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Lufthansa's Presence In Berlin  
User currently offlinegilesdavies From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 2999 posts, RR: 2
Posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 9228 times:

I was curious to know why Lufthansa has such a lack of a presence in Berlin?

I am looking at this from an outsider looking in (with limited knowledge), but it just seems strange that Germany's largest city with a population of over 3.5 million and the nations capital is only served by a handful of destinations from Germany's own flag carrier...

The airline seems to have missed a trick, with allowing numerous low cost carriers to come in and serve the city to multiple destinations across Europe and the other major legacy carriers of Europe offering good feeds to their respective hubs... They had the opportunity with a new airport being built which is due to open next summer and to have possibly created a hub.

Air Berlin seems to be doing a great job filling the gap, to numerous destinations across Europe and a handful of long haul routes and with them becoming a member of One World in 2012, this is going to secure a bit of a fortress for them at the new airport.

Is this not a missed opportunity Lufthansa?

35 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinewdleiser From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 961 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 8984 times:

Because they can easily send everyone through Frankfurt, Munich, or Zurich to just about anyplace in the world without having to invest in new infrastructure and new overhead costs. There is also Dusseldorf to an extent.

User currently offlineSandroZRH From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 3424 posts, RR: 50
Reply 2, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 8951 times:

I seem to remember somebody saying that Berlin is notoriously low-yielding, and when putting a little thought into it, it makes sense. As far as my frankly limited knowledge can tell, Berlin is neither a large financial nor a large industry/technology center. Germany's financial center is clearly FRA, while large industry/technology centers can be found around DUS in the Ruhrgebiet, aswell as in the south around STR and MUC. Berlin on the other hand is strong in the tourist sector, but as most on this board will know, tourists are low-yielding. This will also explain why LCCs haven't found it hard to establish themselves at Berlin. I've always been amazed that a large global city like Berlin can only generate a rather limited amount of airline passengers, even with currently two civil airports, but then again, I just pretty much explained myself why this is the case.

I think it's no coincidence thats LH's main hubs are at FRA and MUC, with a smaller focus city at DUS.


User currently offlinejonathanxxxx From United States of America, joined Feb 2011, 673 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 8869 times:

Quoting SandroZRH (Reply 2):
seem to remember somebody saying that Berlin is notoriously low-yielding, and when putting a little thought into it, it makes sense. As far as my frankly limited knowledge can tell, Berlin is neither a large financial nor a large industry/technology center. Germany's financial center is clearly FRA,

  
Completely Agree.

For example, Jacksonville is Florida's largest city. The thing is, even though it's population is large the industry and business ties are not that large. Obviously the main financial center would be Miami/Ft. Lauderdale. Even TPA and RSW have a bit more business ties and industry than Jacksonville, yet JAX can't support flights to Europe yet a city like RSW can afford flights to DUS. It really all depends on the business ties the city has with other places.


User currently offlineSemaex From Germany, joined Nov 2009, 823 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 8731 times:

Quoting SandroZRH (Reply 2):

That is exactly the reason, and you pointed out the circumstances quite well.

Obviously LH could step in to represent themselves in the capital of one of the wealthiest nations of the world, but that would not be a good business case. Any long-haul flight with LH ex BER would bleed money surely, as the cost-base of LH is simply a lot higher than that of AB (and even they can hardly make money on any route). BER is really a hard market to get to for any major. All may want, but the cake is for the LCCs. As pointed out, Berlin is a tourist-heavy and thus low-yielding destination.

But then again why would LH take over any long-haul ex BER anyways? The amount of traffic on LH metal between BER and FRA is fantastic, something like 120 flights per week. As for European traffic: Everyone is invited to go with the carrier of the respective country you are going to, as I understand they have sufficient flights to BER.



// You know you're an aviation enthusiast when you look at your neighbour's cars and think about fleet commonality.
User currently offlineluckyone From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 2161 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 8672 times:

Quoting SandroZRH (Reply 2):
As far as my frankly limited knowledge can tell, Berlin is neither a large financial nor a large industry/technology center. Germany's financial center is clearly FRA, while large industry/technology centers can be found around DUS in the Ruhrgebiet, aswell as in the south around STR and MUC. Berlin on the other hand is strong in the tourist sector, but as most on this board will know, tourists are low-yielding.

