JoFMO From Germany, joined Jul 2004, 2211 posts, RR: 0 Posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 6665 times:
Now that it becomes more and more clear that LH will take over LX, I would like to discuss the future LX route map.
Which long haul routes are profitable with O&D and will be maintained by the combined company?
Do you see it possible that they might consolidate some routes from MUC to ZRH?
That is what I think:
NRT: will be kept by LX because LH already use all possible rights from Germany and can't expand under the current bilateral.
China: LX still has rights to PEK and PVG but they shut these routes some time ago. I doubt, that any of them will be started again, because LH already negotiated 50% more rights to China. MUC-PEK is only served 3x weekly so far, maybe with additional feed from Switzerland it can be expanded to daily.
HKG: LX flies 5x weekly from ZRH and LH 3x from MUC. I could see HKG being consolidated to a daily flight from ZRH. ZRH is a big financial centre as HKG while MUC is more about high tech. So I could see a good O&D market ZRH-HKG. But HKG could be also be consolidated in MUC.
BKK: Star partner TG already has a daily 744 to ZRH. Is there enough demand for 2 daily flights from ZRH to BKK? I could see a more extensive codeshare between LX and TG. Unfortunately that would mean no Swiss aircraft anymore in BKK. If more seets are needed, LH could upgrade it's MUC-BKK from 343 to 744, and later the A380 is an option.
SIN: Similar to BKK Star partner SQ already comes daily with 744 to ZRH. For MUC, SIN is the biggest gap in it's network. So I could see LH transfering it's LX flight from ZRH to a LH flight from MUC.
BOM: Mumbai is save for LX because of a good O&D market and a lack of rights from Germany. I can even see LH transfering more European passengers vie ZRH while FRA-BOM will handle mainly north American transfer passengers.
DEL: LX had rights to DEL and I think they are still valid. On the other side LH has an 3x weekly flight MUC-DEL but not more rights for going daily. Maybe LX will begin again to fly ZRH-DEL while MUC will be halted.
Middle East: I don't see too many changes from the current LX map.
TLV: LH is looking for more frequencies, but can't get new rights. So they must be happy to get rigths ZRH-TLV.
JNB: Star partner SA has a daily ZRH-JNB. MUC has nothing to South Africa. I could see an arrangement between LX/LH and SA for an daily from each ZRH and MUC to JNB.
Rest of Afrika: NBO-DAR might be transferred to FRA because both destinations are not served by LH so far. I see it very likely that both destinations will not disappear, but I am not sure if LH or LX will serve them.
Flights to Cameroon and Malabo are more likely to be flown from ZRH. I even can see LX expnding again to more french speaking African destinations. A market where LH is very weak.
GRU: What does Hardiw say?
MIA: Under LH's umbrella LX will change it's American partner from AA to UA. So traffic to MIA will be effected. I don't think MIA will be oparated as a year round service in the future.
IAD: Has daily UA flight from ZRH. But maybe with the beginning of a codeshare between LX and UA LX will start it's own flight to IAD again.
NYC: No changes. All three flights from ZRH and GVA are save.
BOS: Is also a summer destination from MUC. Maybe they will make it year round from MUC and stop ZRH. Is there a big number of O&D between Switzerland and Massachusetts? Maybe an A319 is an option from ZRH.
YUL: I see it likely that LH will stop it's own flight from MUC and consolidate it in ZRH.
ORD: Will very likely be maintained. But a change from UA to AA as a codeshare partner is likely.
LAX: I see LX disappearing and MUC becoming a daily year round.
LX currently operates 5 x week to GRU with the A340. This is LX only destination in Latin America, and in my opinion it is save.
GRU is very profitable for LX, there is a significant business traffic ZRH-GRU (financial and pharmaceutical sector, mainly), with another good amount of O&D. Several times it has been reported that ZRH is alo doing well for onward connection, especially Brazil-Japan. [RG even applied for 5th freedom rights to operate GRU-ZRH-NRT, but Japanese authorities blocked the move].
Another important fact is that LX is the only airline flying between the Swiss and Brazilian market. TAM operated in ZRH for a brief period [I'm sure TAM now deeply regrets the withdrawal from ZRH]. If LX stops flying to GRU you can be sure that TAM or RG will fill the gap.
