Lufthansa planning to increase capacity as travel demand surges

Lufthansa planning to increase capacity as travel demand surges

Lufthansa Group is focusing on ramping up capacity in Thailand this year with the aim of hitting 61% of the available seat kilometres reached in 2019, thanks to a positive outlook on leisure travel demand.

Stefan Molnar, general manager for Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam and the Mekong region for Lufthansa Group Airlines, said that this target was achievable as border reopenings had created stronger demand.

The average load factor in Thailand in March and April increased to 79%, from only 33% for the whole of 2021.

"As Songkran is coming, people start to fly again, both inbound and outbound, which leads to an optimistic outlook for this year," Mr Molnar said.

Lufthansa Group is considered to be the biggest European airline group in Thailand, with its carriers including Lufthansa, Austrian, Swiss, Brussels Airlines and Eurowings.

Mr Molnar said the group is now offering daily Lufthansa flights from Bangkok to Munich from March 28, daily flights via Austrian Airlines to Vienna, and four weekly flights to Zurich with Swiss.

Flights to Zurich will be increased to five and then six a week in June and July, respectively.

Meanwhile, Edelweiss Air's Zurich-Phuket route will resume in the upcoming winter schedule of 2022/23.

Mr Molnar said the easing of pre-arrival RT-PCR tests on April 1 was a good start, before Thailand eases further throughout this year.

Sabrina Winter, Lufthansa's head of sales for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, said leisure travel and the "visiting friends and relatives" segment, especially in short-haul and transatlantic flights, were leading the recovery.

However, the corporate segment remains slow with only gradual improvements.

The group currently operates a 713-aircraft fleet, compared to 757 aircraft at the end of 2020, and it flies to 320 destinations.

Global bookings for Easter and summer are slightly above pre-pandemic levels.

Its global passenger numbers last year stood at 47 million, an increase of 29% from 2020.

Ms Winter said the group has implemented sustainable cost savings for 2020-24, with a target to save €3.5 billion.

The company has currently achieved €2.7 billion in cost savings from measures such as a cut in labour costs and operational optimisation.

Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (4)

Indonesia approves first home-grown Covid vaccine for emergency use

JAKARTA: Indonesia has approved its first domestically-produced Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use for people over 18, the chief of the country's food and drugs agency (BPOM) was quoted by news media as saying on Wednesday.

19:36

Hong Kong defends currency peg amid outflow of capital chasing US dollar assets

HONG KONG: The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) on Wednesday intervened in the foreign-exchange market for the first time in seven weeks to defend the local currency's peg against the US dollar, following flight of capital from the Hong Kong dollar market after US rates rose to a 14-year high last week.

19:16

Landslide alert

The governor of Petchabun warns tourists of possible landslides on Phu Thap Boek mountain after a mudslide hit a minor road and a 200m crack appeared in the highway.

18:23