All cancelled longhaul flights ex MUC are only temporary suspended flights until the current situation improves again. This was recently confirmed by J. Weber (LH CEO) and R. Teckentrup (LH route managment).
LH wants to keep all their remaining systemwide l/h destinations. It makes more sence to concentrate on one hub than to split operations between FRA and MUC. In MUC they have cut now all former three weekly services (SFO, LAX, GRU, SIN). The alternative would have been axing three flights from the FRA operation (to SFO, LAX, GRU, SIN), leaving e.g. three flights ex MUC and four ex FRA. This would be absolutely nonsense.
Furthermore LH´s FRA hub system is depending on longhaul flights, while the MUC hub is still mainly based on european flights. Axing much more longh. runs ex FRA would extremly weaken the hub&spoke system there. In FRA over 60% of LH pax are transfer pax (additional with a high percentage on intercontinental flights) while LH´s MUC operation has got only about 40% connecting passengers (mainly within Europe).
WINTER TIMETABLE 01/02
MUC-HKG from trice weekly to daily in December
MUC-JNB new trice weekly service from December
MUC-PVG new trice weekly service postponed until April02
MUC-SIN will be suspended January 15th until end of March (new summer timetable) so far. LH didn´t give an official statement about this, as they´ve already indicated the suspension few weeks ago.
already announced suspensions:
LAX, SFO, EWR and GRU (all LH), MIA(NG) and YYZ(AC, but will return in spring)
SUMMER TIMETABLE 2002
At this time, talking about the 2002 summer timetable is only spectulation, as it depends completely from increasing bookings and yields for the next summer.
The maximum(!) of longhaul ops in MUC next summer would be:
daily to EWR, ORD, SFO, LAX, HKG
new daily services to Tokyo NRT, BOS and MIA
3/week to GRU, SIN and new PVG
(2/week to TLV)
JNB is a winter-only service at the moment
alle flights with A343, exept SFO (B744)
In the above case, about 10 A343 would be based in MUC (compared with 5 last summer) plus one additional B744 (2 last summer), which will be operated on a combined FRA service (FRA-SFO-MUC-SFO-FRA).
But of course, there´s a good chance that we don´t see all of the above flights next summer. NRT and BOS as new destinations seem to be quite sure - but not confirmed (!), while both LAX and MIA don´t seem to be on the list at the moment. But that doesn´t mean to much at the moment, as the LH network is permanently unter review.
UA plans at least to put the 777 on IAD-MUC again next spring. AC will reinstate their YYZ-MUC route in April. AC also planned YUL-MUC for next summer - i doubt (but i don´t have new post-sep11-information at the moment) whether this service will be introduced in this situation. That would be a bit too optimistic - i would bet on summer 2003. I also didn´t notice even one single hint here about LH planning to fly MUC-YUL itself. If LH intends to fly this route, then they would introduce it from FRA first off all. But in my opinion this routes (YUL-FRA/MUC) will be AC´s job for the foreseeable future.
Finally i want to say, LH invests about 500 million Euros in the new 25mio pax Star Alliance Terminal 2 at Munich Airport (providing 24 a/c stands at the terminal and add. 50 on the tarmac), which will be completed in early or mid 2003. There are also planned some further expansions (2-3 satellites, each for 24-32 additional a/c stands) bringing capacity theoretically to much more than 50mio pax - only for LH and Star Alliance. So, if LH wants to see a return of its massive investment - and they definitely want to - , LH has to stick to MUC and the planned expansion there. It was actually a very smart move of MUC-airport CEO W. Hermsen to participate LH in the current airport expansion.
Another point is the lack of runway-capacity at FRA. Although there are few slots now available due to the traffic turndown, the possible growth beyond 2003 is tending towards zero in terms of a/c movements until the planned 4th runway will be opened in 2006 or later.
Despite the current crisis, we´ll see an impressive longhaul network out of MUC within the next years to come, flown mainly by LH and its Star partners, beside a huge and high-frequent european network. AC comes back, RG will also return again sometime from 2003 on, UA and TG will expand, SQ, Air China CA and All Nippon NH will be newcomers in the future.
No doubt, there´s a chance of delaying or slowing down the planned expansion for a half year or a year, but it´ll come sooner or later ... definitely!