Lufthansa Liverpool route offers global access

In the biggest news for Liverpool Airport in a decade, Lufthansa is to launch a new route to Frankfurt offering multiple global destinations to city region travellers. Tony McDonough reports

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Lufthansa will fly to Frankfurt from Liverpool John Lennon Airport

 

Aviation giant Lufthansa is to begin flights from Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LJLA) to Frankfurt offering Liverpool a global hub link for the first time in a decade.

Lufthansa, Germany’s national flag and the second-biggest airline in Europe by passenger numbers, will fly  from Liverpool to Frankfurt starting on May 4, 2022. There will be two return flights every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. It will offer onward routes to 150 global destinations via the German hub.

It is a massive shot in the arm for Liverpool Airport which, similar to many airports, has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also a huge deal for Liverpool city region’s ability to attract both tourists and inward investment.

Liverpool is already connected to several European hub airports via easyJet, Ryanair and Wizz Air. However, they do not have agreements that allow passengers to check in just once while changing planes to and from other global destinations. Such arrangements make travelling to and from Liverpool from all over the world much easier.

This will be the first time in its 66-year history in the UK that Lufthansa will take off at Liverpool with its Airbus A320 (168 seats) or its Bombardier CRJ900 (90 seats). With a flight time of one hour and 40 minutes, passengers  will reach Frankfurt, Europe’s financial centre in the middle of Germany and close to the famous Rheingau wineries.

READ MORE: Ryanair reveals new Liverpool routes

“Lufthansa will be the first global network airline in Liverpool with easy reach to destinations on four continents,” said Heinrich Lange, senior director sales northern Europe Lufthansa Group Airlines. “As a premium carrier we will be the only airline at John Lennon Airport to offer seats in Business Class and all the amenities of a full service approach.

“This new route is also good news for incoming business; Liverpool is among the five most visited cities in the UK, known as the city of music, football and trade and will benefit tremendously from this new international route.

Liverpool’s last full hub link, which saw Dutch carrier KLM offer up to three daily flights to and from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport ended in March 2012. It had been launched with a fanfare in 2009 but fell victim to the fallout from the financial crisis that gripped the world a decade ago.

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Liverpool Airport’s John Irving, right, and Lufthansa’s Heinrich Lange

 

Explaining the decision to axe the service. KLM UK general manager Henri Hourcade said: “The continued economic downturn has meant that as a company we have had to make some tough decisions across our global network and unfortunately Liverpool is a casualty of that process.”

Irish carrier Aer Lingus also operated flights between Liverpool and Dublin that allowed travellers to access routes to the US and Canada. However, that route was also closed in January 2017.

Lufthansa is a member of the Star Alliance, the world’s biggest airline alliance. It has 26 full member airlines and 40 affiliates which between them offer routes to 1,294 airports in 195 countries across the world. Codesharing agreements between members mean passengers get access to a much wider route network.

Connection to a hub link has always been top of the wish list for LJLA. It was estimated that around 48% of passengers who flew from Liverpool to Schiphol via KLM travelled on to other destinations, suggesting a significant demand for a hub link.

John Irving, chief executive of Liverpool Airport, added: “It has been a long held desire of both the airport and the city region as a whole to reconnect Liverpool with the world and we are therefore absolutely delighted to be welcoming Lufthansa to Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

“To be able to connect Liverpool globally via Frankfurt will bring huge benefits to the business sector across our region both now and into the future and of course will now enable the world to easily connect into Liverpool to visit our brilliant city and the surrounding areas.”

And Paul Cherpeau, chief executive of Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, also said: “Liverpool’s status as a global city is reflected positively in this announcement which will provide a boost to our connectivity to additional markets for business and leisure activities, enhancing our ability to expand our export and inward investment opportunities whilst catalysing the rebuilding and growth of our airport.”

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