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Lufthansa Group eyes new Asia-Pacific routes

Lufthansa Group is looking to add more capacity into Asia-Pacific as demand for air travel grows in the region.

"We are focusing on the development in Asia-Pacific. China, Japan, Southeast Asia and India will be the main drivers for growth," Lufthansa's vice-president of sales for Asia and Pacific Dieter Vranckx tells FlightGlobal.

He adds that growth in China - particularly at Beijing - has been strong, while Chengdu, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Shenyang that "are on our watchlist".

In the shorter-term, the Group is looking to expand its presence at Tokyo Haneda International airport. Austrian Airlines will reinstate its Vienna-Tokyo link in mid May, around 20 months after suspending it.

Austrian will use Boeing 777s featuring a premium economy cabin on the five-times weekly services.

Vranckx's comments come after Lufthansa recommenced a five-times weekly Singapore-Munich service using Airbus A350-900s on 28 March following a six-year hiatus.

The new service increases its capacity by 40% on Singapore-Germany routes, and is operated under its joint venture with Star Alliance partner Singapore Airlines.

"There is definitely a growing demand for this region. Additionally, the feeder traffic we get from Australia via the joint-venture with Singapore Airlines has contributed to this expansion," says Vranckx.

"We know there are slot restrictions at the major airports, but nonetheless we always aim at growing following from last year's strong numbers to Asia-Pacific that justify adding more capacity."

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