I would tend to doubt that. For one thing, DE's cost-structure is lower than LH's; I never looked at what DE's fares were, but I'm sure they were lower than what LH could offer, and that had to have played a role in DE's better-than-expected success. Plus there's still the issue of LH not really having an aircraft right-sized for this market; I believe that LH's A330's come closest in terms of capacity to DE's 763's, but they're more premium-heavy than DE, and I'm thinking that would be the killer for LH. Cost-wise, LH could use Eurowings, but then we're talking A340's, which I'm thinking is just too big for this market given the lack of feed they'd get here; they'd have to rely totally on O&D traffic like DE .
Of course I could be totally wrong. We'll just have to wait and see.
I agree, but it could be a different story when LH starts taking 789s in 2022. That might be the aircraft that's well-suited to operating in PHX, because I don't believe they currently have one that's right-sized and can make the economics work. The passenger numbers have always been there — Germans love Arizona, but LAS or LAX has always been the more attractive option. A few years ago, I needed a rebooking in FRA after my UA flight canceled, and the LH CSR actually had to find Phoenix on a map. If DE is what starts to put PHX on the map, then maybe LH can capitalize, assuming they have the right equipment to do so.