Sunday, March 30, 2008


Lufthansa has officially confirmed that due to security related fears expressed by its cabin crew union, it will be suspending flights to Karachi effective immediately but will continue to fly to Lahore via a technical stop in Muscat. LH will continue to use the A 300-600R (AB6) on the FRA-LHE route via MCT until May 29th at least. Its cabin crew used to overnight at the Pearl Continental Hotel in LHE but now will deplane in Muscat.

also officially confirmed that due to changing market conditions in the Middle East, it will be undertaking a major reshuffling of its key GCC routes effective this summer. The main highlights are as follows :

i. 3 weekly FRA/KWI/DMM and 3 weekly FRA/DXB/AUH will be replaced by 3 weekly FRA-DMM-AUH operated by an A 333. LH will not have 5th freedom traffic rights on the DMM-AUH-DMM sector.

ii. FRA-KWI will now become a daily A 333 operated terminator flight.

iii. FRA-DXB-MCT once a week is suspended but the 3 weekly A 333 operated flight from FRA to MCT via DOH is maintained.


This does not come across as a surprise what so ever as the recent twin bomb blasts in LHE really frightened the LH cabin crew who took a combined decision not to stay in the city until the law and order situation improves. In any case, LH should look at now concentrating its long term strategy in PAK around LHE and forget KHI as its fruitless for them competing against EY/QR/EK on EU/UK/USA/YYZ routes. From LHE is where a vast majority of Pakistan's immigrant population residing in the West hails from and the city sees higher yield revenue per seat than KHI for most carriers due to lack of competition compared to KHI.

Therefore, if this problem continues with its cabin crew, LH should seriously consider routing its LHE bound flights via a Middle East city that allows it also to carry lucrative 5th freedom traffic on the Middle East-Lahore route
which will also provide it with an additional source of revenue.

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