Adicool From Netherlands, joined Apr 2007, 307 posts, RR: 0 Posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 4231 times:
I heard some rumors that LH is planning to install at least one new hub - DUS.
Does anyone know something about this? I mean, the airport is Germany's third biggest one and I could definitely see LH improving their presence there (especially since it serves at the main gate-away for the whole Rhine-Ruhr-Area, home to more than 10million people). It would fit well into LH new plans to fly trans-atlantic from smaller airports and not just FRA and MUC. LH already operate DUS-EWR (operated by PrivatAir) and there are some rumored routes (DUS-YYZ if not mistaken). So, could DUS become more than just a Focus City for LH? The airport's main segment are leisure destinations hence low yields, so I just wonder if this will be practical and bring enough profit for LH to do so...
Also, I heard rumors that the Berlin yet to be built airport BBI is becoming LH's gate away for East Europe and Central and Far East...any scoop on that one? I wonder how this airport will do. I'm always stunned by the low presence of LH in Berlin and that they don't offer any continental flights (I know that LH served TXL-JFK, but dropped it shortly after 9/11...anyone knows why?). Will BBI change the situation (I know, people will say Frankfurt is Germany's financial center and the airlines go where the money is, but still, we are talking about Berlin, Germany's biggest city and metropolitan area ((4,7 million)) and is also the bloody capital; there must be some, at least political based, demand for transatlantic flights...) and can anyone name the reasons why Berlin never worked well for LH? Are the yields so low that continental flights wouldn't bring any profit?
Further more, there was a lot talk about MAD leaving AMS and FRA behind and becoming the third biggest airport in Europe - after LHR and CDG. Could anyone give some details about the further expansion of FRA and MUC? I know they are trying to build another runway in FRA but are faced with some serious problems (i.d. citizens' initiative). Is FRA at it's capacity limits and do you think that LH will start serving even more destinations ex MUC. I could see MUC becoming one of the top 15 airports in the world in the next 10 years maybe...definitly leaving LGW behind within the next 3-4 years I'd say.
Joost From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 3228 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 4205 times:
Quoting Adicool (Thread starter): So, could DUS become more than just a Focus City for LH? The airport's main segment are leisure destinations hence low yields, so I just wonder if this will be practical and bring enough profit for LH to do so...
Depends on how you define hub or focus city. DUS already is a base for aircraft, and for a handful of BetterFly European P2P destinations. Rumours about adding transatlantic services are in the news quite often, including YYZ, MIA, EWR.
I do not expect them to develop a hub like FRA or MUC, with alligned schedules, waves to optimize the number of connections, etc. However, as facilities allow it, I would not be surprised to see some coincidence hubbing at DUS: if the schedules of individual flights (transatlantic vs europe) allow a connection, there is no reason not to offer it, as transfer facilities are already there. However, I do not expect them at all to design a complete hub operation at DUS - for now they have plenty of opportunities from MUC.
SailorOrion From Germany, joined Feb 2001, 2058 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 4147 times:
LH will not build any more hubs. An intercontinental flight here and an intercontinental flight there, that's it. Building and maintaining a hub costs billions.
Both FRA and MUC have plans for an additional runway; as soon as both are operational (in 2011/2012), LH has two large scale hubs with somewhat decent capacity.
Also, MUC will possibly pass LGW in ranking in 2008 already, and offers more European flights than FRA (maybe than any other airport in Europe already?)
And yes, apparently yields to and from Berlin are horribly low. Look at the city: High unemployment, very very low GDP per capita, poor metro area. Not the place to start a hub at. LH didn't even manage to run TXL-LHR with a profit ...
I think that if LH will start inter-continental services again, the most likly destinations will be JFK, YYZ, ORD, IAD and maybe some destinations in Asia (NRT maybe, and DEL..oh, and finally TLV if they get the rights!)
LHFADUS From Germany, joined Apr 2007, 98 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 4 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 3808 times:
I have reliable sources saying that LH will go intercontinental from DUS starting from mid 2008. DUS however is not intended as LH's hub no.3. LH is simply trying to keep up with fast growing competition, for example EK, LT and some U.S. carriers. There are quite a few destinations at stake, most of them already named by Adicool. This whole project is internally named "Projekt NRW".
I wouldn't believe what I just wrote, if I just read it in the papers. But it was told to us by a higher ranked colleauge whom I should believe more than the press.
L1011Lover From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 1027 posts, RR: 15
Reply 5, posted (8 years 4 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 3773 times:
Quoting SailorOrion (Reply 2): Also, MUC will possibly pass LGW in ranking in 2008 already, and offers more European flights than FRA
Well, I don´t know exactly about the other airlines, but measured by LH and Star Alliance partners FRA is still slightly bigger than MUC in European flights.
