Category Archives: Lufthansa

Lufthansa Group adjusts mask requirement

Lufthansa Group airlines are introducing a requirement to wear a medical protective mask on their flights to and from Germany. The regulation comes into force on February 1. From that date, passengers will be required to wear either a surgical mask or an FFP2 mask or mask with the KN95/N95 standard during boarding, the flight and when leaving the aircraft. Everyday masks are then no longer permitted.

The airlines of the Lufthansa Group had already introduced a requirement to wear a mouth-nose mask on board their flights in May of last year, making them one of the pioneers worldwide. By adapting the regulation, the Lufthansa Group is now taking up the resolution passed by the federal and state governments in Germany on January 19. This means that uniform rules apply along the entire travel chain.

To enable passengers to adapt to the new rules in good time, they will be informed by e-mail and on the airlines’ websites and social media channels.

As before, an exemption from the obligation to wear a mouth-nose covering during the flight for medical reasons is only possible if the medical certificate is issued on a form provided by Lufthansa and a negative Covid 19 test is available that is not older than 48 hours at the scheduled start of the journey.

In principle, infection on board is very unlikely. All Lufthansa Group aircraft are equipped with the highest quality air filters, which ensure air quality similar to that in an operating theater. In addition, the air circulates vertically instead of being dispersed throughout the cabin.

Lufthansa will soon depart on its longest passenger flight to the Falkland Islands

On February 1, 2021, Lufthansa will be departing on the longest passenger flight in the history of its company, marking one of the most unique flights the airline has ever carried out.

On behalf of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) in Bremerhaven, the Lufthansa Group’s most sustainable aircraft, an Airbus A350-900, will be flying 13,700 kilometers nonstop from Hamburg to Mount Pleasant in the Falkland Islands.

The flight time is calculated at around 15:00 hours. There are 92 passengers booked for this charter flight LH2574, half of which are scientists and the other half, being the ship crew for the upcoming expedition with the Polarstern research vessel. “We are pleased to be able to support a polar research expedition during these difficult times. Commitment to climate research is very important to us. We have been active in this field for more than 25 years and have equipped selected aircraft with measuring instruments. Since then, scientists all around the world have been using the data collected during the voyage to make climate models more precise and improve weather forecasts,” says Thomas Jahn, fleet captain and project manager Falkland.  Since the hygiene requirements for this flight are extremely high, Captain Rolf Uzat and his 17-member crew entered a 14-day quarantine last Saturday, the same time that the passengers did. “Despite the crew restrictions for this particular flight, 600 flight attendants applied for this trip,” says Rolf Uzat.

The preparations for this special flight are immense. They include additional training for the pilots via special electronic maps for flight and landing as well as managing the kerosene available at the Mount Pleasant military base for the return flight. The Airbus A350-900 is currently stationed in Munich, where it is being prepared for the flight. In Hamburg, the aircraft is loaded with additional cargo and baggage, which has been extensively disinfected and will remain sealed until departure. Besides the catering, there are additional containers for the residual waste on board, since this can only be disposed after the aircraft arrives back in Germany. The Lufthansa crew includes technicians and ground staff for on-site handling and maintenance who will quarantine after landing in the Falkland Islands due to government requirements. The return flight LH2575, is scheduled to depart for Munich on 03 February and will be carrying the Polarstern crew, which had set out from Bremerhaven on December 20 to resupply the Neumayer Station III in Antarctica, and must now be relieved.

“We have been meticulously preparing for this expedition, which we have been planning for years and are now able to embark on despite the pandemic. For decades, we have been collecting fundamental data on ocean currents, sea ice and the carbon cycle in the Southern Ocean. As these long-term measurements form the basis for our understanding of polar processes and the urgently needed climate predictions, it is important that research in Antarctica continue in these difficult times. We cannot allow for large data gaps in climate research. The World Economic Forum’s recently published World Risk Report continues to rank failure to combat climate change among the greatest threats to humanity,” says Dr. Hartmut Hellmer, physical oceanographer at AWI and scientific leader of the upcoming Polarstern expedition. “Our thanks also go to our colleagues in AWI logistics. Their comprehensive transport and hygiene concept allows us to explore Antarctica with an international science team – at a time when other major expeditions there had to be cancelled,” Hellmer reports.

