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Lufthansa will soon operate most modern aircraft from Mumbai after New Delhi, says CEO

STORY: German airline Lufthansa would soon operate the world’s most modern aircraft, Airbus A-350, between Mumbai and Munich after New Delhi, said chief executive officer (CEO) Carsten Spohr on Wednesday (February 15).

The German flagship carrier introduced the latest aircraft in its fleet to New Delhi this week. This long-haul aircraft is extremely fuel efficient as compared to any other similar aircraft.

Spohr also said that the airline will soon start operating flights between Brussels and Mumbai and increase the frequency of flights between Indian western city of Pune and Germany’s Frankfurt.

“We introduced (Airbus) A-350 to Delhi this week. There will be soon (Airbus) A-350 service from Munich to Mumbai as well – so two among the top early destinations. Then, we are increasing our frequencies between Pune and Frankfurt five times a week and on the top of that there is a brand new service between Brussels and Mumbai, starting the end of March,” Spohr said in New Delhi.

Spohr added that Lufthansa plans to enhance bilateral ties with its Indian partner Jet Airways to increase connectivity to new cities.

“Etihad group is an investor in the Jet Airways so when we now look to intensify our cooperation with Etihad we are also looking into intensifying our bilateral relationship between the Jet Airways and the Lufthansa, which already exist but which could offer room for more,” Spohr added.

Though, he ruled out Lufthansa Group buying equity in an Indian airline.

“This point there is no plan for investment beyond our European investments,” Spohr added.

Lufthansa Group operates 60 flights to and from India per week and controls nearly 15 percent of aviation market.

India’s air travel market has boomed in the last decade as it opened up to competition, ticket prices were slashed and the number of people wealthy enough to travel ballooned.

Passenger numbers on domestic flights jumped 21 percent in 2015 to more than 80 million. The government aims to increase that number to 300 million by 2022.

Still, India’s annual trips per capita, at 0.04, compares to 0.3 in China.

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