The number of European cities served from both airports by LH and Star Alliance partners is about the same, roughly 100 cities are served from both hubs. However FRA gets the bigger a/c and more daily flights to almost every destination. MUC offers a lot more City Line service plus service by carriers such as Augsburg Airways and Air Dolomiti, especially on those routes served exclusively from MUC.
Adicool From Netherlands, joined Apr 2007, 307 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 4 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3738 times:
What will DUS become then? A Focus City? And how many long-haul flights will be served but LH? I don't imagine too many, mainly to destinations in North America and maybe Asia...
Anyways, I'm really excited about BBI. Anyone with some inside scoop concerning this one? I also heard BBI is gonna be a hub (not necessarily LHs though) for East Asia...
Logos From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 806 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (8 years 4 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3721 times:
Quoting Adicool (Thread starter): (I know that LH served TXL-JFK, but dropped it shortly after 9/11...anyone knows why?).
Actually, it was TXL-IAD operated by an A340 and set up to pick up UA connecting traffic on the the USA side along with being a "capital to capital" route. I took it once as part of a TXL-IAD-DFW-IAD-TXL route when I lived in Berlin. It died as part of the general cutting back to the bare bones after 9/11. It didn't have enough time to mature and develop a following beforehand and afterward was not a time to build a route. LH just had to stop the bleeding. Delta ran JFK-TXL for a while in the 90s (ending, I believe, in 1997) that has recently resumed along with CO's EWR-TXL service that are providing the USA connecting service that the TXL-IAD was attempting to serve.
With regard to DUS, I routed JFK-DUS-TXL several times before moving to Berlin as it was always easier to get seats on the JFK-DUS route. If I recall correctly, LH ran JFK-DUS 2x daily at one point. There was a fire at DUS in the spring of 1996 and the entire terminal could not be used for some time and that was one of the times I transited the airport. At that point we were bussed to an area off airport to clear customs and then bussed back to a converted hangar to wait for our connecting flight to Berlin. It's always mystified me a bit that LH cut back their operations there given the potential of the Ruhrgebeit, but I'm guessing they have a better handle on what constitutes profitable routes than do I.
LIPZ From Austria, joined Jun 2006, 1075 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 4 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3715 times:
My guess is that DUS will become the 3rd (mini) hub of Lufthansa in the future focusing mainly on O/D traffic from Rhine-Ruhr-Area. Anyway some connections are available as well since LH provides a lot of european flights out of DUS (also through its regional subsidiaries) :
PHX Flyer From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 676 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (8 years 4 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 3651 times:
Lufthansa officials have merely indicated that beginning in 2008 they may start operating long haul flights that do not originate from one of the two hub airports, FRA and MUC. Several airports were named as potential candidates, such as Hamburg, Stuttgart, Dusseldorf, and, IIRC, even Hanover (!) was mentioned. There was absolutely no indication as to whether any plans had been finalized yet nor if the above list was exclusive. Being somewhat familiar with German aviation, I feel inclined to predict that it is not. As a matter of fact, just today Lufthansa hinted at the possibility of intercontinental flights out of BBI, Berlin's future airport, where the fragmented air traffic of all three fields will be consolidated in 2011. So, that brings the above list to five candidates already. I believe that a sixth candidate, the name of which has not even been dropped yet, may win the race, and that would be Cologne, just 30 miles south of DUS, near the southern border of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the most populous one in Germany.
I firmly believe that Lufthansa must pay more attention to the Rhine-Ruhr area (named after the two largest rivers in that area). Prior to German reunification it used to be that one third (!) of the passenger volume at FRA originated in North Rhine-Westphalia. Since then the relative numbers may have changed a little due to the additional traffic from eastern Germany. However, concerning the Rhine-Ruhr area, Lufthansa must be feeling the pinch from other airlines that have launched a substantial number of direct flights in that region, notably Delta, Northwest, LTU and Air Berlin in DUS, and Continental, Germanwings and TUIfly (formerly Hapag Lloyd). In addition there is Easyjet in Dortmund, whereas the impact from Ryanair in Weeze is probaly negligible. So on the one side, the air is getting thinner for Lufthansa in there biggest O&D market, and on top of that, Lufthansa has no ability to grow at their home base in FRA because of the limited availability of slots. A new runway has been planned for the past eight years, but two years after the originally planned opening date, construction has not even begun. God only knows, if it ever will. There doesn't seem to be an end in sight to all the legal battles. And if it does, it will come with a hefty price to pay: a pretty much complete curfew affecting flights between 11 pm and 5 am. This would potentially cripple Lufthansa's all-cargo ops at FRA.
