Updated January 18th, 2024 at 21:09 IST

Lufthansa pulling flight capacity from outside India to match demand

Chief Commercial Officer Heiko Reitz on Thursday said India is now Lufthansa’s fastest-growing major market.

Reported by: Business Desk
The flight was diverted to Delhi after disturbance created by an 'unruly passenger', the sources informed. | Image: AP/File
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German airlines Lufthansa is pulling flight capacity from other nations in order to meet the booming travel demand in India.

 Chief Commercial Officer Heiko Reitz on Thursday said India is now Lufthansa’s fastest-growing major market.

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The airline’s flight capacity to India is 14 per cent higher when stacked against pre-COVID levels.

Contrastingly, it is yet to see a full recovery in some other markets, Reitz told Reuters on the sidelines of WINGS India 2024 in Hyderabad.

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"India is growing faster than the rest of our other destinations. We are taking our capacity from other markets and putting it into India," he added.

The Lufthansa Group includes Swiss Air, and at present operates 64 weekly flights to India, up by 8 flights from 56 before the COVID period.

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Notably, India is the world's fifth-largest civil aviation market. Domestic passenger traffic in the country is expected to reach 350 million travellers by 2030, up by almost double from 152 million in 2023.

The number of international travellers, meanwhile, will grow to 160 million.

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Indian airlines have placed record plane orders, with the country's total aircraft fleet expected to increase by over 2,000 by 2030. The number is less than half at around 700 currently.

The government is making investments worth $12 billion for building new airports and refurbishing the current ones.

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Tapping further into this upward trajectory, Lufthansa plans to bring back its Airbus A380 aircraft to India.

The German airlines faces competition from IndiGo and the Tata Group, which hold 60 and 26 per cent share in the Indian aviation market respectively. 

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The public-owned Air India went back to the Tata Group, who are notably injecting crores in a phased overhaul of the airline, which includes buying of new planes and upgrading their service offerings.

The government wants Indian airlines to invest in more widebody planes, flying to long haul international destinations in a bid to fulfil its ambition to be a regional aviation hub, rivalling Dubai and Singapore.

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When asked about competition, Reitz said with the kind of growth in India, "there is space for many airlines to grow in this market and find their destinations".

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Published January 18th, 2024 at 21:09 IST