Lufthansa adjusts Russian network

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German carrier Lufthansa has increased capacity on the bulk of its Russian routes as it responds to soaring demand for international air services in Russian regions.

Additions to the winter schedule include two weekly services between Frankfurt and St Petersburg bringing the total to 14, and third direct weekly flights on routes from Frankfurt to Yekaterinburg, Kazan and Nizhny Novgorod. From the start of December the latter will be extended to Perm, becoming Lufthansa’s seventh destination in Russia.

The airline is also considering resuming scheduled flights between Germany and Novosibirsk in Siberia with a view to using local airport Tolmachevo for servicing its Asian destinations.

Lufthansa’s country manager Ulrich Ruger says: “Given high load factors and steady demand for international services, there is a potential for doubling frequencies on our routes to Russian regions.

“Despite the current global slump in passenger traffic, the Russian regional market is demonstrating a stable growth. This gives more evidence that our strategy of expanding into it, is correct.”

However, Lufthansa has suspended daily flights from Dusseldorf and Hamburg to Moscow because of their low profitability, though it continues to service the city from Frankfurt and Munich.

Moscow branch head Sven Henrik Detring explains that Russia’s capital is more exposed to changing fortunes in the global airline business than other cities. But he adds: “We will monitor this situation and will resume the suspended services [from Dusseldorf and Hamburg] once it becomes favourable.”