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Lufthansa aircraft taking off from Munich (photo: Lufthansa)

Lufthansa to expand Munich into Asia hub

The German carrier is shifting more aircraft to Munich from Frankfurt – and more routes and frequencies to Asia.

Lufthansa says it will shift more planes from Frankfurt to Munich, slowing growth at its main base while developing a multi-hub strategy.

It plans to move three Airbus A320 aircraft to the Bavarian capital from Frankfurt, replacing them with three lesser-capacity Bombardier CRJ900s, the airline revealed in a statement yesterday, to support additional feeder traffic in Munich.

It is also considering transferring more A380 superjumbos from Frankfurt to Munich, it added.

The airline group is developing MUC into an Asia-focussed hub, ATW and Airwise report, with “high single-digit growth” expected in 2019.

It shifted five A380s to Munich earlier this year for the summer travel season and now declares the move a “resounding success”, with further A380s likely to move there in 2020.

More Asia flights
There will be more frequencies between Munich and both Seoul and Singapore next summer, and a new Munich-Bangkok route will be added. Lufthansa will also move its Osaka route from Frankfurt to Munich.

A multi-hub system “makes it possible for us to react to changing conditions with extreme speed and flexibility,” explains Harry Hohmeister, executive board member.

It is “essential for the infrastructure on the ground and in the air to keep pace with the growth of the industry. […] We are growing where the cost and quality are right. This is also why we are waiting until next summer to decide, based on the development of the hubs, where the new Boeing 777-9 aircraft will be taking off from,” he added, referring to Dreamliner deliveries with new business class and premium economy products. It has 20 of these on order with deliveries from 2020.

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