Aug 12, 2014
Aug 12, 2014
India is buzzing. Lufthansa expects to start flying A380s to Mumbai and Delhi from around Nov 1, this year, with the start of the winter schedule, South Asia Director Wolfgang Will told AeroSpaceDiary here. The A380s will replace the 747-800 to Delhi and 747-400s flying into Mumbai. The carrier is “in the final steps of getting approval.”
The carrier has ordered 15 A380s, of which the 11th and 12th aircraft are in delivery mode. The last aircraft will be delivered by 2016.
The entry of the world’s largest commercial jet will bring in 180 additional seats per flight and that’s no mean job to fill. Interestingly, the first ever region-specific commercial presently on major channels, “More Indian than you think,” to be followed by billboards and “much more,” is “a prelude to the A380 coming into India,” Will added.
“We realize there are challenges, but we see huge opportunities. We will reach out to new customer segments like the leisure customer.” Will has no illusions that he will face competition from the Middle Eastern market. The initial strategy is to fly Indian customers on high volume routes such as San Francisco. Will refused to comment on pricing.
There have been concerns voiced by many carriers on congestion problems in Mumbai and in Delhi, “which can become a challenge for immigration…” when too many flights come in at once. Mumbai presently has only one gate for the A380, with more expected in summer. Will, says confidently Lufthansa, being one of the first few airlines that will deploy the A-380 initially, "problems will be ironed out."