A possible merger LX and LH could also mean that RG would examine the possibility to start operating in ZRH with its own metal, or establish a codeshare with LX which could represent an increase of flights from 5 x week to daily.
N1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 29191 posts, RR: 73
Reply 3, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 6335 times:
Quoting JoFMO (Thread starter): LAX: I see LX disappearing and MUC becoming a daily year round.
LAX is probably LX's most popular trans-atlantic. The number 1 O&D airport and a major business and tourist hub is hard to ignore from any major city. Angelenos also like to connect at ZRH over other airports
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
Ka From Germany, joined Apr 2000, 686 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 6239 times:
Quoting JoFMO (Thread starter): HKG: LX flies 5x weekly from ZRH and LH 3x from MUC. I could see HKG being consolidated to a daily flight from ZRH. ZRH is a big financial centre as HKG while MUC is more about high tech. So I could see a good O&D market ZRH-HKG. But HKG could be also be consolidated in MUC.
Slight correction: LX already serves HKG 6x/week and increases in two weeks from now to daily operation. It is in fact then LX´ only daily operated A343-longhaul destination. Seems to be quite popular.
It is on my safe-list.
Atamdji From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 6197 times:
very good list, I agree with most of your assumptions, allthough I am not sure about the Middle East, there is potential for improvement looking at THR and DXB for example. (THR and DXB out of MUC arent brilliant performers yield wise )
The story leaking implies that Network planning for the combined airline will be centralised, since LH calls the shots and their main hub is FRA, any speculation must include FRA. Since LH has successfully poached intercon traffic from Swiss already, it is likely that Middle East-US traffic and India-US traffic continues to be channeled mainly thru FRA.
The question is where does LH place the exploratory, growth lanes and which hub do they use? The obvious answer would be, for Far East use ZRH(traffic rights - side thread: you can see why OS is really pissed off, right?), and for North America use MUC(to balance, dont want to annoy the airport LH used to gain major concessions from Fraport ), but I guess we need to wait and see how the feeders will be organised, any idea what Crossair/whatever will, look like in the new constellation?
HB-IWC From Indonesia, joined Sep 2000, 4650 posts, RR: 70
Reply 11, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 6100 times:
I believe that your list is far too conservative in terms of what will stay as longhaul operations at ZRH and GVA. If LX gets integrated in LH, I strongly believe that the best part of the longhaul flying will be given up, moved to other hubs or sourced out to Star Alliance carriers.
* North America - expect to retain New York flights, and United to be responsible for Chicago. LAX is out, as are BOS and MIA as year round destinations. I would expect YUL to be kept, but why consolidate it at ZRH? If they're gonna put it at a secondary hub, better put it at GVA.
* South America - GRU might be retained or alternatively outsourced to RG. However, does the Star Alliance wish to retain longhaul Brasil service from a secondary hub in the longterm? LIS seems to be the designated hub for this kind of service.
* Africa - contrary to what's stated above, Swiss has little left in Africa (LOS, ACC, ABJ, DKR, BKO, BJL, LBV, FIH recently closed), but it's important to note that Malabo, Douala, Yaounde, Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam are not on Lufthansa's route map, so they might be transfered. South Africa will be retained but only once daily, meaning either LX or SA will have to go. I expect SA to stay.
* Middle East - expect this to go altogether. LH is strong at CAI and will not retain ZRH flights in its backyard. Yields of ZRH-Saudi Arabia flights are questionable and RUH and JED are served from FRA. DXB might be kept, but the MCT tag is not profitable.
* Asia - depending on traffic rights situation, flights to Mumbai might be kept or moved, and dormant Delhi rights started up again from somewhere. I expect BKK and SIN to be out, because served by TG and SQ daily anyway. China must be seen within the broader picture of LH's growth plans over there. NRT is likely to stay or being transfered to NH.
All in all, I believe that the current LX longhaul flying, after outsourcing and moving certain destinations, will be cut into half. Lufthansa will however, seamlessly integrate the spare capacity into its own fleet. An important element in this discussion is how much of the European feeder traffic will be given up. There's a lot of smaller routes which I don't expect to survive. The more feeder traffic is cut, the fewer longhauls will be sustainable.
