways, airlines have been trying to get the share of the market and has seen KLM and Air France increase seats to India while KLM will start serving Bengaluru this winter. Lufthansa group comprises of Swiss, Austrian, Brussels and Eurowings. Swiss operates daily flights to Mumbai and Delhi, while Austrian operates to Delhi. Brussels airlines withdrew from the Mumbai market in January 2019.
India – Germany air services agreement is based on weekly seats and there is room for Lufthansa to grow further. The airline is also making equipment changes on its flights to India starting Summer 2020 with the A380 to Delhi being dropped in favor of the B747-400. More changes remain likely.