In order to make research as climate-friendly as possible, the Alfred Wegener Institute will offset CO2 emissions from business flights via the non-profit climate protection organization atmosfair – which is also the case for this particular flight.  The institute donates funds for biogas plants in Nepal for every mile flown, thereby reducing the same amount of CO2 emissions. This helps maintain the overall CO2 balance regardless of where in the world the CO2 emissions can be reduced. In addition to pure CO2 emissions, other pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and soot particles are also taken into account.

Preparations for the special flight began together with the Alfred Wegener Institute in the summer of 2020. The usual route via Cape Town was not feasible due to the infection situation in South Africa, leaving only the route via the Falkland Islands. After landing on the Falkland Islands, scientific staff and crew members will continue their journey to Antarctica on the research vessel Polarstern.

Lufthansa raised 500 million euros in aircraft financing in the second half of 2020

Lufthansa made this announcement:

Since July 2020, Deutsche Lufthansa AG has raised a total of around 500 million euros by using aircrafts as security in eight financing transactions. This enabled the Group to secure additional funds on top of the 1.6 billion euros raised via a convertible bond and a corporate bond.

The five Airbus A350s and three aircraft from the A320 family were used as securities for various financing instruments. Funds were raised through sale and lease back financing, secured loans and secured promissory notes (Schuldscheindarlehen). Banks, private equity funds and corporate investors, particularly from Europe and Asia, participated in the financing. Lufthansa was also able to agree upon attractive terms compared with the most recently issued bonds.

“We have taken another successful step in refinancing existing liabilities which are maturing in 2021. The transactions once again demonstrate the confidence the market has in our company and our restructuring measures. We have a wide range of financing instruments at our disposal and aircraft financing will continue to play a key role in our financing strategy as it offers financially attractive conditions,” said Wilken Bormann, Executive Vice President Corporate Finance of the Lufthansa Group.

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CONTACT

Media Relations
Lufthansa Group
Germany
lufthansa-group@dlh.de
+49 69 696 2999

Lufthansa and Vereinigung Cockpit agree on pilots’ contributions until March 31, 2022

Lufthansa has issued this statement:

Lufthansa and the pilots’ union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) have agreed on pilots’ contributions to help manage the crisis. The agreement runs until March 31 2022. Current cost-saving measures will not only be continued in the coming year but also supplemented by additional measures. In particular, the agreement includes the basis for an extension of short-time work for pilots in 2021, a reduction in working hours with a corresponding salary adjustment and the suspension of collective pay increases. These measures apply to pilots at Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo, Lufthansa Aviation Training as well as a subgroup of Germanwings pilots.

Lufthansa is ruling out layoffs of pilots for operational reasons at Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo, Lufthansa Aviation Training and a subgroup of Germanwings pilots until March 2022.

Michael Niggemann, Executive Board Member for Human Resources and Legal Affairs, Deutsche Lufthansa AG, says: “I am pleased about the further substantial contribution of the cockpit employees to help manage the crisis. We want to use the time covered by this crisis collective agreement to agree on sustainable structural solutions with VC in response to the changed conditions and to be able to avoid layoffs even after the crisis agreement has expired.”

Lufthansa and VC will therefore be continuing their negotiations under more predictable conditions in 2021 in order to reach an agreement on sustainable solutions for the time after the crisis collective agreement expires.

The crisis agreement is subject to approval by the respective bodies.