All fallout from the two Germanys. West German businesses never had the confidence en masse to set up shop in West Berlin without subsidies, and a lot of industry in and around East Berlin has sadly gone the way of the dodo.


User currently offlineBirdwatching From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 3801 posts, RR: 51
Reply 6, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 8283 times:

Lufthansa wasn't allowed to fly into Berlin until 20 years ago, so the FRA hub was well established by that time. When the first A310 landed in Berlin after the fall of the wall, FRA was one of the largest airports in the world and Lufthansa practically ran the place. Why would they give that all up and move to another city just because it is the new capital? Lufthansa isn't stupid, and believe me, if Berlin was a profitable market in LH's business model then Lufthansa would be expanding more.
Besides, FRA being a huge cargo hub, FRA is simply at a more central location in Germany for all the road and rail connections. I'd say, part of the success of FRA is because it's almost exactly in the middle of Germany.

Soren   



All the things you probably hate about travelling are warm reminders that I'm home
User currently offlinepoint2point From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 2732 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7776 times:

Quoting luckyone (Reply 5):
All fallout from the two Germanys. West German businesses never had the confidence en masse to set up shop in West Berlin without subsidies, and a lot of industry in and around East Berlin has sadly gone the way of the dodo.
Quoting luckyone (Reply 5):
Lufthansa wasn't allowed to fly into Berlin until 20 years ago, so the FRA hub was well established by that time. When the first A310 landed in Berlin after the fall of the wall, FRA was one of the largest airports in the world and Lufthansa practically ran the place. Why would they give that all up and move to another city just because it is the new capital? Lufthansa isn't stupid, and believe me, if Berlin was a profitable market in LH's business model then Lufthansa would be expanding more.
Besides, FRA being a huge cargo hub, FRA is simply at a more central location in Germany for all the road and rail connections. I'd say, part of the success of FRA is because it's almost exactly in the middle of Germany.

IIRC, wasn't it up until recently that Berlin was actually considered under the jurisdiction of the U.S., Great Britain, and France in the west part of it, and under the jurisdiction of the former Soviet Union in the east sector? Therefore, even though West Berlin was considered a part of West Germany, it was the U.S., British, and French airlines that that had the authority to fly out of West Berlin, and the Soviet Union likewise with the east. Passing through there many, many years ago, I still remember the Pan Am planes there for that reason, and I believe that Pan Am even made a focus city there.

Also, a good portion of Berlin throughout those years was by far not as developed (economically) as West Germany. Even the western sector of Berlin , because of the circumstances, was considered by many a dying city, and investment seemed to be just a bare minimum and maybe even less. And as stated above, once the wall fell, I believe that things were a mess for a short while in all sorts of ways, but these circumstances also allowed for the LLCs to swoop in and establish themselves very quickly.

LH currently has a slight presence in the city, but since it was already pretty much established elsewhere, what point would it be to use their limited resources (and in economics, everything per se is limited resources) just to duke it out with the LLCs there?


User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9085 posts, RR: 29
Reply 8, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 7685 times:

Quoting point2point (Reply 7):
IIRC, wasn't it up until recently that Berlin was actually considered under the jurisdiction of the U.S., Great Britain, and France in the west part of it, and under the jurisdiction of the former Soviet Union in the east sector? Therefore, even

If you consider a good 21 years ago "recently" you are right. The 4 powers had full sovereignty over Berlin which was only turned to the Federal Republic of Germany in the 2 + 4 treaty signed in Mosvow Sept 12, 1990.

The median income in Berlin is not that high and BER is mainly a low cost destination for young people having a party. the industrial base could be better and shuttling the pax to their main hubs is the better way to catch BER traffic . Besides, LH also has low cost Germanwings in the game.



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlineLondonCity From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2008, 1451 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 7003 times:

As others have mentioned, Berlin is a "blue collar" destination compared with the wealthier cities of HAM, FRA, DUS and MUC so there is not the volume of high-yielding premium traffic.

