I guess this Jersualem Post article about Lufthansa's strategy is insightful:
In a time of crisis, even keeping your head above water is victory, but Lufthansa's Tel Aviv operation has continued to show an increase in passengers, despite the continuing tourism slump that has beset the industry since September 2000, and despite the attack on the World Trade Center a year later, that sent airlines all over the world into nosedives.
According to the figures of the Civil Aviation Administration, the German airline had an increase of two percent in the number of passengers going through Ben-Gurion Airport last year, in comparison with the previous year.
In comparison, El Al dropped by 18%, British Airways, which was still the leading foreign airline last year, went down by 14%, Alitalia, which came fourth after Lufthansa, had 17% fewer passengers, and Swissair, the next on the list, experienced a decline of 11%.
Last month, the figures were even more impressive for Lufthansa, which had jumped into second place and carried 22,707 passengers in and out of Ben-Gurion, 6% more than during February 2001. That month El Al had 3% fewer than the same month of the previous year, Swissair dropped by 11% and British Airways, now in fourth place, had declined by 37%.
Asked about his success, Lufthansa Tel Aviv manager Stephan Semsch is
suitably modest. ...
... the numbers mainly reflect the fact that the airline has penetrated the Israeli market even more than previously. Semsch notes that Lufthansa has a traditional foothold with business travelers, who he stresses are not just those who fly business class. It has done this, he says, largely by increasing its capacity and, even after September 11, not cutting the number of flights to Tel Aviv, thus maintaining a reputation for good connections to major business centers.
The bottom line is that unlike most other European (and US) carriers Lufthansa did not let their Israeli customers down in times of crisis; they did not only keep their schedules (without an en-route in Cyprus like many others that did not axe their services entirely), but even added capacity despite the uncertain future. 70% of all Lufthansa passengers on the Tel Aviv route are Israelis, more than 60.000 Israelis are members of the miles & more programme, the load facotr in August 2002 was 93%. And a final quote from Lufthansa's director in Israel: "To win back a customer you have let down, is 10 times more difficult than keeping a satisfied customer."