JoFMO From Germany, joined Jul 2004, 2211 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 6080 times:
Quoting Hawaijahaz (Reply 10): Hmmm...www.staralliance.com does not list SA as a member of their alliance. Just an innocent mistake. With the amount of code sharing that SA does with Star airlines, it's easy to make that mistake.
Go into the news section on and you will find the SA has asked for entering Star and was anonimously accepted to enter. Now we just wait how long they need to implement all requirements.
Quoting HB-IWC (Reply 11): I believe that your list is far too conservative in terms of what will stay as longhaul operations at ZRH and GVA. If LX gets integrated in LH, I strongly believe that the best part of the longhaul flying will be given up, moved to other hubs or sourced out to Star Alliance carriers
I agree that my list is conservative. Because I don't see LX degraded to nothing more than a feeder for MUC and FRA. It is clear that LH's No.1 hub will always be FRA. But I see MUC and ZRH nearly equal as No. 2a and No. 2b. MUC has the advantage that it is already an established hub for LH with even more European feeder flights than FRA. But FRA is still LH's intercontinental hub and there are no indications that FRA could loose it's status. MUC's role in contrast is mainly for European north-south traffic, but more and more intercontinental flights have been introduced over the time, due to a lack of slots in FRA.
But there are also arguments why ZRH could get nearly equal as much intercontinental flights than MUC. I value ZRH and it's surrounding area as a better O&D market than MUC. Munich is rich and prosperous in the German context, but Zurich is richer and has a bigger population base around it. So LH has to value the better feed in MUC with the better O&D in ZRH. I don't see it clear that they will always choose MUC over ZRH. So predict that in 5 years LH will operate not much less intercontinental from ZRH than from MUC.
A last aspect that speaks for ZRH are the bilateral traffic rights. There are several countries/destinations to where LH simply can't offer more flights from Germany so they will retain and even expand them from ZRH. And for most German non-hub cities it doesn't make any difference to hub in MUC or ZRH.
That was just to explain why my predictions are more optimistic for ZRH and LX under LH's regime.
HB-IWC From Indonesia, joined Sep 2000, 4650 posts, RR: 70
Reply 13, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 5801 times:
Quoting JoFMO (Reply 12): But I see MUC and ZRH nearly equal as No. 2a and No. 2b.
I can see your point, but I don't believe that Lufthansa is willing to maintain two secondary hubs at such close proximity.
You are right when you say that there's quite some affluent O&D traffic in the ZRH catchment area. Yet, this traffic is by far not large enough to sustain a longhaul network as extensive as the current LX-network, let alone the former Swissair one. So, the continuation of the longhaul network will always depend on the amount of -largerly- European feeder traffic. I don't believe that Lufthansa would be willing to duplicate the Munich feed at ZRH, as it would simply cost too much.
As such, I see ZRH keeping relatively few longhaul flights, many of them operated to other STAR hubs, some of them by Swiss/Lufthansa, others by STAR Alliance partners, but it is clear that the number of longhaul flights at Kloten will anything but increase.
I'm afraid that ZRH is, following BRU's lead, about to become the next intercontinental airport that is degrading into nothing more than a regional superhub if the Lufthansa-Swiss merger is indeed implemented.
ZRH From Switzerland, joined Nov 1999, 5601 posts, RR: 33
Reply 14, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 5552 times:
As I am always optimistic, I still hope for another solution than with LH. There are also rumors that the talks with BA and Oneworld are not totally blocked. For me it is horror vision to see LH have a monopoly in this region of Europe.
PM From Namibia, joined Feb 2005, 7293 posts, RR: 63
Reply 15, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5438 times:
Quoting JoFMO (Reply 12): But I see MUC and ZRH nearly equal as No. 2a and No. 2b. MUC has the advantage that it is already an established hub for LH with even more European feeder flights than FRA.
Another factor, of course, is the congestion of the airways into, out of and around ZRH. Here, its centrality counts against it. Am I not correct in remembering that ZRH has one of the worst records in Europe for punctuality?
Swissgabe From Switzerland, joined Jan 2000, 5266 posts, RR: 31
Reply 16, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5429 times:
In the news they just said, that Swiss will inform their main share holders tomorrow (Monday, 14th of March) in Zurich about a POSSIBLE deal with Lufthansa. The Swiss government has already been informed about those plans.