The question is how should Lufthansa go about it. I do not believe that any single airport in Germany has the potential to generate enough passenger volume for for scheduled long-haul flights with reasonable frequency without a considerable amount of connecting traffic. So that's something that has to be factored in, and that's were the problem lies with DUS: while Lufthansa has a sizable operation there, the flights are not coordinated to come and go in banks, which would make it rather difficult for the scheduling department to generate a good number of possible connections with acceptable transfer times. And because of the slot constraints at DUS, which also operates near capacity, Lufthansa will not be able to tweak the schedule for optimization.
Again, what should they do? Usually, airline managers are very predictable. I predict that Lufthansa will do the same as they did before in 1989, that is recreate the West Hub ("Drehkreuz West") in Cologne. Back in 1989, the situation was quite similar: LH had run out of space at FRA and DUS (which was still a single runway operation at that time), and had to look for a new growth opportunity, and came across that almost dormant airport just 10 miles away from their corporate headquarters, in a city almost twice the size of DUS or FRA, (and the second biggest airport in pre-war Germany).
So they brought in a number of regional aircraft, some new main line flights and new transatlantic flights to Newark and DC (I believe it was Baltimore, actually. Correct me if I'm wrong). It had a very successful start, and then traffic started to dwindle in the wake of the PA103 bombing and the war in the Gulf, which set off a world aviation crisis. Then Lufthansa retracted to FRA once again ... high tide ... low tide. What happened then was that Munich's new airport opened, and Lufthansa could simply not afford not to utilize that brand-new, state-of-the-art facility. Else, someone else would have jumped on the opportunity, and keeping competitors at bay or eliminating them altogether has always been Lufthansa's supreme directive. Not unlike American Airlines, I might say (and a nasty derogative comes to my mind, when I think about comparing the two ... - nuff said).
So now that Lufthansa got Munich going, FRA and DUS are full again, they may very well pick up, where they left off in the early nineties - in Cologne. And Cologne is much better suited now for connecting traffic than it was in 1989. It's original design was similar to MCI, with decentralized security check lines at each individual gate, and next to nil in terms of amenities airside. It's purpose was basically to serve local traffic only. So it wasn't a surprise that the west hub did not catch on immediately. However things have changed now. The airport has seen dramatic expansion and makeover in recent years, designed by Helmut Jahn, the famed designer of my beloved United terminal in Chi-town. Security is now centralized, and an array of new shops and restaurants have been added airside, so that passengers won't get bored while waiting for a connecting flight. On top of that, CGN now has a direct high-speed rail link, connecting the airport with FRA in less than an hour. Overall, the railroad station has significantly increased the catchment area of CGN. And the improvements have not gone unnoticed. In recent years CGN has been the fastest growing major airport in Germany. In 1989, when LH first attempted to install a mini-hub there the annual passenger numbers were in the range of three million. This year, it's going to be close to eleven million, and no end of the growth spurt inside. And note that this is all O&D traffic, since none of the major airlines there offer connections via CGN.
So, there are a number of reasons for Lufthansa to once again consider Cologne. But there is also some indication that it may actually happen, and that is a flurry of rather unexpected construction activity at CGN, all surrounding Lufthansa's operations there: Lufthansa is in the middle of relocating to the C-satellite of Terminal One, basically trading spaces with its low-cost affiliate Germanwings. They are sinking two million euros in two new space age style lounges, one each for business and first and to modernize the gate area (which had just been redone five years ago, when Germanwings moved in there). Meanwhile, the airport authority is working on doubling the number of security check lanes this there from ten to twenty-two. Does Continental even have that many at Newark?). They are also expanding the gate area in the C-satellite, which will result in a seamless airside connection to the widebody gates at Terminal Two. When this construction is complete, Lufthansa will have as much, if not more gate space in CGN than in DUS. On top of that, construction is about to begin for a new 110,000 sq ft freight hall. One thing I can assure you that the CGN airport managers are rather frugal. They would not spend this money so soon, if they did not see the immediate need for a significant increase in terminal capacity, so something's brewing there. It cannot be explained with the steady, predictable growth generated by Germanwings and TUIfly.
