Lufthansa is adding 15 leisure destinations to its summer 2021 schedule from its hub in Frankfurt. The new destinations will offer holidaymakers more options to explore cities in Europe, Egypt, and Tunisia. Lufthansa will offer 70 weekly connections to 29 leisure cities next summer, with a hope that demand will return by then.
Lufthansa’s new destinations are targeted at holidaymakers, and the airline has gone out of its way to attract them. Flights will depart from Frankfurt in the morning and arrive in the evening, to maximize time at the destinations. Most routes will see two weekly flights, with some also seeing three or a single flight every week.
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The new routes are all short-haul ones mostly located in Europe, with one in Egypt and Tunisia. The destinations are:
- Greece (Corfu, Crete, Mykonos, Kos, Kavala, and Preveza)
- Spain (Jerez de la Frontera, Canary Islands, and Tenerife)
- Egypt (Hurghada)
- Cyprus (Paphos)
- Croatia (Rijeka)
- Italy (Lamezia Terme)
- Tunisia (Djerba)
- Bulgaria (Varna)
This summer saw Lufthansa operate only a fraction of its planned schedule, due to subdued demand, causing billions in losses. Next summer, Lufthansa will fly to 29 tourism-centered cities doubling its current schedule. The reason for these changes is likely that Lufthansa expects that many will want to travel after this year’s staycation season.
While a vaccine would definitely restore a lot of confidence in passengers, the timeline for one remains notoriously elusive. Optimistic estimates suggest the vaccine will be ready by late 2020 to early 2021, following which it will take months to transport and innoculate the population.
Without a vaccine, it’s likely that Lufthansa only sees demand from many who are desperate to travel after nearly a year on the ground. However, this will likely not be enough to fulfill the capacity levels Lufthansa is aiming for with this schedule.
Despite a relative optimism for next year, the Lufthansa Group is currently struggling. This week the airline said it is considering retiring nearly all of its superjumbos, including the A380 and 747-400. This comes alongside deep workforce cuts too, with up to 28,000 jobs on the line.
These decisions come as bookings for October stand at only 10% of the previous year and the airline struggling with overcapacity.
Next summer is still a long time away and things can change quickly between now and then. While the ideal solution would be that a vaccine comes rescues the industry, realistically, it could be another year of sluggish demand. Until then, Lufthansa will continue to struggle and downsize as it braces for a smaller future.
Either way, next summer will offer many new exciting destinations for those wishing to travel, as Lufthansa believes leisure travel will recover before business travel does.