The Shift To Small Planes: Inside Lufthansa’s 2021 US Route Plans

How things change. In 2019, over seven in ten Lufthansa flights to North America were by four-engine aircraft.…

The Shift To Small Planes: Inside Lufthansa’s 2021 US Route Plans

How things change. In 2019, over seven in ten Lufthansa flights to North America were by four-engine aircraft. Now, they have fewer than four in ten – with the drive towards smaller twins continuing. The A350-900 has become the carrier’s top type, replacing the B747-8.

The A350-900 is now Lufthansa’s #1 aircraft to North America. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

The fifth-largest airline

Lufthansa is one of 44 airlines planning to operate scheduled services between North America and Europe this year. With 14,101 round-trip flights, Lufthansa is the fifth-largest operator in this market. This equates to a 7.3% share of all flights, analyzing what each carrier has supplied to OAG reveals.

The German giant’s North America operation puts it behind Delta – the leading airline – and United, British Airways, and American. However, it has more flights planned than Air France, Air Canada, KLM, Virgin Atlantic, and Turkish Airlines.

Lufthansa’s four-engine aircraft had 71% of North America flights in 2019. Now it is 36%. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

So long, A380

Lufthansa was the world’s third-largest user of the A380 in the past decade. The airline had 14 A380s in all, but they have been retired. Still, the A380 played an important role from Frankfurt and Munich to the US and Canada. In 2019, eight routes saw the A380. In order of the number of flights, they were:

  1. Frankfurt-Houston
  2. Frankfurt-New York JFK
  3. Munich-Los Angeles
  4. Frankfurt-Miami
  5. Frankfurt-San Francisco
  6. Frankfurt-Los Angeles
  7. Munich-Miami
  8. Munich-San Francisco

Lufthansa used seven aircraft between Germany and North America in 2019. With just shy of 3,100 flights, the A380 was the sixth-most-used, ahead of the A340-300 and just behind the A330-300. Now, things are different.

The A380 was used on eight Lufthansa routes to the US and Canada. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

The A350-900 is #1

While seven types operated to North America pre-pandemic, it is now five, with the A350-900 number-one, as shown below.

  1. A350-900: approximately 4,751 round-trip flights
  2. A330-300: 4,241
  3. B747-8: 2,430
  4. A340-300: 1,447
  5. B747-400: 1,232

The share of flights by the A350-900 has doubled from 17% in 2019, on the back of additional services by the type along with big cuts by other aircraft, especially the B747-8 and B747-400. Despite this, Simple Flying showed that Lufthansa remains the only passenger 747 operator between Europe and North America.

Across the airline’s whole network, capacity by twin-engine aircraft has overtaken those with four engines. This is also seen to North America. In 2019, over seven in ten flights (71%) were by quads. Now, they’re down to fewer than four in ten services (36%). It is an inevitable but sad end of an era.

The A330-300 is Lufthansa’s most-used widebody across its whole network and #2 to North America. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

Lufthansa has 36 routes to North America

This year, Lufthansa has 36 routes from Germany to the US and Canada. 23 are from Frankfurt, with the remainder from Munich. Frankfurt to Chicago O’Hare, a Star Alliance-orientated route, is the hub airline’s number-one by flights this year, overtaking Frankfurt-JFK. Its leading 10 routes are all from Frankfurt, as follows.

  1. Frankfurt-Chicago
  2. Frankfurt-New York JFK
  3. Frankfurt-Los Angeles
  4. Frankfurt-Houston
  5. Frankfurt-Washington
  6. Frankfurt-Toronto
  7. Frankfurt-Miami
  8. Frankfurt-Boston
  9. Frankfurt-Newark
  10. Frankfurt-San Francisco

With just three-weekly services between August and October, Munich is the least-served, although up to seven weekly services by fellow Star member, Air Canada, offsets this.

Will you be flying Lufthansa this year? Comment below!

