Lufthansa equally dominant at Frankfurt and Munich; only 10% more flights from Frankfurt

Image: Cake of the Week
Kein Oktoberfest: directly contacted Munich’s president and CEO, Michael Kerkloh, and he confirmed there was no cake to celebrate the company’s 60th birthday: “It’s true 🙁 . Glizzy celebrations don’t comply with the state of the industry, tut uns leid.” Never mind young Michael, we made this one for you.

This week saw FMG, the company that operates Munich Airport, celebrating its 60th birthday. Initially flights were operated from Riem, to the east of the city, but in 1992 the current airport located some 30 kilometres north of Munich opened for business as Riem was simultaneously closed down. Last year it handled over 34 million passengers on two runways making it the second busiest airport in Germany after Frankfurt. Not surprisingly Lufthansa is the main carrier at the airport.

Frankfurt Munich
Number of non-stop LH routes 149 107
Number of countries served non-stop 66 40
LH share of weekly frequencies 62.6% 63.6%
LH share of weekly seats 59.6% 58.4%
Weekly departures 2,664 2,402
Weekly one-way seats 418,598 275,039
Second biggest carrier Condor airberlin
Number of scheduled airlines 107 66
Airport passengers in 2008 53.467 million 34.531 million
Source: Airports, OAG Max Online for w/c 5 October 2009
Image: Stewardesses
Lufthansa offers more domestic flights (and seats) from Munich than from Frankfurt.

Lufthansa is equally dominant at both airports with around 60% of all flights and seats. Although it provides 50% more seats at Frankfurt than at Munich, the number of weekly flights is only some 10% higher. Lufthansa’s average aircraft size at Frankfurt is 157 seats compared with just 115 seats in Munich. The nearest competitor in Munich, airberlin, provides 11% of the airport’s capacity (mostly on domestic routes inherited from its acquisition of dba), while in Frankfurt Condor has just 4% of capacity spread across almost 50 leisure destinations.

Over 100 destinations with Lufthansa from Munich

After starting new routes from Munich to Mumbai, Singapore and Shenyang (via Seoul) in 2008, Lufthansa has added Dubrovnik, Lviv, Split and Tel Aviv as new destinations in 2009 bringing to 107 the number of destinations currently served non-stop from the airport. Although Lufthansa operates to 42 more destinations from Frankfurt (and to 26 more countries) there are some country markets which are better served by the airline from Munich than from Frankfurt.

Chart: Lufthansa hubs
Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 5 October 2009
Image: Check-In
Lufthansa seems to be working in a strong easterly direction from Munich – after starting new routes to Mumbai, Singapore and Shenyang (via Seoul) in 2008, closer to home it has added Dubrovnik, Lviv, Split and Tel Aviv in 2009.

Maybe surprisingly Lufthansa offers more domestic flights (and seats) from Munich than from Frankfurt while there is also more weekly capacity to Romania and Turkey from the Bavarian airport. The biggest discrepancy between the two airports is on flights to the USA. At Frankfurt Lufthansa offers daily flights to 16 different US airports with Boston, Chicago O’Hare, Los Angeles and New York JFK served twice daily. From Munich Lufthansa serves just eight US airports with all destinations receiving no more than seven weekly flights.

Lufthansa cuts flights but not capacity for winter 2009

Image: Lufthansa
Lufthansa’s recent increased focus on Africa is part of a greater vision of “integrating all the key growth markets in Africa into our network,” as Karl-Ulrich Garnadt, executive VP, Lufthansa Passenger Airlines, put it earlier this year when the airline expanded into Gabon.

In a recent press release Lufthansa revealed that this winter the airline will cut weekly flights by 7.4% from 13,402 to 12,406. By cutting flights operated by smaller aircraft and using larger aircraft elsewhere seat capacity (weekly seats) will remain unchanged. This use of larger aircraft on long-haul routes actually results in capacity (available seat-kilometres) being increased marginally by 1.1%.

A total of 191 destinations in 78 countries will be served this winter down from 194 and 79 in 2008/09. Destinations that have been axed from Lufthansa’s network include Bristol, Portland (Oregon), Ufa and Yerevan. A significant growth market for the airline is Central and West Africa where the number of weekly flights has almost doubled from 11 to 21. A new route to Libreville in Gabon began back in June (from Frankfurt) while Abjua (capital of Nigeria) will see frequency increased to daily this winter. Other destinations served in the region include Lagos (Nigeria), Luanda (Angola), Malabo (Equatorial Guinea) and Part Harcourt (Nigeria).

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