Lufthansa aircraft photo gallery:

Lufthansa aircraft slide show:

Lufthansa reports strong bookings for the holidays

Lufthansa is recording a sharp rise in intercontinental and intra-European bookings for the upcoming Christmas and New Year travel season. Last week, up to 400 percent more people booked destinations overseas as well as Southern and Northern Europe than in the previous week. Particularly in demand were flight destinations in South Africa (Cape Town, Johannesburg), Namibia (Windhoek), the Canary Islands, Madeira and sunny destinations in the Mediterranean, but also snow-assured areas in Northern Finland.

Lufthansa is responding to the increased demand with new flights to and from destinations in Europe, but also by increasing the frequency of existing connections at favorable conditions.

For example, Lufthansa now flies from Frankfurt and Munich to almost every island in the Canary Islands and will offer nonstop flights from Frankfurt to the islands of La Palma and Fuerteventura from December 19, 2020 for the first time. Seville and Palermo will also be back in the flight schedule from Frankfurt and Munich. From Frankfurt, Heraklion on the Greek island of Crete, which can also boast significantly warmer temperatures in winter, is also on the program.

In addition to the classic sunny destinations, the snow-assured and spectacular ski resorts in Northern Finland are back in the flight schedule. Thus one reaches over the holidays from Frankfurt Ivalo and Kuusamo as well as from Munich Kittilä.

For flights from Frankfurt to Majorca, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Madeira, Malta, Larnaca/Cyprus and Faro/Algarve and from Munich to Majorca, Faro/Algarve, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria and Tenerife, capacities have been significantly expanded and these sunny destinations are now offered several times a week in some cases.

In addition, Lufthansa’s classic routes will also be reintroduced into the flight schedule. From Frankfurt, for example, Dublin, Gdansk, Salzburg, Turin and Naples are among the destinations being offered. Flights from Munich now also include Paris, Madrid, Helsinki, Athens, Rome, Oslo, Warsaw and Lisbon.

 

Lufthansa sells LSG Europe to Gategroup

Lufthansa made this announcement:

In December 2019, Lufthansa Group and gategroup concluded a purchase agreement for the European operations of LSG Group. This accounts for about one third of LSG Group’s total business. gategroup now meets all requirements of the European Commission. Thus, the purchase agreement could now be executed, the so-called “Closing” has taken place. Both parties have agreed not to disclose the financial details of the transaction.

In addition to the European catering businesses, the purchase agreement also covers the lounge and train business and the retail convenience food brand Evertaste and its European facilities, the equipment business SPIRIANT and the retail stores of the “Ringeltaube” brand.

gategroup is a long-term partner for catering and services in Frankfurt, Munich and Zurich. Lufthansa will retain a minority stake in the Frankfurt and Munich catering facilities, which provide in-flight service for Lufthansa flights. This ensures a seamless transition of the catering business and a successful start of the cooperation. gategroup will introduce a new Lufthansa-dedicated Studio 50/8TM*, a culinary think tank and exclusive house of inspiration and co-creation which will set a new airline catering industry standard.

Carsten Spohr, CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, said: “With the sale of LSG’s European business to gategroup, we are setting another milestone in the restructuring of the Lufthansa Group. We are focusing more strongly on our core airline business, we are becoming leaner, more efficient and reducing the Group’s internal complexity. My sincere thanks go to the 7,500 employees who are now joining gategroup. They have led our catering business in Europe to success in recent years and will continue to indulge Lufthansa guests with premium catering under the leadership of gategroup.”

Lufthansa Group continues to aim to sell the remaining international part of LSG Group as soon as the general conditions allow.

Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian Airlines will be offering a selection of food and beverages in Economy Class on short- and medium-haul flights starting in spring 2021

Lufthansa Group has made this announcement:

In the near future, Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian Airlines will be offering g their customers a new range of services in Economy Class. Starting in spring 2021, passengers on short and medium-haul routes will be able to purchase a broad selection of high-quality foods and beverages on board to suit their needs.

High quality standards are implemented in the new range from selection to preparation and presentation. With the new concept, the airlines are also investing more heavily in sustainability by selecting environmentally friendly products and packaging and by reducing food waste through more customized production.

