German airline Lufthansa is enjoying a growth in business customers using its routes from Birmingham Airport.
The flights to Lufthansa’s hubs at Munich and Frankfurt are attractive to the West Midlands business community, as from there they can access flights on to destinations across Europe and worldwide.
Christian Schindler, Lufthansa director for UK and Ireland, said that the Indian business community in the West Mildands was increasingly making use of the Birmingham-Frankfurt route to take advantage of flights to Bangalore and Delhi using the world’s longest passenger airliner the Boeing 747-8. The business class ticket launched this year includes a 6ft 6in long bed.
Mr Schindler said that Lufthansa, the second biggest operator out of Birmingham Airport, had seen passenger numbers rise 16.84 per cent in the year to the end of August to 374,310. Lst year the number carried from Birmingham was 484,503, which was up 18.65 per cent on 2010.
As a result extra capacity has been put on this year including bigger aircraft on the service to Muich, the re-introduction of a service to Hamburg in May and at the beginning of June the launch of a new daily service to Berlin starting from £39 one way.
“We are very happy with the Berlin route. It has been a huge success and full from the first day,” said Mr Schindler.
The bulk of passengers have mainly been city break leisure travellers, but an increasing number are using it for conferences and business meetings.
“The router is competitvely priced and everthing is included with no extra charges from checkm in, food and drink. It offers no surprises,” added Mr Schindler.
He said Lufthansa was very positive about Birmingham Airport and believed it had the space for further growth in the long term and was a very “convenient” airport compared to heathrow.
It has been flying out of the airport since 1986 and is now operating 83 flights a week with a service also to Dusseldorf.
“Frankfurt is the most served route because it offers most connections.Both Frankfurt and Munich offer seamless connection services to our customers.
“More than half of passengers flying Lufthansa from Birmingham are flying on,” he explained.
Lufthansa, which shares its desk at Birmingham with subsidiaries Brussels Airlines and partner Swiss Airlines,flies a range of aircraft out of the city airport including the Airbus 320, new 16-sesat Embraer and Boeing 737.
A growing number of ticket sales for Lufthansa’s Birmingham services are taking place online.
“Every second ticket in the UK is now bought online and out smartphone “ap” means people can download their tickets on to their phones and use it to check in and then get their boarding card on the phone as well.
“It is making the service we offer much more efficient for our customers. We are now able to ring back passengers who have booked online in the event of any delays or problems.
“We are using technology to further improve the passenger experience and take the stress our of travelling,” enthused Mr Schindler.
UK travellers also voted Lufthansa as their favourite short haul leisure airline in the Condé Nast Traveller 15th Annual Readers’ Travel Awards, awarding the airline top marks for punctuality, efficiency, service and staff.
Those flying to Berlin with Lufthansa can also take advantage of its Be Local offer which provides continually changing discounts and special offers at restaurants and shops in the city.
Full details of Lufthansa’s services from Birmingham Airport can be seen online at www.lufthansa.com