Yes, LH will operate 4 daily flights into JFK next summer, while EWR is reduced from 3 to 1 daily, at least they currently plan to do so. A gap in EWR for CO stepping in (to MUC) perhaps 2003 or 2004!
The above infos are for summer 2002. In winter SEL is served daily with
That´s also my opinion. I guess, LH and OS aren´t sure, who should operate this route. However, i fear, finally none of them will fly it during next summer.
FRA-MIA usually has a very high load factor (not sure about the yield). This is still a very popular route, thus i really don´t understand, why NG/OS has pulled out MUC-MIA.
If not next summer, we´ll see a resumption for winter 02-03 or summer 03, at the latest.
The flights did work as well, but i think, we have to look at the whole range of LH/SQ flights from Germany to Singapore: They´ve currently 3 daily B744 on FRA-SIN. So, if they aren´t able to sell enough seats there to reasonable fares, it makes no sence to provide extra capacity with 3 weekly flights ex MUC.
It´s actually the same situation, we´ve had with LAX, SFO and GRU ex MUC this winter (all should operate thrice weekly ex MUC, while FRA services are daily). For operational and economical reasons, LH would be crazy to cancel some of the FRA flights (e.g. down to 4/7 from 7/7) in order to keep up service from MUC thrice weekly. So, consequently they suspended MUC.
But these flights will resume as soon as possible: SIN perhaps in winter, GRU more likely not before 2003 (my guesses!). GRU was the only new route, which didn´t perform that good, even after RG suspended their own flights to MUC. Demand to South America is significantly lower these days.
At the moment the flight (MUC-JNB) will stay two weeks into the summer timetable (until April 13th). Nearly daily flights in winter going to zero in summer, that´s somehow strange, but LH had a big yield problem in recent years there. They probably won´t risk any adventures during the low season there - and they still have a daily B744 to JNB-CPT and there´s also SA with their daily flights!? But perhaps things change until April. But we can be quite optimistic about a resume in fall from MUC.
Pre 9/11, LH did quite well with MUC-LAX. I registered a good O&D traffic share (like SFO), which is important for the yield. Perhaps this is only moving a flight within the dual hub system between FRA and MUC.
It´s also possible, they need the tons of connecting pax to feed the FRA hub. FRAs shorthaul network depends much more on longhaul flights with huge pax/cargo load than the MUC network, mainly due to the bigger a/c, which are used ex FRA on the shorthaul runs. MUCs established european hub network is running well, even without much longhaul traffic.
Hence LH can´t cut too much l/h capacity in FRA, otherwise they can´t fill the huge number of seats there. This might be ONE reason they shifted back LAX. I´m quite sure, LH will be back on MUC-LAX route soon (2003 hopefully), possibly with the 3rd daily LH flight into LAX.
I´ve read about this rumour on "airliners.de/forum" (german only). A member there posted an article of the "Stuttgarter Zeitung". According to this, the local Chamber of Industry and Commerce (of Baden-Würtemberg) reported about talks between United Airlines and airport officials, but this was pre-9/11! They mentioned a possible STR-ORD route. My impression is, the possible new route is more a wish than something near reality, although i would welcome a second daily STR-USA connection. So, only talks between airline and airport, nothing more and nothing less.
Unlucky Berlin and longhaul flights ex german non-hub-airports
TXL-IAD sometimes had a reasonable load factor, but as this often doesn´t tell the truth, the yield was very bad, hardly any not-discounted premium fax in F and C. Furthermore in July and August some flights left even with many Economy class being not occupied.
Berlin is indeed the largest city and the capital in Germany (pop 3,4 mio.). But it´s far, far away from being a major economic powerful region. Germany´s leading economic centers are Frankfurt/Rhein-Main region and Munich, along with Köln-Düsseldorf-region, Hamburg and Stuttgart. Frankfurt and especially the Munich area (beside city of Hamburg and Stuttgart-area) are rather rich parts of the country, hence people having much money to travel. And last but not least Munich and southern Bavaria is the most popular destination (followed by Berlin) for foreign travelers in Germany with the Alps, Austria, Switzerland and Italy not far away.
FRA is an established LH hub and since centuries the most important intercontinental airport, located in the center of Germany and located at some very important traffic axis (motorway and railway). Recently it got excellent connections to many parts in Germany with the ICE highspeed railway system.
MUC is now developing to Germany´s intercont gateway no. 2, accelerated by Lufthansa´s hub growth. These are only the first steps, with much more to come especially in the next years, when FRAs capacity reaches the end (until opening of runway no. 4 sometime in 2006-2008). As written several times before, Terminal 2 (exclusively for LH and the Star Alliance partners) will open in spring 2003, enable LH (and the Star partners, of course) to grow above the average.
In my opinion, the future growth of longhaul flights will take place mainly in FRA and MUC.
STR, DUS or even perhaps HAM should be able to catch the one or the other longhaul flight (esp. to US), when traffic picks up again clearly (2003,2004??). The future for aviation in Berlin should be brighter in some years, when the city is able to attract new investors, which have to create jobs, jobs and once again jobs there. But this will last for a while. The new single airport BBI (expected to start with capacity max. 20 Mio. and two runways) will not open before 2007, more likely later in 2008, 2009 or 2010.
LH longhaul fleet 2002
As i stated above, the overall capacity won´t be increased next summer, according to the current obvious "framework" of the summer l/h schedule. Due to the retirement of the whole B742-fleet (8 a/c) there should be a slight decrease in seats (roundabout 6-9% ??). Altogether perhaps 2 or 3 a/c won´t be necessary due to schedule cuts (ex FRA: e.g. BOG, TAS, GIG). So, not more than 5 longhaul a/c have to be substituted for the above schedule.
--> Now, LH will receive 3 new l/h a/c this winter (1 A343 D-AIFF and the already mentioned 2 B744 D-ABTK/L). LH won´t serve TXL and DUS anymore (former daily res. 6weekly service), means, another 2 a/c are "free". Here we are! Altogehter, we´ve the 5 a/c.
Given the fact, as Daniel already mentioned, that LH had some (at least one) A343 grounded because of the crew shortage, the airline should be able to add, let´s say, 1 or 2 additional daily US-eastcoast flights without problems, but that´s it.
I also think, we won´t see many additional longhaul flights. The above schedule may stay unchanged or even slightly reduced, when demand doesn´t pick up in certain markets. But who knows, perhaps they decide for a additional daily MUC-MIA (BOS - i guess not in 2002).
2003, when about 10 new longhaul a/c (A343/346) will arrive, we´ll see the next major expansion phase. Hopefully LH will finally order the 4 B744 (B742 substitution), for 2003.