flag carrier Lufthansa is axing services to Rio de Janeiro, Bogota and Tashkent
this winter as part of a cut in planned capacity growth as its shuffles its
long-haul network to counter the economic downturn.
move comes just a day after another European carrier KLM announced it was
reducing its capacity year-on-year by 3% this winter, as airlines work to
minimise the impact of the global slowdown. Lufthansa says the network
reshuffle amounts to a reduction in planned capacity the equivalent of two
the start of the winter timetable Lufthansa will cease its thrice-weekly
Frankfurt-Rio de Janeiro service, though the carrier will continue to have a
connection to the Brazilian city through its codeshare with Star Alliance
partner Varig. It will also cease its thrice-weekly services to Bogota in
Colombia and the Uzbekistan capital Tashkent early next year.
carrier will also reduce capacity on North Atlantic routes, deploying smaller
aircraft on some routes and cutting two weekly flights on its high frequency
Frankfurt-New York link.
airline says that over the first half of the year it has increased its share of
the premium market segment on all relevant connections, but Lufthansa executive
vice president network management and marketing Ralf Teckentrup explains: “On
prime North Atlantic routes, we also made clear gains. But there are markets,
whose structure principally generates tourist demand, like Rio. High capacity
utilisation does not in itself suffice to serve those routes profitably.”
is also keeping a check on future growth on the intercontinental sector, and
only “moderate” growth is planned for the next few years. “We cannot afford
excess capacities. Market driven growth has always been Lufthansa’s strategy
and will remain so in the future,” says Teckentrup. The airline says annual
capacity growth originally planned for 7% it to be cut to around 3%.