German national carrier, Lufthansa, has confirmed it will add the Kenyan capital, Nairobi to its growing long-haul leisure offering from Frankfurt this winter, returning to a market it last served in the late 1990s. The airline will introduce an up to five times weekly operation on the route during the winter 2015/2016 schedule as part of its expanded ‘Jump’ leisure network flown on its behalf by Lufthansa CityLine crews.
The Star Alliance member will initially introduce a four times weekly service between Frankfurt and Nairobi from October 27, 2015, growing to a five times weekly service from December 11, 2015 through to the end of January 2016.
The route will initially be flown by a two class Airbus A340-300 (30 Business Class and 249 Economy seats), switching to a three-class arrangement (30 Business Class, 28 Premium Economy and 221 Economy seats) from December 17, 2015, but will eventually be operated in a high-density 298-seat configuration (18 Business Class, 19 Premium Economy and 261 Economy seats).
Lufthansa has confirmed that it will launch new routes to Cancún, Malé, Mauritius, Panama City and Tampa in winter 2015. 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.
Lufthansa last served the Frankfurt – Nairobi market in March 1999 when it offered a three times weekly operation using an Airbus A310. The city pair was last linked by Thomas Cook Airlines Group affiliate Condor, which offered weekly or twice weekly year-round flights between November 2011 and October 2014.
Our analysis shows that for the past three years more than 20,000 bi-directional O&D passengers have flown between Frankfurt and Nairobi, a market that has doubled in size over the past ten years. The majority of passengers are currently utilising the flights of Kenya Airways via other European points, while Ethiopian Airlines, KLM, Swiss International Air Lines, Emirates Airline, EgyptAir and Turkish Airlines are also carrying more than 1,000 annual passengers with at least one-stop offerings.