Lufthansa takes second route into Hungary

This will be the first regular flight between Munich and Debrecen since former German carrier OLT Ostfriesische Lufttransport ended its up to four times weekly operation at the end of the 2005 summer schedules. According to schedules provider, OAG, Debrecen is also linked on a weekly seasonal basis to the German cities of Dresden, Erfurt and Leipzig by Germania.

German national carrier, Lufthansa will introduce its first flights to the Hungarian city of Debrecen from next year, its second destination in Hungary. The airline will launch a three times weekly service to the city from its Munich hub from April 11, 2016 using Bombardier CRJ900 equipment.

With five million people living within its catchment area, Hungary’s second-biggest city plays host to a number of noteworthy German and international businesses, while the historic Old Town, the proximity of the Hungarian Puszta and noted wine regions make the new destination of equal interest to holidaymakers.

“Lufthansa’s hub at Munich is well-known for the number of connections it has to other European cities, and with Debrecen we’re adding another highlight,” said Thomas Winkelmann, Chief Executive Officer of Lufthansa’s Munich hub.

Lufthansa currently offers multiple daily flights from both Frankfurt and Munich into the Hungarian capital, Budapest and had previously provided flights from Berlin, Dusseldorf and Hamburg before its network was fragmented and non-hub flying was transferred to partner carriers.

This will be the first regular flight between Munich and Debrecen since former German carrier OLT Ostfriesische Lufttransport ended its up to four times weekly operation at the end of the 2005 summer schedules. According to schedules provider, OAG, Debrecen is also linked on a weekly seasonal basis to the German cities of Dresden, Erfurt and Leipzig by Germania.

Debrecen is the regional centre of the Northern Great Plain region and the seat of Hajdú-Bihar County. It was the largest Hungarian city in the 18th century, and a former capital and is one of the most important cultural centres for Hungarians.

In terms of aviation connectivity Debrecen Airport has lived in the shadow of Budapest’s Ferenc Liszt International Airport, despite the poor accessibility from the eastern city to the capital. This has been improved with the construction of enhanced road connectivity, bringing the journey down to two hours, but still sufficient to support its own direct air services. Its proximity to Ukraine and Romania also offers the potential to develop as an important trade centre and transport hub for the wider international region.

A modernisation of the airport attracted Central and Eastern European low-cost specialist Wizz Air into Debrecen from June 2012 with a link to its main network point, London Luton Airport in the UK. It has since established a base at the airport and now offers flights to six destinations in six different countries, albeit not currently serving the German market.

The arrival of Wizz Air has helped boost passenger traffic at Debrecen Airport from just 19,135 passengers in 2011 to almost 150,000 last year, but the introduction of a first hub link from Lufthansa will now provide the opportunity to provide one-stop connections to a significant number of new markets via Munich.