New Delhi, Nov. 20: German airline Lufthansa will double its flight frequency between Chennai and Frankfurt to six a week from April 1.
Lufthansa’s decision seems to have been prompted by Air-India’s plan to launch a thrice-a-week Delhi-Mumbai-Frankfurt service on December 3.
With the new flights, Lufthansa will operate 23 flights a week out of India. “By deciding to concentrate on Chennai and giving the southern city six flights a week, Lufthansa has shown its readiness to swamp the market as it already operates daily out of Delhi and Mumbai. This will prove an effective counter to Air-India,” said Debasish Chatterjee of CTI Travels.
He added that Air-India may now have to fight a fare war with the German rival. The prevailing fare for a one-way ticket to Frankfurt is Rs 30,000.
However, the German airline did not ascribe its frequency addition to any threat from Air-India. “The additional frequencies are reflective of the market demand in the Indian subcontinent,” said Manfred Reimer, vice-president of the airline’s Asia-Pacific region. “The increase in flight frequency is also a result of the bilateral negotiations between the governments of the two countries,” the official added.
The flight (LH 759), a Boeing 747-400, will leave at 1.20 am from Chennai and reach Frankfurt at 7.45 am. The return flight timings are 10.40 am from Frankfurt and 11.10 pm at Chennai.
The flight offers a three-class configuration, with 16 seats in the first class cabin, 64 in business and 310 seats in the economy class, airline officials said.