Friday, October 3, 2014

Lufthansa taps growing outbound

Neelam Mathews

Oct 3 2014
After an over three-year wait since the government banned the A380 to India as part of its protectionism policy towards Air India, lifted earlier this year, starting Oct 27, Lufthansa’s long wait is over. It will become the third airline to tap the growing outbound market to fly an A380 to India and the second after Singapore Airlines to Delhi from Frankfurt.
Plans to fly the A380 to Mumbai International Airport where SIA and Emirates already fly with their A380s are on hold as there is only one A380-dedicated boarding bridge. Conflicting time schedules in Mumbai leave no space for Lufthansa as most international flights in India arrive in the early hours to coordinate with curfew timings in Europe.
“We have the necessary prerequisites to deploy the A380 in the Indian market …..(we) have the intention to explore other Indian destinations as and when possible in the near future,” Wolfgang Will Director South Asia, Lufthansa told Travel Weekly.  Two more A380 stands are under construction in Mumbai, to be ready by mid-2015. “Lufthansa will probably start service to Mumbai in the next monsoon schedule,” said a Mumbai airport spokesperson.
At present, only Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Bangalore airports can handle A380 operations. While no Indian airline has ordered an A380, Marcel Hungerbuehler Chief Operating Officer, Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) said provision for three additional A380 parking bays was made “if and when domestic carriers decide to purchase the aircraft.”

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