German flag carrier Lufthansa has revealed to Arabian Business plans to ramp up its operations from Dubai, with a 30 percent increase in flights from the emirate to Frankfurt from the company’s restart operations in August.
The addition of eight new flights will see five flights-a-week from September 3 to 13, and four weekly services as of September 14.
“After a positive restart in August we already see our commitment to the market further strengthening with further frequencies,” Heinrich Lange, senior director sales, Gulf, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Lufthansa Group, told Arabian Business.
“We did see demand coming in. We were confident enough, based on those first experiences, to add additional frequencies. I think when it comes to the customer base here, we have huge expat communities in the market and I think especially with the summer period here, after a period of flight bans, obviously again our offer to bring people, not only to Germany, but especially also to Europe and also beyond, was something that was really anticipated by a lot of people in the market and we were happy to serve that need in the usual manner.”
The Dubai-Frankfurt service will depart at 1:15am on all days excluding Wednesday and Friday during the period between September 3 and 13, and on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday in the second half of the month.
Meanwhile, flights from Lufthansa’s largest hub in Germany will depart at 2:30pm on all days, with the exception of Tuesday and Thursday, during the first half of September and on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from September 14-30.
“We’re flying an Airbus A330 to the Middle East. That was also the aircraft model we were flying before. We’re coming back with the same capacity. It’s also a very efficient aircraft,” said Lange.
The group, which received a government bailout worth 9 billion euros ($10bn) in June, previously estimated that 22,000 jobs will have to go as demand for flights is expected to stay below pre-pandemic levels for years.
However, Lange revealed there were no redundancies in his area, more instances of reduced hours and unpaid leave. He said: “If I talk about my teams here during the period of the crisis, I did not have a single redundancy yet. For the passenger airline that I’m responsible, we were able to avoid that so far with flexiblisation measures.”
Lufthansa also recently announced that all fares can be rebooked several times free of charge – including, for example, the lowest light fare without checked baggage.
Lange said: “It’s not the common way how airline tickets are being sold, but we feel we want to give passengers the confidence that you can plan a flight and if something changes, we’ve got your back. We know how it is, we know your needs, we know your concerns and we’re reacting to that customer need.”
In line with the directives of the UAE government for flights departing from Dubai, customers are advised to follow the current entry and quarantine regulations of the respective destinations.