Look at the mixed fortunes of LH's service to London where flight schedules (from LH) change year by year. You would think the capital cities of two of the EU's most important countries would have a better link by Germany's national airline.

Notice too that very few long-haul foreign airlines serve Berlin. SQ tried in the past (with a service into SXF) but it did not last for more than a few years. Has DL ceased its transatlantic service yet ?

QR is a shining exception and, of course, EK would like to start flights into Berlin. But the Gulf airlines have the advantage of carrying much 6th freedom traffic.


User currently onlinejfk777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 8243 posts, RR: 7
Reply 10, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 6929 times:
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Lufthansa will probably have long haul flights at some point to Star hubs. New York, Chicago, Tokyo, Singapore, Toronto and Sao Paulo will probably be flown. LH will base some A340 in Berlin, eventually.

User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9085 posts, RR: 29
Reply 11, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 6863 times:

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 10):
Lufthansa will probably have long haul flights at some point to Star hubs. New York, Chicago, Tokyo, Singapore, Toronto and Sao Paulo will probably be flown. LH will base some A340 in Berlin, eventually

why should LH open a fourth hub in Germany when the traffic base is not there? Look how long it taks to develop DUS which has a much greater catchment area than BER will ever have.



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlinepoint2point From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 2732 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 6782 times:

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 8):
If you consider a good 21 years ago "recently" you are right. The 4 powers had full sovereignty over Berlin which was only turned to the Federal Republic of Germany in the 2 + 4 treaty signed in Mosvow Sept 12, 1990.

Well, yes, I guess, and all one could say is - "oh my, how time flies......."


 


User currently offlinePlaneInsomniac From Canada, joined Nov 2007, 661 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 6492 times:

Also note that while Berlin may be Germany's largest city, the metropolitan regions Berlin-Brandenburg, Rhein-Main (around Frankfurt) and München each have a comparably sized population of between 5.5 and 6 million. (In the case of Berlin-Brandenburg and München, these are areas corresponding to ca. 2 hours driving distance from the center, while Rhein-Main, notably, only is half as big.) In the case of München, even the smaller immediate urban agglomeration ("Planungsregion"), roughly corresponding to the coverage area of München's light rail system (S-Bahn), has a population of 2.6 million.

Add to that the already discussed much greater wealth and industrial importance of Rhein-Main and München compared to Berlin, and it becomes clear where the more important markets are for LH.

History certainly played a big role, but unification was 20 years ago. I am sure LH management considered installing a big hub in Berlin, but they clearly put the emphasis on MUC as their second major hub in Germany. They must have had their reaons...



Am I cured? Slept 5 hours on last long-haul flight...
User currently offlineGCT64 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2007, 1350 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 6344 times:

I suspect the Berlin market will evolve once the new airport is open. There is high-tech business in Berlin (for example, my company has its German office at the Adlershof Science and Technology park - one of the biggest in Europe with, IIRC, 16,000 scientists on site and, interestingly, on the site of Johannisthal Air Field where Germany's first powered flight took place). I know others in the UK who regularly travel to Berlin on pharma/medical business.

At the moment, splitting the traffic between TXL (Legacy airlines but not well linked to the public transport system) and SXF (better linked but LCC and a pretty horrible travel experience) is not efficient for city of its size. In my view, as the infrastructure investments pay off (not just BER but rail investment is going on all over the city) and the airlines consolidate at BER, I would expect to see higher levels of airline service.

From my experience, the LCC flights into SXF aren't all tourists and students, there are actually quite a lot of business people on them (we use Easy and Ryanair to travel from the UK to our office).

What happens as LH, BA, AF, IB meet 4U, FR and U2 at the new airport will be interesting. I suspect it will end up the same as MUC with 4U and FR co-existing with the legacies and FR deciding it is to too expensive to operate ultra-LCC services from.



