Lufthansa will operate 160 rotations to three Indian cities this September. The expansion comes after the German flag carrier received permission to fly passengers into India earlier this month. Lufthansa has long been keen to operate flights to India, previously only flying out passengers to capitalize on the pent-up demand.
Starting August 13th, Lufthansa secured permissions under the travel bubble agreement to start flights between India and Germany. This allows Lufthansa to carry eligible passengers to and from India.
Lufthansa has long wanted access to the Indian market, seeing a massive demand for international travel. In June, the carrier offered to fly into India empty, only carrying out passengers and removing the risk of imported cases. India later accepted this and allowed Lufthansa to operate outbound-only flights. However, the carrier can now carry passengers on both legs.
Stay informed: Sign up for our daily aviation news digest.
In August, the airline is operating 40 total flights from Germany to India. The demand for these flights has been strong, pushing Lufthansa to expand its schedule for September rapidly. Passengers can also connect to destinations in the EU and North America with Lufthansa, bringing back transit passengers.
Lufthansa is currently operating four routes between India and its hubs at Frankfurt and Munich. The schedule for September is as follows, with all flights operating five times weekly:
- New Delhi to Frankfurt
- Bangalore to Frankfurt
- Mumbai to Frankfurt
- New Delhi to Munich
Lufthansa plans to operate a total of 160 rotations between India and Germany in September, more than doubling its August schedule. International flights to India have been suspended since March, creating huge travel demand.
Due to travel bubbles, India is now restoring international flights and allowing travel again. Air France and British Airways also fly from India, giving Lufthansa some competition on European routes.
Unlike some airlines, Lufthansa does not need a negative COVID-19 test before flying. Instead, passengers take a rapid test at Munich or Frankfurt Airport, receiving results in a few hours. These testing facilities ensure that travelers who may be carrying the virus are quickly screened and isolated.
The presence of rapid testing facilities has no doubt helped Lufthansa too. India is currently clocking the highest number of daily COVID-19 cases in the world, making it a high-risk country. While some countries have banned flights from India, despite travel agreements, Lufthansa has been able to increase flights thanks to a robust testing program.
Frankfurt Airport has an on-site testing facility, making testing a quick process. Photo: Lufthansa
India is an important market for Lufthansa and the carrier will likely maintain a robust schedule to the country. Recently, India has also eased its travel restrictions, allowing citizens to leave and return without permission and reducing mandatory quarantines. However, border restrictions remain on who can travel to Germany and India.
Would you fly with Lufthansa on your next flight? Have you taken an international flight from India? Let us know in the comments!