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United Opposes A Proposed Lufthansa Flight To DEN  
User currently offlineDIA77 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 711 posts, RR: 6
Posted (15 years 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 2594 times:

Man I hate United!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Webb: United blocking Lufthansa
By Greg Griffin
Denver Post Business Writer

Aug. 31, 2000 - United Airlines is trying to block Lufthansa German Airlines from starting daily nonstop flights from Denver to Frankfurt, Mayor Wellington Webb said Wednesday.

In a letter to United chairman and chief executive James Goodwin, Webb pressed the Chicagobased carrier to support Lufthansa, which is expected to decide next week whether Denver or Phoenix gets the service. Webb referred to a meeting in which United route planners allegedly said they would not honor their code-sharing agreement for Lufthansa travelers coming to Denver.

As code-share partners, United and Lufthansa allow passengers to connect seamlessly from one airline to the other and to plan trips as if the carriers were one. The arrangements are common among international airlines that don't compete on many routes.

"I am concerned that United management has told Lufthansa that they would neither support their nonstop service entry into the Denver market from Frankfurt nor work with them if they went ahead," Webb wrote.

"Since Lufthansa is your codeshare partner, we assumed you would welcome them into this market since you know how important it is for Denver International Airport to have nonstop service to Frankfurt."

Lufthansa officials have said the code-share arrangement is critical to making the service profitable in Denver, where United controls 70 percent of passenger traffic.

The conversation Webb refers to in the letter occurred two weeks ago, and Webb heard about it from someone who was there, city officials said Wednesday.

United spokesman Kurt Ebenhoch said the airline had not received Webb's letter by the end of business Wednesday and could not comment. Officials for Lufthansa could not be reached.

In his letter, Webb said United president Rono Dutta had committed to sharing passenger ticket counter space with Lufthansa, which the German carrier needs to operate the flights.

"This arrangement must be in place so that air service will begin in 2001," Webb said.

The city of Denver has been trying for several years to secure daily nonstop service from DIA to Frankfurt, one of Europe's principal business and air-transportation hubs. Lufthansa and United both expressed interest in the route, and the U.S. carrier has said it would consider starting the service on a seasonal basis before committing to year-round daily flights.

Efforts to secure the service, however, were hampered by Denver's thin air, which makes it difficult for big, trans-Atlantic aircraft to lift off on hot summer days. The city resolved that problem to Lufthansa's satisfaction this year by making runway modifications, but United remains undecided.

The Frankfurt route is No. 1 on Webb's list of future international routes for DIA. The city's airport would serve as a gateway to Europe for Denver travelers, Denver officials say. Denver would play a similar role for German visitors traveling to the Rocky Mountain region.

Webb may be feeling additional pressure from the fact that the city recently opened a trade office in Frankfurt, banking on direct flights in the near future.

The only current direct service to Europe is British Airways' daily flights to London's Gatwick Airport. United said in May it will begin competing service to Gatwick if its merger with US Airways is approved.

21 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offline747firstclass From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (15 years 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 2456 times:

What is the problem with United? Why wont they co-operate with LH? My hunch is that in the end they will cooperate. The city may put too much heat on UAL no to cooperate. As UA has such a major presence there at some point in time they may want something from the city. The city will hopefully remember this. I predict that in the end UAL will co-operate.

User currently offlineTrvlr From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 4430 posts, RR: 19
Reply 2, posted (15 years 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 2429 times:

It owuld be dumb not to cooperate with LH. THe only reason I could see why UA does not want to is that maybe they themselves want to launch a flight to Europe from DIA. Because of UA's huge presence at DIA, there would be no shortage of feeder traffic and the DIA flight could easily be used to handle overflow from LAX or SFO, because of the many flights there from Denver. All in all, it would be a great boost for UA.

At least now we know that LH will make a decision in just one week. I am hoping both cities get the service.

Aaron G.

User currently offlineB737-700 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (15 years 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 2368 times:


What's the point of this ?? Are they nuts ???


User currently offlineIlyushin96M From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 2609 posts, RR: 12
Reply 4, posted (15 years 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 2367 times:

UA is probably jealous/upset that an airline having PUNCTUAL flights would service Denver. It will make them look worse than they are.

Seriously, what a ridiculous thing. UA had better watch themselves; if they piss of LH too badly, they may end up having trouble getting their OWN flights to Germany, or lose cooperation on those they have.

