Lufthansa has seen a 300% increase in demand for travel to select destinations in the United States. Following at least half a year of German lockdowns, it seems that passengers are keen to travel again, with the most significant uptick in bookings seen to holiday destinations.
There’s no doubt about it – the first five months of 2021 were miserable for most of the aviation industry. The arrival of the third wave in Europe saw many travel restrictions put into place both to and from the continent. As expected by the industry, vaccines seem to be the answer, with rates of COVID-19 appearing to fall as vaccination numbers climb.
Relaxed rules = more bookings?
Last week, Germany relaxed its entry rules for many travelers. This meant that quarantine-free travel became possible from over 100 countries, including the US. Meanwhile, the incidence rate in the US continues to drop as vaccination rates climb.
Unfortunately, as things currently stand, this isn’t a two-way street. Yesterday Simple Flying revealed that the EU would reopen its borders to fully vaccinated passengers. Unfortunately, the United States remained closed to most who have recently been in the EU or UK due to a presidential proclamation signed in the early days of the pandemic last year.
Despite this, Lufthansa is seeing an increase in bookings to the US. According to the airline, flights to New York, Miami, and Los Angeles have increased by 300% compared to previous months. Earlier today, Simple Flying revealed that 87% of the airline’s US and Canada passengers don’t start or stop their journeys at the airline’s Frankfurt and Munich hubs, suggesting that connecting traffic could play an important role.
According to the latest CDC’s latest weekly update, the United State’s incidence rate currently sits at around 10 per 100,000, while 35.8% of the US population has been fully vaccinated. This compares to an incidence in Germany of 68 per 100,000, with 13.5% of the population fully vaccinated.
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European demand also increasing
It’s not just demand to the United States that Lufthansa has seen increasing. Understandably, demand has also increased for travel to European destinations. These destinations will be much more viable for travel in the short term.
According to the airline, flight bookings to the likes of Palma de Mallorca, Ibiza, and Barcelona actually exceeded 2019 levels. This is as the destinations were the only viable getaways for Germans at Easter. While Germany was discouraging non-essential travel, it didn’t ban it outright.
Before Easter, the destinations mentioned were removed from Germany’s risk list, meaning that travel without quarantine was possible. With very few other destinations having such status, almost all travel from Germany was funneled to these destinations, prompting the German flag carrier to lay on some 500 extra flights to short-haul holiday destinations.
On the longer haul front, the airline has also seen a substantial increase in demand for flights to Male in the Maldives, Cancun in Mexico, and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.
Commenting on the increased demand, Lufthansa board member Harry Hohmeister said,
“People are craving for vacation and cultural exchange as well as reuniting with their families, friends and business partners… Lower number of infections and a rising rate of vaccinations allow for a cautious increase in transatlantic air travel.”
When do you think the US will open to travelers from Europe? Let us know what you think and why in the comments below!