Lufthansa sees overcapacity in Gulf-Europe sector

Harry Homeister. Hamburg,
Harry Homeister. Hamburg,
by

Issac John

Published: Wed 18 May 2016, 8:16 PM

Last updated: Wed 18 May 2016, 11:55 PM

A senior official of Lufthansa Group on Wednesday ruled out any immediate plans to boost capacity in its Gulf operations on the grounds that the Gulf-Europe sector is already facing an overcapacity issue.
Harry Hohmeister, Chief Officer of Hub Management and Member of the Executive Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, said the German carrier would not contemplate increasing capacity at least for the next several months as there is surplus capacity at present.
Hohmeister, who was in Dubai to mark 40th anniversary of Lufthansa's first Dubai flight, also stressed the need for a level playing field with Gulf carriers as he echoed allegations raised by American carriers about "unfair competition" in the Gulf sector, where major players "benefit from government support".
According to the German carrier, three leading Gulf airlines operate seven times the capacity of European carriers between the Gulf and Europe. Hohmeister said as Lufthansa marked its 40th anniversary of its operations to Dubai, the airline is proud to be part of the phenomenal growth of the UAE as it brings passengers - business and leisure, from and to Germany.
"Today, Lufthansa German Airlines and Swiss International Airlines serve Dubai daily from Frankfurt and Zurich, respectively, thanks to the steady growth of travel between the Lufthansa Group network of gateways and the UAE," said Hohmeister.
Reiterating the importance of the market for the passenger airline segment of the group business, but also for services companies, Hohmeister said the German airline group would continue its leadership role in aviation "staying number one in reaching new destinations from our hubs and building up on our strengths."
"Already, we have improved and implemented customer-centric programs which our passengers are benefitting from. We are rolling out our strategies focusing on customers, stakeholders and our fleet as well as identifying new markets of growth whether for our passenger airline business or our aviation service subsidiaries," said Hohmeister. Lufthansa Technik, a leader in MRO, has planted roots in Dubai's thriving aviation market, with the decision to establish an airframe component repair shop near Dubai World Central's Al Maktoum International airport. Lufthansa Cargo is continually enhancing its logistics operations, offering freighter service to nearby Sharjah Airport.

The group is planning to expand its MRO operation and would make foray into aviation catering business, he said. "For Dubai, that would only mean even a closer link to the Lufthansa Group, expanding on years of excellence in aviation, seamless travel experience, consistency of product offering and the quality of service Lufthansa is known for, not only linking millions of passengers from this region through our hubs," said Hohmeister.
"Our footprint in the Middle East has reached over 60 years in total. This clearly puts the region in high importance and we intend to intensify our service and product offerings on ground and on board in the years to come," said Tamur Goudarzi-Pour, Lufthansa Vice President, Sales and Services Middle East, Africa & Southeast Europe.
Karsten Zang, Lufthansa's Regional Director Gulf, Iran, Afghanistan & Pakistan, said coinciding with the 40th anniversary, the airline is offering all-new cabin products on board and have just opened its Senator and Business Class lounge at the Concourse D of Dubai International Airport's Terminal 1.
"Dubai is a key destination especially with the robust travel between the UAE and Germany for both business and leisure. Since 1976, Dubai has been at the core of Lufthansa's Middle East portfolio connecting passengers to Europe and to over 20 destinations in North America."
He said passengers arriving at Frankfurt or Zurich from Dubai can take advantage of Lufthansa Group's offers, one of the most comprehensive networks of air services in the world, with over 23,140 weekly flights serving 316 destinations in 101 countries during summer. This is further supplemented by over 18,000 code-share flights offered in collaboration with some 30 partner airlines.
"In addition to our network carriers serving Dubai, Eurowings successfully operated its seasonal Winter service between from Cologne, offering our customers a leisure-oriented product . Our ability to also offer a low-cost model of services further enhances Lufthansa's support of the Dubai tourist industry," added Zang. - issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com




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