Lufthansa wants to fly A-380s to India
New Delhi: German carrier Lufthansa wants to fly its superjumbo A-380s to India and is studying the pros and cons of when and which Indian city to operate from, top airline officials said Tuesday.
The airline, which earlier guided Air India to join the Star Alliance, also welcomed the national carrier's entry following a unanimous decision last month by the global airlines' grouping.
Welcoming the government's decision to allow the Airbus A-380s to operate in the country, new Lufthansa South Asia Director Wolfgang Will said, "The issue is still open. We have our A-380 plans to fly to India for several years now and have been requesting access.
"We are still in the process of evaluating when and where to fly them," he said. Lufthansa currently operates 46 weekly flights to Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune and Chennai.
On Air India's joining Star Alliance of which the German carrier is one of the founding members, Lufthansa Vice President (Asia & Pacific) Steffen Harbarth said, "We are looking forward to Air India's joining Star Alliance soon, though we can't comment on the timing."
Lufthansa officials replied in the negative when asked whether the US Federal Aviation Administration's decision to downgrade India to category II status would affect the code- share agreement that Lufthansa has with various airlines here.
A code share agreement is one in which two airlines decide to carry each other's passengers rather than flying to those destinations themselves.
Will and his predecessor Axel Hilgers elaborated on the new products being introduced on Lufthansa's India sector and announced the introduction of a new business class product on its flights to Chennai from March. They also said a new premium economy class would be launched that month.
On India operations, Hilgers said high taxes on jet fuel and airport charges were affecting the profitability of all Indian airlines as well as those operating to India.
Besides India, Will would also be responsible for overseeing the German airline's commercial activities in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.