Source : Simple Flying More   

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How Iceland’s PLAY Is Cautiously Filling The Gap Left By WOW

What a week it has been for Iceland’s startup, PLAY. It received its air operator’s certificate on May…

How Iceland’s PLAY Is Cautiously Filling The Gap Left By WOW

What a week it has been for Iceland’s startup, PLAY. It received its air operator’s certificate on May 16th, and today, two days later, it put on sale its first seven routes from Keflavik. Alicante is unserved, while Stansted effectively is too. PLAY fills the gap left by the loss of WOW and others, although the startup is sensibly very cautious.

PLAY will see no head-to-head competition to Alicante. Likewise London Stansted except for two round-trips later in the year by Jet2. Image: PLAY.

While most of PLAY’s initial routes launch in July, London Stansted begins on June 24th, followed by Tenerife South five days later. London is helped by Iceland being on England’s green list.

  1. Alicante: twice-weekly
  2. Barcelona: twice-weekly
  3. Berlin: four-weekly
  4. Copenhagen: initially twice-weekly and then doubling
  5. London Stansted: initially twice-weekly and then doubling
  6. Paris CDG: four-weekly
  7. Tenerife South: twice-weekly

PLAY, which has $50 million in funding and plans an initial public offering (IPO) for further growth, would not exist had WOW not ended. Indeed, WOW served all the routes from Keflavik that PLAY has put on sale. Despite this and some staffing crossovers, the two carriers are much more separate than many would realize.

WOW served all the destinations that PLAY has announced in either 2018 and/or 2019. Photo: Airbus.

All but one route is already served

Six of PLAY’s initial seven routes are or will be served by other airlines this year. Only Alicante will have no head-to-head competition. Despite this competition, their capacity totals ‘just’ 598,000 seats this year, analyzing schedules data provided by airlines to OAG, down by almost 740,000 versus pre-pandemic 2019. The loss of WOW is key to this.

  1. Alicante: no head-to-head competition
  2. Barcelona: Icelandair (once-weekly) and Vueling (up to four-weekly)
  3. Berlin: Icelandair (up to nine-weekly)
  4. Copenhagen: Icelandair (up to 28-weekly) and SAS (up to nine-weekly)
  5. London Stansted: Jet2 (just two round-trips in October/November)
  6. Paris CDG: Icelandair (up to 14-weekly)
  7. Tenerife: Icelandair (twice-weekly)

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With PLAY beginning Tenerife and additional flights by others, this market is up fourfold over 2019. Image: PLAY

Stansted is virtually unserved

Stansted is one of four London airports served from Keflavik this year, down from five in 2019 from the loss of BA CityFlyer from London City. Stansted, which was last served in March 2019 by easyJet, is back this year with PLAY. It’ll be the only carrier on the route until October, and even then Jet2’s two round-trips barely count.

The peak for Stansted came in 2018 when three carriers – easyJet, Primera, and WOW – all served it with a combined 88,414 passengers, the UK CAA shows. It is virtually a ready-made unserved market.

Meanwhile, Alicante, like Tenerife, is for point-to-point vacation reasons from Iceland. It is normally served – and has been for many, many years – because it is a classic destination for Icelanders. Indeed, two airlines operated it non-stop in pre-pandemic 2019. It, too, is effectively ready-made.

When combined, these seven routes had 1.35 million two-way seats from Keflavik in 2019. They had over one-fifth (22%) of Keflavik’s European capacity. The large rise and subsequent decline was from the entrance and end of WOW. Note: as Berlin now has only one airport, Tegel and Schönefeld have been included for previous years. Source: OAG Schedules Analyzer

Just two flights down from 2019 level

Looking at a week in mid-August, the seven routes will have a combined 86 weekly departures across PLAY and all competing carriers, as the table below indicates. This is down by just two flights versus the same week in 2019. With seven departures, Barcelona is unchanged, while Stansted is up – and Tenerife has increased nearly fourfold.

Keflavik to...Departures in a mid-August week in 2018And in 2019And in 2021
London Stansted704
Paris CDG262118
Tenerife South4311

It’s a somewhat different picture compared to 2018, though, when WOW was in full swing and airlines had responded to the threat it posed with more flights. Then, these seven routes had 115 departures, meaning they’re down by one-quarter over the peak.

Will you fly PLAY? If so, what route would you choose? Let us know in the comments!

Source : Simple Flying More   

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