Flown in: A30B,A306,A310,A319,A320,A321,A332,A333,A343,A346,BA11,BU31,B190, B461,B462,B463,(..50 types..),VC10,WESX
User currently offlineEddieDude From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 7558 posts, RR: 43
Reply 15, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 5278 times:

I would like to add that in the future we might see Berlin become a higher-yielding destination. The large number of passengers who travel to Berlin for governmental and diplomatic reasons probably constitute a high-yielding group already. In addition, it seems Berlin is becoming as of late one of the preferred sites for tech companies to establish themselves:

http://www.reuters.com/video/2011/08...reative-startups?videoId=217830118

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory?id=13753267

http://www.ota-berlin.de/blog/06/04/...9-attracking-high-tech-industries/

If this trend continues and some of these startups begin to grow, then we will see increased travel demand for bankers, lawyers, consultants, etc., as well as a large group of local businesspeople who will need to fly to many places within and outside Europe and who will be willing to pay for flexible economy tickets and for business class tickets.



Next flights: MEX-GRU (AM 77E), GRU-GIG (JJ A320), SDU-CGH (G3 73H), GRU-MEX (JJ A332).
User currently onlinejfk777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 8243 posts, RR: 7
Reply 16, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 4666 times:
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Quoting PanHAM (Reply 11):
why should LH open a fourth hub in Germany when the traffic base is not there? Look how long it taks to develop DUS which has a much greater catchment area than BER will ever have.

MY scenario would NOT turn Berlin into a 4th hub but a focus city like DUS. Lufthansa is Germany's airline not " Munich & Frankfurt Airways".


User currently offlinefrat From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 1102 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 4449 times:

A lot of reasons have been mentioned but to make it a bit more clear, there is none of the 30 German DAX (similar to the Dow Jones in the US) companies headquartered in BER. It is true, that the number of companies is growing but BER is still far behind the Rhein Main area (FRA), Ruhrgebiet (served mainly by DUS) and the MUC metro area.

There is Government travel but not that much to bring more intercont flights to BER. The new airport will finally give the city an adequate airport and the traffic numbers will go up. But the capacity will already be limited once the new airport opens next year.

LH has already two major hubs in a comparatively small country with DUS being a focus city and ZRH, BRU, VIE closeby hubs of their daughter airlines. So there is really no need for them to bring widebodies to BER. I think that some Star partner might fly there with small equipment, which LH does not have (757 or 767) and it might be also a good destination once airlines are getting the 787.


User currently offlineSemaex From Germany, joined Nov 2009, 823 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3904 times:

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 10):
Lufthansa will probably have long haul flights at some point to Star hubs. New York, Chicago, Tokyo, Singapore, Toronto and Sao Paulo will probably be flown. LH will base some A340 in Berlin, eventually.

Not sure where you conclude this rise in traffic from, but it's certainly also my secret desire.
The only way I see premium traffic growing in BER is that all these students of the current generation base their center of life in and around the city and not move west in time. That way per capita income can slowly rise and make Berlin more attractive to legacies. The past 20 years have shown that subsidies alone do not make Berlin become a more desirable location to settle a company and attract wealthy people.


Quoting jfk777 (Reply 16):
MY scenario would NOT turn Berlin into a 4th hub but a focus city like DUS. Lufthansa is Germany's airline not " Munich & Frankfurt Airways".

I don't like this "One-City-Airlines" talk around a.net, whether it be BA or, randomly enough, LH. After all, airlines are chasing after the markets which bring the most money, and if only one or a handful of cities in a country can sustain permanent traffic, then so be it. I'd never expect LH to step into a market which will bleed them money, because if that happens then only taxpayer's money will sustain such traffic, and personally I think that's the worst case scenario for both an airline and the public.


Quoting frat (Reply 17):
So there is really no need for them to bring widebodies to BER. I think that some Star partner might fly there with small equipment, which LH does not have (757 or 767) and it might be also a good destination once airlines are getting the 787.

Here's to hoping for 787 traffic to BER!



// You know you're an aviation enthusiast when you look at your neighbour's cars and think about fleet commonality.
User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9085 posts, RR: 29
Reply 19, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3865 times:

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 13):
hey must have had their reaons...
Quoting jfk777 (Reply 16):
MY scenario would NOT turn Berlin into a 4th hub but a focus city like DUS. Lufthansa is Germany's airline not " Munich & Frankfurt Airways".

