Lufthansa is to open a new all-premium Boeing Business Jet service between Munich and Dubai in May in partnership with Swiss-based business aircraft operator PrivatAir.

Lufthansa uses an Airbus A340-300 on the route but its schedule shows it will switch this to a Boeing 737-700, operated by another carrier, from 1 May.

The German airline declines to confirm the plan, insisting that it is still studying options for all-premium route: "The planning is not yet closed. We're still evaluating different possibilities and different routes on which to deploy Lufthansa business jets."

But a PrivatAir source says that it is to operate a 737-700 BBJ1 on the Munich-Dubai sector on behalf of the German flag carrier.

Lufthansa has co-operated with PrivatAir since opening a Dusseldorf-Newark premium service in 2002. It has been examining new routes on which to use PrivatAir aircraft following its decision to withdraw its all-business transatlantic operation at Dusseldorf in favour of installing A340 services.

Its Dusseldorf all-business flights are scheduled to end on 30 April, the day before the scheduled introduction of the Dubai operation.