“Our current snack offer in Economy Class does not always meet the expectations of our guests,” explains Christina Foerster, Member of the Executive Board Lufthansa Group responsible for Customer, IT & Corporate Responsibility. “The new offer was developed on the basis of feedback from our customers. With the high-quality offer available for purchase, our passengers will be able to decide what they want to eat and drink on their journey.”

The range of food and beverages will be available from the individual airlines in various forms, some of which will have regional references. The focus will be on fresh products and a selection of snacks. The standard, complimentary snack will no longer be served in the future.

The new offer will be introduced in phases as of spring 2021: Austrian Airlines will begin, followed by Swiss and Lufthansa; the new products will be revealed by individual airlines over the coming months.

Lufthansa Group to be first to implement Star Alliance Biometrics and usher in a touchless customer experience at airports

Lufthansa Group has made this announcement:

Star Alliance, the world’s largest airline alliance, has completed development of an interoperable biometric identity and identification platform that will significantly improve the travel experience for frequent flyer programme customers of Star Alliance member airlines.

The Star Alliance Biometrics platform advances the vision of Star Alliance member airlines of delivering a seamless customer journey, while strengthening loyalty value proposition within its travel ecosystem.

Lufthansa Group (LHG) airlines, Lufthansa (a founding member of Star Alliance) and SWISS will be the first to use Star Alliance Biometrics for selected flights starting in November. Specific infrastructure is being installed at hub airports Frankfurt and Munich, reaping operational benefits at both locations.

Members of the Lufthansa and SWISS Miles & More Frequent Flyer Program who opt-in to biometrics will be able to pass through both security access and boarding gates in a touchless manner, an important health and hygiene safety measure in times of COVID-19.

In keeping with the requirement to wear masks in the airport terminal, it is not required to remove the mask for the biometric identity check. The identification process works for passengers wearing masks.

The Star Alliance Biometrics service is built upon NEC Corporation’s NEC I:Delight biometric and identity management platform software. The secure service is available at no cost to customers of the Miles & More program who have consented to share their biometric data with stakeholders of their choice during travel.

How does enrolment work?

Effective immediately, and with a few easy steps on their mobile device, Miles & More customers will have the option to enrol in Star Alliance Biometrics, accessed via a link within the Lufthansa app. Customers enrolling are asked to take a selfie, verify their identity with their passport, and opt-in to the airlines and airports where they want to use the service.

Enrol once, use often

They only need to enrol once and can then use their biometrics data multiple times at biometrics touchpoints of any participating airport whenever they travel with a Star Alliance member airline who has implemented Star Alliance Biometrics.

Data privacy and security

Personal data, such as photo and other identification details, are encrypted and safely stored within the platform. From the outset, the system has been designed in compliance with applicable data protection laws making use of the latest facial recognition technology. Storage of personal data is kept to a minimum – for example, no customer names are stored.

A list of Frequently Asked Questions can be found attached.

Jeffrey Goh, CEO of Star Alliance stated: “We are exceedingly proud to have founding member Lufthansa as the first airline to implement the Star Alliance Biometrics solution in both of its Frankfurt and Munich Airport hubs. This is a customer-centric solution that furthers our credentials in innovation, particularly its multi-airline and multi-airport capability. Whilst it offers a seamless customer travel experience, it is also a critical development that addresses the expectation of customers for a more touchless and hygienically safer experience. Star Alliance Biometrics is a key part of our strategy to be the most digitally advanced global airline alliance.”