DUS has become a mini hub, it's not only the 5 long distance flight they will have from next year, it is a substantial European net as well. HAM is a focus city, STR comes next and BER after that. What developes in BER emains to be seen.



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlineSandroZRH From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 3424 posts, RR: 50
Reply 20, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3833 times:

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 16):
MY scenario would NOT turn Berlin into a 4th hub but a focus city like DUS. Lufthansa is Germany's airline not " Munich & Frankfurt Airways".

The days when airlines were able (or rather stupid enough) to base their business decisions on national pride have long gone. Airlines, like many other privately run companies, have to base their decisions on financial aspects. Running four hubs in a country the size of Germany is economical nonsense, period. By your definition, BA would be London airways, Swiss Zurich airways, Iberia Madrid airways, Air France Paris airways, Alitalia Rome airways, KLM Amsterdam airways.. Do you see a pattern here? Looking at their competition, it's already quite remarkable that LH manages to run let's say.. 2.5 hubs successfully.


User currently offlineWROORD From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 941 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3678 times:

I've seen this topic discussed indetails at least four times within the last couple of years...(where is the moderator when you need them?)....
It is easy to speculate, but simple look at LH official statement on this matter suggest that at least now they do not want to expend their service in BBI. BBI is AB territory hence the new TXL-LAX service for summer 2012.


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24699 posts, RR: 46
Reply 22, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3580 times:

I'd be curious if any one here could point me to a source of demographic and economic data about German cities/states.

Be curious to dig into the numbers a bit and get a refreshed feel to both their macro and per-capita standings.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineSemaex From Germany, joined Nov 2009, 823 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3578 times:

Quoting WROORD (Reply 21):
It is easy to speculate, but simple look at LH official statement on this matter suggest that at least now they do not want to expend their service in BBI. BBI is AB territory hence the new TXL-LAX service for summer 2012.

As far as LH statements go, they explicitly said that BER is going to be a "focus city", much like HAM and STR are in the LH network. That is not to say that coverage is going to be the same in BER as the other places...



// You know you're an aviation enthusiast when you look at your neighbour's cars and think about fleet commonality.
User currently offlinebohica From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2661 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 3498 times:

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 10):
Lufthansa will probably have long haul flights at some point to Star hubs. New York, Chicago, Tokyo, Singapore, Toronto and Sao Paulo will probably be flown. LH will base some A340 in Berlin, eventually.

I remember back in 2000 when LH flew an A343 Berlin-IAD. The service didn't last too long. IIRC it only lasted one summer never to operate again.


25 Post contains links Viscount724 : Here's a starting point. Also see the "Links". http://www.statistik-portal.de/Statistik-Portal/en/ Since this thread involved Berlin, here are the En
26 PanHAM : I think that was the last time LH did something under poltical pressure and if it was just for proving the point. Interesting enough is that the Germ
27 twa@fra : Agree that BER will need some time till they get anything close to DUS by LH, but they wont easily give it up to AB, once their intercont. routes beco
28 Post contains images LAXintl : Thanks much for the links.
29 Someone83 : Looking at their financial results I wouldn't said their doing a greit job. They might be filling a gap, but that gap ain't much profitable.....
30 pelican : Wealth or income of people is, if at all, a minor factor. High yield traffic is mostly generated by business and not by leisure flights. It's the lac
31 european742 : Its simply a case as others have mentioned of thats where the business is, its exactly the same in Switzerland, why was Zurich established as the main
32 Post contains images workhorse : OK, if Berlin is so low yielding and so uninteresting, then why all the lobbying to prevent Emirates flying to it?
33 Semaex : Because there are 127 weekly flights on LH to FRA, where pax are ought to step into the plane to Indonesia...
34 dazeflight : While HAM and STR might have more destinations served by LH, the amount of flights are a different story. LH roughly has 1,5 times the amount of flig
35 PanHAM : ....feeding their hubs also with long distance traffic. Nomal biz for BA, AF/KL. For LH that would be spoke to spoke routes. Add to the cities served
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