This year, Lufthansa is Europe’s fifth-largest airline by flights, behind Ryanair, Turkish Airlines, Aeroflot, and easyJet. The A320ceo is its most-used aircraft, but regional jets play a crucial role. Frankfurt has three-quarters of flights, with 213 destinations this year. Reflecting the times, its first long-haul route from its main hub ranks 66th.
Lufthansa: a summary
Lufthansa has nearly 219,000 flights in 2021, according to data experts OAG, far fewer than it had in 2019. Of these, seven in ten (69%) are by Lufthansa itself, while one-quarter (27%) are by regional partner Lufthansa CityLine and the remainder (4%) by Italian subsidiary Air Dolomiti.
No wonder regional jets play an important role for Lufthansa, with the CRJ-900 the second most-used aircraft by this straightforward metric (which ignores distance and seats). Indeed, Lufthansa has more RJ flights than any other European major, Cirium reveals.
Widebodies have about 11 in every 100 flights, the same proportion in 2019. However, actual flights by the twin-aisles are at just 40% of what they were. The reason: far fewer four-engine aircraft, with use at one-quarter following the exit of the A380 and A340-600 and far lower use of those that remain.
- A320ceo: 39,034 flights in 2021
- CRJ-9 38,080
- A320neo: 37,226
- A319: 36,027
- A320ceo: 33,848
- A321ceo: 13,697
- Embraer 190: 11,581
- Embraer 195: 10,462
- A321neo: 8,551
- A330-300: 8,496
- A350-900 6,487
- A340-300: 4,510
- B747-8: 4,431
- B747-400: 334
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Almost two-thirds of flights are from Frankfurt
Lufthansa revolves around its Frankfurt and Munich hubs, with 64% and 36% of its total flights respectively. Subsidiary Eurowings uses its lower-cost platform from other major German airports, including Berlin, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, and Stuttgart.
The use of Eurowings enables Lufthansa to concentrate on feeding its two hubs (its primary reason for being) along with serving higher-yielding, point-to-point markets. In September, Air Dolomiti began Frankfurt-Ronneby-Kalmar-Frankfurt utilizing the Embraer 195, designed, as always, for connectivity over Frankfurt.
The Lufthansa-Eurowings setup is similar to Transavia France and the incoming BA EuroFlyer at Gatwick. Lufthansa is going further, with new entrant Eurowings Discover increasingly operating long-haul leisure routes from Frankfurt, which Lufthansa is less able to do profitability itself.
213 destinations from Frankfurt
Examining Lufthansa’s Frankfurt hub reveals that 213 destinations have been served this year, including some on a one-off or very time-limited basis. Some were served by Lufthansa but subsequently shifted to Eurowings Discover.
Of course, Western Europe is always Lufthansa’s bread and butter, and it has become disproportionately important this year owing to restrictions elsewhere. No wonder all but one of Lufthansa’s leading country markets are there. In order of flights: domestic Germany, Spain, Italy, France, UK, Poland, Sweden, Portugal, and Greece. Like other carriers, Lufthansa has grown strongly to Greece this year.
The first long-haul route ranks 66th
As you’d expect, short markets, including domestic, tend to dominate Lufthansa’s most frequently served routes, as shown below. The first long-haul route ranks 66th: Dubai in joint position with Chicago O’Hare. Dubai sees the B747-400, while Chicago is now all-B747-8.
- Frankfurt-Munich by total flights this year
- Frankfurt-London Heathrow
- Frankfurt-Paris CDG
- Frankfurt-Stockholm Arlanda
- Frankfurt-Milan Linate
- Frankfurt-Rome Fiumicino
Have you flown through Frankfurt this year? Let us know in the comments.