German national carrier Lufthansa has confirmed that it will launch new routes to Cancún, Malé and Mauritius in winter 2015. The new winter seasonal routes to Mexico, the Maldives and Mauritius will operate on a twice weekly basis between December 8, 2015 and April 11, 2016.
The predominantly leisure markets will be served by the new ‘Jump’ business of the carrier which will see Lufthansa CityLine fly up to 14 Airbus A340-300s reconfigured in a higher-density, three-class, 298-seat arrangement under the Lufthansa brand.
The latest network growth follows just a month after the German national carrier announced that Tampa would be the first destination to be served by the new business unit. Lufthansa will offer a five times weekly link between Frankfurt and Tampa from September 25, 2015, reducing to four times weekly during the winter schedule, joining Miami and Orlando in Lufthansa’s Florida network.
The addition of ‘Jump’, a completely different concept to the airline’s low-cost, long-haul ‘Wings’ project that will operate under the Eurowings brand using A330 equipment, is an opportunity for Lufthansa to continue utilising its older A340-300s on a network of routes that cannot be sustainably served with its current aircraft configuration.
With the removal of a First Class cabin and instead an 18 lie-flat-seat Business Class offering and 280 seat Economy cabin with a 19-seat section offering its recently-launched Premium Economy product, a higher-density arrangement would better serve predominantly leisure markets.
“We see a promising growth potential on long-haul in the leisure travel business and Lufthansa intends to be more committed to this segment in the future,” said Karl Ulrich Garnadt, chief executive officer, Lufthansa German Airlines and member of the Lufthansa Board.
In its updated GDS display, Lufthansa is displaying that all four ‘Jump’ A340-300 routes will be flown using aircraft owned and operated by Lufthansa CityLine, but with cabin crew from Lufthansa. It is understood that the airline’s management has reached agreement with its Vereinigung Cockpit pilot union for a new pool of pilots to crew these aircraft under the auspices of its regional business, which will then fly for Lufthansa under a damp or wet-lease arrangement.
Lufthansa is known to be considering a number of destinations across the globe for the ‘Jump’ concept, whose A340-300 sub-fleet will fly at a much lower cost while maintaining the high-quality travel experience of a Lufthansa flight, with high service standards and comfort levels. Alongside the confirmed markets Bangkok, Cape Town, Hyderabad, Ho Chi Minh City, Nairobi, Panama City and Phuket are among those believed to be also under consideration for future launch in late 2015 or 2016.
The introduction of winter flights to Cancún, Malé and Mauritius from Frankfurt will add to the flights of Condor for the Thomas Cook Airlines Group across the three markets. All three routes were also previously served by former German carrier LTU International Airways during the past ten years, while Air Mauritius has also linked its home archipelago to the German city.
In our analysis, below, we highlight bi-directional O&D demand on the three routes during the past ten years. The Frankfurt - Malé link has the largest flows of the three routes having seen a large rise in point-to-point demand over the past couple of years.