User currently offlineAFa340-300E From France, joined May 1999, 2084 posts, RR: 25
Reply 5, posted (15 years 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 2355 times:


Maybe United Airlines has just changed of strategy (which was so far to turn DIA into a true international hub rather than domestic) and they'd prefer LH-UA to focus on IAD and ORD instead?

I have to say I can't any very good reason why United Airlines would prevnt Lufthansa from flying there. It would be profitable for both!

Best regards,
Alain Mengus

User currently offlineVlbrowser From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 38 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (15 years 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 2343 times:


User currently offlineTWAneedsNOhelp From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (15 years 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 2316 times:

This is so stupid I have trouble even believing the story. I can't understand UA's motive here. UA and LH should be best friends. The only thing going on here is perhaps LH made the decision to consider DEN without consulting UA and perhaps Goodwin and company are upset at the proposed snub. Otherwhise I completely don't understand, this is what alliances are for, so LH passengers to DEN can then transfer to UA's DEN domestic network. Than UA can start their own international service and sell FRA flights as their own, quickly getting a large network. I'm upset at Goodwin, hes a moron. first he tries to take over the world with the stupid US purchase than he gets into this disasterous labor dispute with the pilots now this irrational ridiculousness. whats wrong with this guy. at least greenwald was half decent.

User currently offlineBlink182 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 5493 posts, RR: 14
Reply 8, posted (15 years 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 2305 times:

In a way,I can see why United would be upset,since UA has dominated DEN,they should get the service and LH code-share on it,and Phoenix could get the lufthansa flight and have united codeshare on it,so I would have to go in favor of United.

Give me a break, I created this username when I was a kid...
User currently offlineCX747 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 4492 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (15 years 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 2300 times:

Have we thought about the possibility that United would like to fly this route themselves? While Lufthansa's passengers would help United's services out of DEN, it would be much nicer if United could get all of the profit by operating the route with one of their own 747-400s or 777-200ERs. Maybe United wants to be able to operate the route along with Lufthansa?

"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
User currently offlineBicoastal From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (15 years 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 2294 times:

Look at it from United's perspective. Most likely they need Denver's passengers to feed and fill their flights to Munich and Frankfurt from Chicago and Washington Dulles. If Lufthansa takes 250 people per day off United's flights, that begins to hurt.

Airlines aren't around strictly for the convenience of airline enthusiasts and their dreams. They need to make money for their shareholders (like me!).


User currently offlineLH423 From Canada, joined Jul 1999, 6501 posts, RR: 53
Reply 11, posted (15 years 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 2283 times:

I have thought that United may be considering starting a DEN-FRA route themselves, but they should stop being assholes, and either admit that they would like the route themselves, or let Lufthansa do it. At the present moment, UA has shown little interest in a DEN-FRA route, and are making themselves look like greedy bastards, by not allowing their Star Alliance ally into one of their hubs. Next, it'll be UA blocking SAS from an Oslo route, or British Midlands proposed trans-Atlantic flights. UA needs to wake up and realise that this is part of being in an alliance, and that this ould turn around and bit them in the ass, by Lufthansa not allowing them code-sharing privileges on future routes.


« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
User currently offlineC172sb From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (15 years 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 2267 times:

United doesn't want competition to europe, that is why they are trying to block it. United's plan is to take one of the London slots from US Airways after the merger and transfer it to DEN. United realizes how much traffic BA is getting with their flight but UA doesn't have a slot in London at the moment.

For expensive fares out of Denver, always book your flights on UNITEDLESS........

User currently offlineRafabozzolla From Brazil, joined Apr 2000, 1314 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (15 years 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2258 times:

I think what United really wants is rights to London so it could profit not only from its hub traffic in Denver, but also from a larger origin-destination traffic to the UK plus the traffic generated by British Midland, now a Star carrier.

User currently offlineDIA77 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 711 posts, RR: 6
Reply 14, posted (15 years 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2246 times:

I'm not sure if British Midland has changed any of their prior plans, but Denver was one of the cities that they filed to start service to. I wonder if UA would block that too. UA has always talked about starting service to both LHR and FRA from Denver but it is all talk. UA has no class.

User currently offlineJohnboy From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 2638 posts, RR: 7
Reply 15, posted (15 years 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2244 times:

I don't buy the feeder theory, i.e. United needs feed from DEN to fill flights from other cities. This is what we have HUBS for, to make it easier for passengers to travel making only one stop. Chicago and Washington have long had LH flights (SFO too), and those areas have the population and business to support flights even without hub status.