What I see as a plausible scenario is a significant increase mostly in LH regional jet operations, with a focus on routes that are to thin for the high-capacity jets of LCCs, which typically seat 150-180. There have been a number of routes that were launched by the CGN-based LCCs and failed after a short time, however they should easily generate a sufficient number of passengers to operate an RJ profitably. I'm thinking of various routes to Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Italy, and France. Nuremberg and Geneva recently dropped off Cologne's radar screen, when the independent regional airline EAE ceased operations, so these two cities would also be good candidates. At this point in time CGN has the advantage of not being slot-restricted at all. I'd say that the runways are probably at 30% of their actual capacity at best, so all these flights could be coordinated in banks to provide perfect connections to a handful of long-haul destinations. I'm not sure, if Lufthansa would be well-advised to go head on head against Continental on a CGN-NYC route. I'd like to see them connect the area with the Star hubs in North America, plus maybe Los Angeles and possibly the Star hubs in Asia. That would be a good start. And it would work. At least as good as in DUS, probably better. Continental operated with an average LF of almost 90% in June. That's evidence that CGN does have the potential to support this type of routes. Besides, Lufthansa can haul a maximum amount of belly cargo from CGN, whereas in DUS they would be dealing with weight penalties all the time because of the shorter runway there. CGN has the potential to grow into a satellite hub for Frankfurt. Passengers could even be shuffled back and forth quickly and efficiently in case of missed connections. If this pans out, Lufthansa might even be tempted to forego the additional runway and avoid the looming curfew. With the very limited growth opportunities in DUS, this would not even be an option. And chances are that in the meantime someone else would jump on the opportunity in CGN. We'll see. Time will tell.
Your impressive summary on CGN very well makes sense !
Quoting Adicool (Reply 3): Here's a new articel basically saying that after the inaugration of BBI, LH will start some long-haul services from the German capital...
This will be at least 4 years in the future. While it might make sense to plann ahead for an airline, LH also has to live with (or go ahead against) competition on longhaul routes out of Germany now, hence action within the next 12 months should be the goal.
Quoting Adicool (Reply 6): I also heard BBI is gonna be a hub (not necessarily LHs though) for East Asia...
Think about AB/LT. They will have to move from TXL to "BBI" ...
Quoting LHFADUS (Reply 4): I have reliable sources saying that LH will go intercontinental from DUS starting from mid 2008. DUS however is not intended as LH's hub no.3. LH is simply trying to keep up with fast growing competition, for example EK, LT and some U.S. carriers. There are quite a few destinations at stake, most of them already named by Adicool. This whole project is internally named "Projekt NRW".
Thanks for the insight.
Re. "CGN vs. DUS": Sadly I would not be able to benefit from LH's expansion at either airport, as none of them is connected to HAJ - and I disregard using the train to DUS or CGN.
Quoting PHX Flyer (Reply 9): Several airports were named as potential candidates, such as Hamburg, Stuttgart, Dusseldorf, and, IIRC, even Hanover (!) was mentioned.
HAJ would be well able to provide runway capacity while pax surely would be limited to O&D only. Terminal layout at HAJ is not aimed at transfer pax and transfer luggage. While this could be accomodated for a few pax, it would not be possible for bigger numbers. And, at present, *A only links their hubs to HAJ (except STR), so who would route like JFK-HAJ-FRA when he can fly JFK-FRA nonstop ? Deep sicounts to attract pax would hurt yield too much, IMO.
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
TriStar500 From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 4706 posts, RR: 39
Reply 11, posted (8 years 4 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3545 times:
There will be no third Lufthansa Hub in Germany - the group has already excellent bases in FRA, MUC and ZRH. We will see, however, the introduction of more attractive fares (Betterfly being one of these models) and new short- and longhaul routes expecially from Berlin adn DUS in order to syphon off traffic from their only lmeaningful German competitor Air Berlin.
Due to the slot restrictions at DUS, any meaningful expansion of LH at this airport is out of the question anyways.
Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
PanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 10511 posts, RR: 32
Reply 12, posted (8 years 4 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3515 times:
Well, DUS is de-facto a mini hub already. LH has a transfer desk inside the A section and depending on the routing, you my get transfers at DUS offered by the system. That is a simple way to make efficient use of thes seats available without officially appointing DUS a hub.
That may change, if long haul routes are added, but even then DUS will remain a tertiary hub.
FRA will stay at least at it's present level, there is apolitical danger at thge moment, if the state elections in Febriuary go wroing., that will mean the end of the expansion,no 4th runway will happen and I dare not to draw up a szenario now. But it will change the landscape in Hesse and FRA will eventually be downgraded in favour of MUC, where the # 3 runway will happen. If things turn out right and the landing runway is build and ready in 2011/12, FRA will "explode" to 70 milion pax p.a. in a very short period.
LEJ is on a good way to become an important cargo hub,BBI in Berlin - remains to be seen how high yield traffic developes there. Right now, BER is the poor house in Germany.
Besides that, LH makes use of the excellent situation that germany is poly centric, unless the UK where BA is rather an "Air London". At least LH does not neglect the important centres like HAM, DUS,STR plus some others, all of which have direct routes to European cities where traffic supports such routes.