Munich’s traffic doubles in 10 years; Lufthansa adds more routes than it drops as a host of new airlines announce new services (and Q1 sees return to growth)

March 27: Continental added Newark-Munich as its fourth German destination making use of the connectivity it now has with its new alliance partner Lufthansa.

Since the opening of Munich’s new airport in May 1992 traffic has grown impressively. Between 1995 and 2006 passenger numbers doubled from under 15 million per annum to over 30 million, despite the impact of ‘9/11’ in 2001 and 2002. In 1996 it overtook Düsseldorf as Germany’s second busiest airport and now handles almost twice as many passengers as the country’s third busiest airport and is Lufthansa’s second base in Germany after Frankfurt.

Munich airport traffic 1995-2009 Annual passengers (millions)

Source: ADV

Traffic peaked in 2008 at 34.5 million, but while last year’s passenger numbers were down 5.4%, and still marginally down in January and February, Munich’s passenger numbers grew 11.3% in March meaning that traffic was up 3.3% in the first quarter of 2010.

Big catch – on March 28 Singapore Airlines began serving Munich competing with Lufthansa (also five weekly flights). The service continues on to Manchester.

Lufthansa dominant; easyJet leading non-German airline

Lufthansa is dominant at the airport serving 100 international destinations non-stop as well as 15 domestic points. It has over 60% of scheduled capacity at the airport and almost two-thirds of all scheduled flights. The next three biggest carriers are also all German with airberlin the only other airline to achieve a greater than 10% share of capacity.

Airline Frequency share Capacity share Routes (Int/Dom)
Lufthansa 66.1% 61.9% 100/15
Airberlin 8.6% 11.1% 28/6
Germanwings 1.9% 2.2% 0/3
Condor 0.9% 1.5% 18/3
easyJet 1.2% 1.5% 4/0
Air France 1.5% 1.4% 2/0
Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 12 April 2010

The leading non-German airlines are easyJet, Air France, British Airways, Aegean Airlines and United. easyJet serves four destinations (all in the UK) with London Gatwick services starting last April and Manchester flights last November. According to OAG data a total of 65 airlines operate scheduled services to and from the airport including four of the big five major US international carriers (Continental, Delta, United and US Airways, but not American) as well as all three of the big Middle East carriers (Etihad, Emirates and Qatar Airways). Ryanair does not serve the airport but does have a presence at Allgäu-Memmingen airport around 100 kilometres west of Munich which it markets as Munich (West).

Italy, Spain and UK are leading international country markets

Almost 30% of the airport’s seat capacity is allocated to German domestic routes where airberlin and Lufthansa compete head-to-head on six routes to Berlin Tegel, Cologne/Bonn, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Hannover and Münster/Osnabruck. The leading international markets are Italy, Spain and the UK, followed by USA and France.

Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 12 April 2010

Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 12 April 2010

A comparison with the capacity share by country at Frankfurt (for all carriers) reveals significant similarities but also some differences. There are many more US flights from Frankfurt while domestic flights play a more prominent role in Munich. The top 12 country markets from Munich account for 74% of capacity while the same 12 county markets are responsible for just 57% of capacity at Frankfurt.

Lufthansa adds more routes than it drops

As with all major airports there have been several network changes in the least two years. The table below summarises which services have been lost and which new services have begun. This analysis ignores any routes that are (or have been) served with less than three weekly frequencies. Lufthansa has dropped routes to Bern, Bratislava, Denver, Dortmund and Yerevan, but also added new routes to Bari, Cairo, Dubrovnik, Lviv, Miami, Mumbai, Rostock-Laage, Singapore, Split, Tallinn, Tashkent and Tel Aviv.

Services gained Bari (Lufthansa), Bern (Cirrus Airlines), Cairo (Lufthansa), Dubrovnik (Lufthansa), Istanbul SAW (Pegasus and SunExpress), London Gatwick (easyJet), Lviv (Lufthansa), Manchester (easyJet and Singapore Airlines), Marrakech (Royal Air Maroc), Miami (Lufthansa), Mumbai (Lufthansa), Muscat (Oman Air), Rimini (Air Dolomiti), Newark (Continental), Rostock-Laage (Lufthansa), Singapore (Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines), Split (Lufthansa), Tallinn (Lufthansa), Tashkent (Lufthansa), Tel Aviv (Lufthansa)
Services lost Athens (airberlin and Olympic), Barcelona (clickair and Condor), Belgrade (JAT), Bern (Lufthansa), Bilbao (Spanair), Bratislava (Lufthansa), Brussels (Brussels Airlines), Budapest (Malev), Denver (Lufthansa), Dortmund (Lufthansa), Istanbul SAW (Condor), London Stansted (airberlin), Madrid (Spanair), Milan Malpensa (Alitalia), Norrkoping (Cimber Airways), Paris Orly (airberlin), Rome Fiumicino (Condor), Rostock-Laage (OLT), Saarbrucken (airberlin), Tallinn (Estonian Air), Valencia (Spanair), Yerevan (Lufthansa)
Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 4 April 2008 and w/c 12 April 2010

A number of other services have started and ended between April 2008 and April 2010 such as Aer Lingus’ service to London Gatwick, and MyAir’s brief service to Brindisi.

bmibaby returns; ANA, Kuban, Mapjet, Norwegian & Vueling new for summer

A raft of further new routes has been announced to start during the remainder of the year. These include:

  • airberlin to Constanta (18 May), Reykjavik (13 June)
  • ANA to Tokyo Narita (1 July)
  • bmibaby to Cardiff (31 October) and East Midlands (17 October)
  • Kuban to Adler/Sochi (25 June)
  • Lufthansa to Chisinau (22 April)
  • Mapjet to Vienna (28 April)
  • Norwegian to Stockholm Arlanda (7 May)
  • Vueling to Valencia (24 June)

Lufthansa’s influence at bmibaby sees the low-cost airline re-start Cardiff and East Midlands routes this autumn which it operated briefly way back in 2002-03. Next week’s planned launch of flights by Mapjet to Vienna will be the inaugural route (along with Frankfurt) for the Embraer E190 operating airline.


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