Lufthansa is bringing back its flights to the US. On Wednesday, June 2nd, the airline brought back service to Orlando International Airport (MCO) and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL). Starting on Thursday, June 3rd, flights to Detroit are coming back online. Despite the ongoing border closure, Lufthansa is aiming to capture connecting demand with these flights.
Lufthansa is back in three cities
German flag carrier Lufthansa has resumed flights to Atlanta from its hub at Frankfurt Airport (FRA). Running three times per week, Lufthansa is using an Airbus A330 to serve the city. The flights leave Atlanta for Frankfurt at 16:10 local time, arriving in Germany at 07:05 the next day. From Frankfurt to Atlanta, the flight departs at 10:15 local time and arrives the same day at 14:15 in Georgia.
Just one hour-or-so south of Atlanta, Lufthansa has returned to MCO. Lufthansa is also connecting Orlando with Frankfurt using an Airbus A330. Flights depart MCO at 19:55 local time, arriving in Germany the next morning at 11:20 local time. The flight from Frankfurt to the US departs at 13:45 and arrives the same day at 18:10.
Next up is Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW), which is also getting three weekly Airbus A330 flights to Frankfurt. Flights depart DTW at 15:45 local time, arriving the next morning in Frankfurt at 05:50 local time. The flight from Germany to Detroit departs at 10:40 local time and arrives at 13:55 local time in Detroit on the same day.
Planning a gradual increase of frequencies
Through the end of the year, Lufthansa is planning to increase frequencies. Of course, this depends largely on travel restrictions. The airline cannot fly German citizens freely to the US, nor can it fly American citizens freely to Germany. Travel restrictions are still up on both sides of the Atlantic.
Lufthansa has continued to fly to the US through the crisis. Even with the travel restrictions. Lufthansa is mostly focused on connecting operations from its hub in Frankfurt. For example, passengers can book itineraries to places like Greece, which are open to more citizens, provided that they do not leave the secure transit zone. Cities like Atlanta. Detroit and Orlando thus serve mostly as traffic origination points.
Travel restrictions remain as barriers to recovery
Travel restrictions have been up on travel between the US and Europe for over a year at this point. While Europe has started to open up for Americans (Greece, Croatia, Iceland, Italy, Spain, and recently Ireland), other major countries like Germany, France, and the UK remain restricted.
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Plus, the United States has also not eased restrictions for foreign citizens, even as Europe has opened up for Americans. Despite vaccinations continuing to rollout worldwide, the US still mandates all travelers – even vaccinated travelers – to receive a COVID-19 test before flying to the US.
The EU has shown interest in reopening to Americans. As governments move forward, it is believable that Europe could be fully open for vaccinated Americans by the fall – assuming the pandemic does not worsen. In fact, some airlines, such as Delta Air Lines, are expecting the fall to be some of the better months for travel to Europe.
Airlines and passengers are likely to keep pushing for a reopening on both sides of the Atlantic. Hopefully, both sides can agree to a process for a reopening as cases continue to decline and more people get vaccinated.
Are you going to fly Lufthansa out of any of these cities? Let us know in the comments!