Denver is supposedly UA's second largest hub, why shouldn't they have nonstop flights to European destinations? Denver must like this UA abuse. Life goes on, believe it or not, UA (while you're waiting for your merger to happen). I say, more power to Lufthansa.

User currently offlineSebastian From Argentina, joined Oct 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (15 years 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 2242 times:

If you ask me the folks in DEN should be happy for all the service they have, from ANY airline!
With a city population less than others with any hub airline they should feel lucky as far as I'm concerned.
Look at IND. More people living there and you can't even get a LAX or SFO non-stop. I say quit your griping and live with what you got. I'd settle for half the operations.

User currently offlineTWAneedsNOhelp From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (15 years 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 2225 times:

Are you high on crack? United needs Denver a lot more than Denver needs United. For one thing, while having hubs is a nice prestige, they're have been studies showing that the increased business investment in a hub city is marginal. If it isn't UAL at DEN, its someone else. UA got their operation there after running CO out of town in the 80s, now its there turn to be responicble corporate citizens. Shutting other airline's out of a market is hardly grounds for being a responsible corporate citizen.


User currently offlineDIA77 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 711 posts, RR: 6
Reply 18, posted (15 years 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 2226 times:

I have no clue where you get your figures from. Obviously you aren't looking at metropolitan populations. Denver is double the size of Indianapolis. Denver has an estimated (2000 est.) population of just under 2.5 million. Indy is nowhere even close to 2 million. I have the unfortunate luck to live in Indy and I can tell you that it is just a fraction of the size of Denver. If you start looking at city population without looking at the metro area, Atlanta becomes smaller than El Paso. Denver deserves at least 1 hub.

User currently offlineSean1234 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 411 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (15 years 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 2205 times:

Is Lufthansa in the Star Alliance with United?

User currently offlineUALfa@jfk From United States of America, joined May 2000, 311 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (15 years 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 2194 times:

Personally, I wouldn't mind if UA withdrew from Denver altogether. No service at all to that place would suit me just fine.

Nevermind the Lufthansa issue. --I'm rootin' for Frontier (or anyone else) to somehow take over DIA's dreaded dominance.


User currently offlineDIA77 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 711 posts, RR: 6
Reply 21, posted (15 years 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2190 times:

Here is a follow up article to the one that I posted earlier. This one is from the Denver Rocky Mountain News.


Airlines back Frankfurt service
Responding to Webb, United, Lufthansa voice commitment to flights from DIA

By Heather Draper
Denver Rocky Mountain News Staff Writer

United Airlines and Lufthansa German Airlines on Thursday said they're both committed to providing "expanded trans-Atlantic air service to the people of Colorado."

The airlines were responding to a letter Denver Mayor Wellington Webb sent to United Airlines Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim Goodwin Wednesday, urging United to support Lufthansa's efforts to bring a direct Frankfurt flight to Denver International Airport.

"Working cooperatively, both United and Lufthansa are committed to developing a plan to offer Denver-Frankfurt service in a way that successfully meets the needs of our mutual customers and our companies," the airlines said in a joint statement.

Webb Thursday downplayed his letter to United as just a reminder that the company had said it would support Lufthansa's efforts to come to Denver. But he was adamant that Denver needs a direct Frankfurt flight.

"We need a direct flight to Frankfurt without going through Washington, D.C., or Chicago," Webb said during a press conference. "If United can't provide it, Lufthansa should provide it."

He said he sent a letter to United because he had heard during his trip to Africa last week that United was trying to thwart Denver's efforts to woo Lufthansa.

"My letter was to say that United is on record saying they support Lufthansa and if they're publicly saying they're supportive of Lufthansa, we're appreciative of that," Webb said.

His letter to Goodwin, however, wasn't as subtle.

"I am concerned that United management has told Lufthansa that they would neither support their non-stop service entry into the Denver market nor work with them if they went ahead," Webb wrote. "Since Lufthansa is your code-share partner, we assumed you would welcome them into this market since you know how important it is for Denver International Airport to have non-stop service to Frankfurt."

Lufthansa said in July that Denver and Phoenix are the leading contenders for its new Western U.S. gateway. The airline hopes to begin daily nonstop service to Frankfurt in late March 2001.

The criticism over United's near-monopoly at DIA has increased significantly this summer because labor problems have caused thousands of flight delays and cancellations.

Contact Heather Draper at (303) 892-5456 or draperh@RockyMountainNews.com.

September 1, 2000

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