I don´t expect further details on the MUC expansion in this "DER SPIEGEL"-interview ... but we´ll know better tomorrow!
But some more interesting things about LH´s MUC expansion were published last week in some newspapers. Let me give you an extract (again quite long as typical for me, i´m sorry!
Fryday, 08-10-01 / "Die Welt" regional issue Bavaria:
Last Wednesday two high LH officials visited MUC: Christoph Klingenberg / "infrastructure manager" (or sth. like that, dunno in english) and Karsten Benz / LH-networkmanagement.
They said, that LH is very content with the recently opened new intercontinental destinations LAX, HKG, SIN and GRU (load factors in July 80%, in August more than 90%).
As the economical slowdown doesn´t effect the Munich area in that way it does other regions, there is no need to reduce capacity in MUC at the moment, it was said. Lufthansa even wants to increase their operations here, e.g. with additional longhaul flights.
The LH station manager in Munich, Mr. Fischer, mentioned some weeks ago (in Süddeutsche Zeitung, a big german newspaper), that LH intends to serve 12 intercontinental destinations from MUC in 2003, currently we´ve got 7. So we might get 5 additional longhaul destinations from MUC within only two years.
1) They are looking at the northamerican market, especially the east coast. Being asked about BOSas a new dest., K. Benz said: "This would fit with our network".
2) Furthermore LH has got an eye on the chinese market, in cooperation with their partner Air China. They consider PEK and especially PVG as very interesting destinations, along with HKG (which is already served trice weekly from MUC).
3) The 3rd most interesting market for LH possible to be served from MUC is Japan, mainly a connection with Tokyo NRT.
--> So LH´s new destinations served from MUC will probably be BOS, PVG, PEK and NRT, beside increasing frequencies on the excisting routes (e.g. HKG, SIN). But perhaps they surprise us with another destination, we don´t think of at the moment. For 2002 there are rumours of basing another 2 or 3 LH longhaul a/c in MUC, but nothing is decided yet. The longhaul increase will be steadily supported by the expansion of their six bank hub with many additional frequencies on innergerman and particularly on various european routes. And of course, a further economic slowdown could cross the plans. I´m aware of this.
This is the rumour corner (of course not mentioned in the press):
Last but not least there are also the Star Alliance members, which will increase service to MUC one after the other. Rumours talk about AC (YUL), China Airlines (PEK, PVG) as well as SQ (SIN). RG just quit MUC due to several reasons (TAM stepping in in FRA and therefore increased service to FRA, bad economical situation in Brazil, problems in harmonizing their schedule with the LH flights), but they´ll be back in some time. I´ve just read, UA will bring back the B772 from November this year on their daily service to IAD. Things could change quickly.
Fryday 08-10-01 / "Sueddeutsche Zeitung" regional part Munich and local part Freising (which is a town next to MUC airport)
Some figures about Lufthansa in MUC (2001 MUC - estimated total pax about 25 million pax, about 330000 commercial movements without general aviation):
estimated LH movements (without their partner airlines) in MUC:
2003 202000 nearly +17%
estimated LH pax (without their partner airlines) in MUC:
2001 13,7 million
2003 16,2 million more than +18%
Mr. Klingenberg said that it would be possible for MUC to obtain bigger LH operations than FRA (! only LH movements, not overall!) in the second half of this decade, if FRA can´t open their 4th runway until 2006, but a few years later e.g. 2010.
---> It seems a little bit that LH itself doesn´t believe anymore that the completition of FRA´s 4th runway can be finished until 2006, because some weeks ago the LH station manager in MUC said the same thing (MUC overtaking FRA in LH movements by 2010). And now CEO Mr. Weber claimed, MUC needs it 3rd runway, if growth continues (and it does). But for sure they´re still hoping it´ll be finished in 2006. No doubt about this!
In 1997 there was an equal situation: In an interview with the same news magazine ("DER SPIEGEL") CEO J. Weber called for a new runway in FRA and so started the big discussion about the runway-topic leading into the advanced planing stage, the project is currently in. Nice parallel!
Hope, i didn´t bore you ...
best regards, D-AIFB