Christina Foerster, Member of the Board, Customer, IT & Corporate Responsibility, said “The topic of biometrics will become increasingly important when travelling in the future. Especially during the pandemic, such touchless processes at the airport are a big plus. In the Lufthansa Group, biometric technology and solutions will increasingly ensure simplified and more efficient processes at airports, thereby significantly improving the travel experience of our passengers. I am very pleased that with Star Alliance Biometrics we will be able to offer interested frequent flyers biometric security checkpoint access and boarding via facial recognition at our Frankfurt and Munich hubs as from November. This is an important milestone for us. ”

“Optimizing travel processes for passengers is our top priority at Frankfurt Airport, and biometric processes offer our customers numerous advantages. Star Alliance Biometrics now creates a more efficient and – especially important in today’s times – touchless passenger journey, which offers greater security as well as more comfort and less waiting time. We are proud to be one of the first airports worldwide to offer this pioneering technology for boarding pass control and individual gates in Terminal 1 – Area A, together with our most important customers Star Alliance and Lufthansa. In the coming weeks and months we will gradually expand the range – also to new process points such as baggage drop-off,” says Dr. Pierre Dominique Prümm, Board Member Aviation and Infrastructure at Fraport AG.

“Biometrics offers us the opportunity to further accelerate and simplify processes at Munich Airport for the benefit of travelers”, said Jost Lammers, CEO of Munich Airport. “This not only increases passenger comfort, but also – thanks to the contactless process – hygiene standards and health protection. In this way, we are once again fulfilling our promise of quality as the only 5-star-airport in Europe.”

Lufthansa says bye-bye Tegel Airport

Lufthansa today made this announcement:

Today, November 7, the final Lufthansa flight to depart Berlin/Tegel will take off from the old capital city airport “Otto Lilienthal” at 9:20 pm, headed for Munich. This flight will symbolize, closing the chapter to a part of Lufthansa’s history, which has lasted for decades. The Berlin fire department will bid farewell to this special flight with a fountain of water, which will be visible as the airport will light up the evening event.

Due to a high demand of passengers wanting to experience this final flight, LH1955 will be operated by an Airbus A350-900, currently one of the most modern and environmentally friendly long-haul aircraft in the world.  Numerous Tegel fans are among the passengers. The last flight to Berlin/Tegel (LH1954) will arrive from Munich at 8:10 p.m. and land on the runway of the old airport.

The history of Lufthansa in Berlin is long and rich in tradition: Lufthansa was founded in Berlin in 1926, where flight operations were discontinued after World War II.

It was not until October 28, 1990 that the first Lufthansa connections to and from Berlin were available again – initially twelve daily flights within Germany and additional flights to London. Today, six Lufthansa Group airlines in the Lufthansa Group operate to the German capital: Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Swiss, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings and Air Dolomiti (during 2021 summer schedule). In 2019 the Lufthansa Group airlines operated 60 daily flights from Berlin with up to 33,000 passengers. With a market share of 30 percent, Lufthansa is currently once again the market leader for flights to and from Berlin. Furthermore, Berlin is the only location in additional to Frankfurt, in which all Lufthansa Group business segments are represented locally.

Lufthansa starts first trial run for COVID-19 antigen rapid tests

On November 12, Lufthansa will start the first test runs for comprehensive COVID-19 antigen rapid tests on selected routes between Munich and Hamburg. In close cooperation with Munich and Hamburg airports as well as with the biotech companies Centogene and the Medicover Group’s medical care center, MVZ Martinsried, the airline is offering its customers the opportunity to be tested for COVID-19 free of charge before departure on two daily flights. Passengers who do not wish to be tested will be transferred to an alternative flight at no additional cost.

The first test flight with 100 percent negative tested passengers is LH2058, which leaves Munich for Hamburg at 9.10 a.m. The second daily flight on which all passengers are tested is LH2059 from Hamburg to Munich.

Once the test is completed, customers receive their test results within 30 to 60 minutes. Only if the result is negative will the boarding pass be activated and access to the gate be granted. Alternatively, passengers can present a negative PCR test not older than 48 hours at departure. Lufthansa takes care of the complete rapid test procedure. There are no extra costs for the passenger. All they have to do is register in advance and allow a little more time before departure.

“With our test strategy, we are pursuing the goal of using the data obtained to gain important insights into the use of rapid tests. Successful testing of entire flights can be the key to revitalizing international air traffic,” says Christina Foerster, Lufthansa Group Executive Board Member for Customer, IT & Corporate Responsibility.