The upcoming 2009 summer schedule will see an adjustment of Lufthansa capacity by 0.5 percent due to decline in demand. The slight decrease will occur through the cancellation of certain frequencies and by combining routes and flights. At the same time, Lufthansa will invest in select growth markets. Consequently, certain regions in the route network will be strategically expanded by introducing new connections.
The summer schedule will include 206 destinations in 78 countries (in summer 2008, there were 207 destinations in 81 countries). The 0.5 percent reduction in capacity is being overcompensated by the successful launch of Lufthansa Italia. The offered capacity of seat kilometers in the overall Lufthansa route network in summer 2009 will therefore be increasing by 0.6 percent in comparison with the previous year, respectively in European traffic by a 1.5 percent increase. Adjusted after the Lufthansa Italia growth, European traffic would drop by 2.2 percent. The summer schedule also includes a slight capacity increase of 0.2 percent for the intercontinental connections, whereby an extraordinary item shall be taken into account. Changes to the seat configuration in the Boeing 747-400 fleet will in future result in 36 additional Economy Class seats, in exchange for 14 Business Class seats. Adjusted after the increase of the seating offer, the offered capacity in intercontinental traffic would drop by 0.7 percent.
Lufthansa plans to operate a total of 14,038 weekly flights during the summer schedule (14,224 flights in summer 2008). This represents a reduction of 1.3 percent. With a total of 12,786 domestic German flights and European flights per week (12,972 flights in summer 2008), the majority of the flights will be cancelled on the continental route network. In addition, there will be 1,274 intercontinental flights (1,258 flights in summer 2008). The 2009 summer schedule will begin on Sunday, March 29 and will be valid until Saturday, October 24.
In the meantime, Lufthansa is continuing to expand its route network in Eastern Europe. As of April 27, Lufthansa’s regional subsidiary, Lufthansa CityLine, will start flying five times a week to Rzeszów in southeastern Poland. As of the summer schedule, the daily flights from Munich to Poznan in the west of the country will also be complemented by a new daily offer from Frankfurt. Another new flight will start on March 30: Subject to approval from the authorities, CityLine will start flying daily from Munich to Lviv in Ukraine. On weekends, Lufthansa will also operate a non-stop offer to the two Adriatic cities of Split and Dubrovnik (Croatia) from Munich. Between June 20 and September 12, the airline will also start a new flight from Dusseldorf to Inverness in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. In addition, a new daily connection from Dusseldorf to Venice will be added to the schedule on April 20. There will also be some additional flights between the German and British capitals: The Berlin–London route will now fly to London Heathrow instead of London City Airport and three of the six daily Airbus A319 flights will be operated by British Midland (bmi), in which the Lufthansa Group has a stake. Consequently, the offer between the two big cities will be increased by over half the number of seats. In Europe, the connections to Madrid, Stavanger (Norway), Nizhny Novgorod and Perm (Russia) will also be operating with additional flights.