in yesterday´s Berliner Zeitung was a very interesting analysis on the development of Berlin´s sole direct USA service, LH´s A340 flight to IAD, six times weekly. This routed was only started this summer schedule.
In my opinion the figures mentioned in that article will inevitably lead to the eventuel discontinuation of that route. But see for yourself:
C and F class are only 10 % full. 20-25% would be necessary to make such a flight profitable. This means, by the way, that Y class must be constantly sold out, otherwise they wouldn´t get the overall percentage of 78.4.
Consequently, the overall average ticket price per pax is only € 614 for the return ticket. FRA-IAD gets € 914 on average.
The reasons for that lack of high yield traffic is simple: the expected politicians and business travellers don´t show up as expected:
Members of Parliament - according to a Bundestag spokeswoman, these politician tend to start USA trips in their home constituency and connect via FRA.
DaimlerChryslerServices - they have their HQ at Berlin, but employees on USA trips normally use the STR-DET company shuttle.
Siemens - they are huge as well in Berlin, but USA trips usually start at NUE or MUC, where Siemens´ Information and Communication Departments have their respective HQs.
Concluding, LH CEO Juergen Weber was quoted as saying LH would have to evaluate whether the TXL-IAD service would be viable to maintain without sufficient demand from the Berlin REGION.
Given that that region is the economically weak Eastern Germany, I´d say this is a rather gloomy outlook for that route.
Any thoughts, additions, citicism from you?