Australia connections critical to Lufthansa’s new Munich-Singapore service

Lufthansa is relying heavily on Australia connections for its recently relaunched Munich-Singapore service.


Highlights:

  • Lufthansa has resumed services from Singapore to Munich after a more than five-year hiatus;
  • Australia is so far accounting for 40% of Singapore-Munich bookings;
  • Lufthansa sales in Australia has increased by over 10% since it commenced a joint venture with Singapore Airlines;
  • The Lufthansa-Singapore Airlines JV covers flights from eight Singapore Airlines or SilkAir destinations in Australia, connecting in Singapore to Lufthansa Group and SIA flights to Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich and Zurich.

Lufthansa commenced five weekly flights from Munich to Singapore on 27-Mar-2018 using three class 293-seat A350s. Lufthansa previously operated the Munich-Singapore route with A340s but suspended the service in Oct-2012.

Lufthansa executives told Blue Swan at a route launch event in Singapore that Australia is accounting for 40% of the initial Singapore-Munich bookings. Lufthansa expects the Australia point of sale contribution will vary depending on the time of year, however the airline generally expects a high portion of point of sale from Australia.

Most of the Australia passengers are heading beyond Munich, which is Lufthansa Group’s second biggest hub after Frankfurt. Lufthansa serves 109 European destinations from Munich including 14 in Germany and 95 in 32 other countries.

Lufthansa’s European network from Munich

Source: Lufthansa presentation at Singapore-Munich launch event

Connections to Eastern Europe destinations such as Croatia are particularly popular from Australia. Some Australia-Eastern Europe ethnic traffic that Lufthansa was already carrying via Frankfurt has shifted to using the new Singapore-Munich flight. There is currently more availability on this flight, partially because it is new. Munich also offers better connections to some Eastern European destinations than Frankfurt.

The launch of Singapore-Munich also has enabled Lufthansa to attract some Australia-Europe traffic that was previously using other airlines.  Lufthansa executives said there has been a double digit increase in Australia point of sale bookings since it began a joint venture with Singapore Airlines (SIA). Lufthansa Group and SIA forged the JV in Nov-2015 and commenced JV operations in Oct-2017.

The JV covers the Australia to Austria, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland markets. SIA and Lufthansa are now engaging in joint pricing in these four markets as well as from Singapore to the same four European countries. The two airlines have also begun aligning their corporate sales programmes and coordinating schedules, resulting in more convenient connections.

The Lufthansa/SIA JV is offering Australian consumers a one-stop product from eight cities in Australia (Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra, Darwin, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth) to three cities in Germany (Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich) and Zurich in Switzerland. Two-stop connections are available to other cities in Germany and Switzerland as well as other countries in Europe.

SIA serves Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth, while its regional full-service subsidiary SilkAir serves Cairns and Darwin. Both Lufthansa and SIA now operate Singapore-Frankfurt and Singapore-Munich. SIA and Lufthansa Group subsidiary SWISS, which is also part of the JV, both operate Singapore-Zurich. Only SIA operates Singapore-Dusseldorf.

The new Lufthansa flight provides a new evening departure from Munich to Singapore, while the SIA flight departs Munich in the early afternoon. The Lufthansa flight works better for some Australia connections as most flights from Singapore to Australia depart in the evening. The Lufthansa flight lands in Singapore in the late afternoon, while the SIA flight from Munich lands in Singapore in the early morning. Both the Lufthansa and SIA flights depart Singapore in the late evening but the Lufthansa flight departs an hour and half earlier, allowing for quicker connections from some Australia destinations.

Lufthansa also continues to serve Australia via Bangkok and Hong Kong using several codeshare partners including Cathay Pacific and Thai Airways respectively. Lufthansa also interlines with Qantas, which provides connections to Australia from Bangkok, Hong Kong and Singapore.

However, the portion of passengers flying on SIA for the Australia-Asia leg has increased since the JV began. Lufthansa has been codesharing with SIA on Singapore-Australia flights for several years but prior to the SIA joint venture Lufthansa’s Australia sales relied more on Qantas than SIA.

Lufthansa-SIA JV markets in Australia

 

Source: Lufthansa presentation at Singapore-Munich launch event