Smooth as silk - Royal Orchid Service /// Suid-Afrikaanse Lugdiens - Springbok
JoFMO From Germany, joined Jul 2004, 2211 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 5127 times:
And this report (Sonntagsblick) also reports that LH and LX have agreed that LX gets 3 (!!!) more long-haul planes, while LX have to give up 13 short-haul planes to a regional airlines for services from BSL.
So it's not all doom and gloom for Zurich and Switzerland. With 3 new planes we can even expect new routes or a least daily frequencies to all their current destinations.
Sq325 From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 1470 posts, RR: 7
Reply 19, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 5061 times:
Funny in a german newspaper i read that "in case" LX has to cut its longhaul fleet down to 14 AC! That makes sence instead of adding to more because swiss cont fleet will become smaller and the swiss market won't fill two more long haul acs when reducing the feeder traffic!
So i expect swiss to maintain some of their high yield routes which i don't know exactly but i would be really surprised to see more long haul ACs in LXs colours but you might expect a lot of LH A300-600 traffic in ZRH!
Buckieboy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 5035 times:
I don't see a takeover of LX by LH by any means certain, although what is certain is that something needs to be done with Swiss very soon.
I'm no expert, although I do travel to China every two months, normally with LH because my fares are 60% of LX's. IMO, the first thing LH should do is to expand their PVG service; as I've posted elsewhere there were overbookings of over 10% leaving PVG to FRA or MUC recently.
With the NGOs and international organisations in GVA, I cannot see the JFK route being dropped. Other than that, I don't have to many more opinions although I do agree with an earlier post that LX's African operations are unusually strong.
Horus From Egypt, joined Feb 2004, 5230 posts, RR: 57
Reply 21, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 4995 times:
Quoting HB-IWC (Reply 11): * Middle East - expect this to go altogether. LH is strong at CAI and will not retain ZRH flights in its backyard.
It's no secret (and confirmed by a fellow A.net member who works for LX) that LX's CAI flights do very well in the premium cabins (less so in Y) which is one of the main reasons they use the A343 on the route. Quitting this market and re-directing it via FRA won't go down well with F and C passengers who will be inconvenienced with extra flying time (flying north to go south), especially since there aren't any alternative airlines that fly direct (MS terminated ZRH back in April 2004). Also a significant proportion of CAI passengers make onward connections out of ZRH on LX's transatlantic flights so its also a good feeder service. So I can't see them quitting 'lucrative' CAI...at least I hope not.
As for LH and CAI, this is an extract from interesting article regarding Fraport winning the contract to manage and run CAI last month.
"Fraport – which is owned by various levels of German government – could conceivably use its new position to open up Egypt to more Lufthansa flights."
ZRH From Switzerland, joined Nov 1999, 5601 posts, RR: 33
Reply 24, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4802 times:
Quoting ZRH (Reply 4): It is not clear at all. These are only rumors by the medias. The LH and the LX management each denied.
Quoting JoFMO (Reply 5): I think they didn't comment, what is a usual business behaviour.
JoFMO, I apologize. You were right, I was wrong. Interestingly all press releases say that LH would keep the long-haul operations out of Zurich as they are now. But who believes that? Somebody even said that there is a possibility to increase the number of long-haul aircrafts out of Zurich from 18 to 20. http://www.nzz.ch/2005/03/13/wi/articleCNPRF.html (only in German)
: I believe that Lufthansa has so far been forced to make certain concessions pertaining to the continued sustenance of the ZRH hub. This point was obvi
: @HB-IWC I would include the Middle East routes and NRT in your third category. Regarding LAX and NBO-DAR I agree with you. They are questionable. But
: That is only partly true. Some of the routes could be taken over by Star Alliance partners. Here's the list of all LX's current longhaul routes: ZRH-
: This is an interesting route. As I know is there quite a lot O and D traffic. In the better times of Swissair, they even flew twice a day to BOS. Wit
: BOS has long been served by Swissair as a B743 full pax destination, with the flights continuing to Philadelphia for a while. Loads and yields were a
: Which perfectly explains why IAD was dropped by Swiss, while MIA has been kept While I don't know how Swiss performs, MIA is a great performing marke