PrivatAir Will Resume Operating Lufthansa’s Pune Flight

A few weeks ago I wrote about how Lufthansa is launching what’s almost unarguably the world’s worst flight. As of November 1, 2018, Lufthansa will be resuming flights between Frankfurt and Pune. The challenge with this flight is as follows:

  • Pune has a short runway, so it can’t accommodate widebody aircraft
  • Lufthansa used to fly a premium-configured PrivatAir 737 between Frankfurt and Pune; this plane had proper business class seats, though in the meantime Lufthansa had ended their agreement with PrivatAir, so they no longer had access to that plane

So what did Lufthansa decide to do? They’re going to launch this route with a regionally configured Airbus A319. Intra-Europe planes have some of the densest configurations out there, and don’t even have proper business class seats, but rather business class just consists of a row of three economy seats.

Since the A319 doesn’t have that long of a range, Lufthansa is operating the route via Baku in both directions (which is just a fuel stop), with the following schedule:

LH768 Frankfurt to Baku departing 10:30AM arriving 6:05PM
LH768 Baku to Pune departing 6:50PM arriving 12:50AM (+1 day)

LH769 Pune to Baku departing 2:10AM arriving 6:10AM
LH769 Baku to Frankfurt departing 6:55AM arriving 9:15AM

Not surprisingly, this route has gotten a lot of negative attention.

So there’s some good news on that front. It looks like Lufthansa and PrivatAir have come to some sort of an agreement again, and this horrible A319 route will only be temporary.

PrivatAir will resume operating Lufthansa’s flight between Frankfurt and Pune starting February 1, 2019. As of now the schedule has only been updated through March 30, 2019, though I imagine it will be extended beyond that.

This route will operate 6x weekly with the following schedule:

LH768 Frankfurt to Pune departing 11:50AM arriving 12:40AM (+1 day)

LH769 Pune to Bucharest departing 2:10AM arriving 6:35AM
LH769 Bucharest to Frankfurt departing 7:05AM arriving 8:45AM

The stop in Bucharest is strictly a refueling stop. The eastbound flight can be operated nonstop thanks to the range of the 737-700, while the fuel stop is required on the westbound flight, given how short the runway is in Pune.

The PrivatAir 737-700 operating the route features a total of 86 seats.

This includes 20 angled business class seats in a 2-2 configuration, with 58″ of pitch.

As well as 66 economy seats in a 3-3 configuration, with 31″ of pitch.

I’m happy to see that Lufthansa and PrivatAir were able to come to an agreement that allows this flight to be resumed in a slightly more civilized manner. However, for a period of a few months a Lufthansa A319 will still be used on the route, so…

(Tip of the hat to W)

Comments

  1. Honestly, LH use to be a very well run airline until of late. That they even FLOATED this idea was insane on so many levels. Surely they could’ve reconfigured one of their own A319s into the private air configuration..

    Its just being cheap and now it has cost them dearly. Massive negative press…and negative press within India will end up sounding like ALL LH flights to India are now operated by A319 with a stop en-route. It’s not a good look!

  2. A little inaccurate. The runway at Pune is 8,300 ft. That is more than enough for a fully loaded and fueled 737-700 to take off. The runway at Pune isn’t the reason for the stop.

  3. Lufthansa should seriously consider configuring a small fleet of A320 Neos or something to fly this route

  4. @Tom W – the route is actually really popular and did well in the past for automotive execs since Pune is a hub for automotive OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers. Daimler has a huge presence in Pune – so much so that they even have their in international school there. Other major auto OEMs and suppliers operate out of Pune now.

  5. Lucky, you should really book this A319 flight. Life is about collecting unforgettable experiences, and I trust this will be a special one.

  6. I have a question to all the reconfiguration screamers,
    what airline would reconfigure an aircraft for one route ?

    All major airlines have a harmonized narow body fleet to operate it universal.

    If you have specialized aircrafts, you need spare aircrafts as well. Those would generate major costs.

    So LH rather operates a few month with a standard A320 till they figured a good agreement with privatair out, then re-configuring and aircraft. That makes totally sense.

  7. @Lucky
    It seems that PrivateAir in on the verge of bankruptsy. According to a report today in german media, these proceedings were started on 24.9.2018 in Bern Switzerland. This can be read on the Handelsamtblatt.
    The airline denies this and says this was all based on a misunderstanding.
    If you can german well, this article says it all and may explain why the agreement with LH was terminated overnight and even the new agreement from February has not even been confirmed according to a Lufthansa spokesperson.

    https://www.aerotelegraph.com/aufruhr-um-gerichtsbeschluss-zu-privatair

  8. I was recently talking to a Lufthansa flight attendant about this route. As you can imagine, the crew doesn’t like this route either.
    She told me Lufthansa was going to cancel the route after the agreement between PrivateAir and LH was terminated. However, as mentioned by Kent, this route is important for German automotive companies. The word is VW, Daimler and others put a lot of pressure on LH to keep this route active. They only could do it with a regionally configured Airbus A319, since a refitting for just one route would not be profitable.

  9. A321Neo LR long range can implement this little routine nonstop for much comfort. Other competitors such as Ryanair, easyJet, TuiFly, Eurowings, Germania airlines and Wizzair are likely to make this small routine more profitable than other big flight air companies.

    Passagers will have good business comfort with wide body transferring flight. From Frankfurt, Paris with A330 or A380 to New Delhi and Mumbai, then transfer to Pune with narrow body flight in short time.

  10. … and now LUFTHANSA Group has another problem to operate that route as planned in a somwhat decent way as of 2019! LUFTHANSA will have to act fast and NOT all is going as planned like they did with the airberlin bancrupcy playing with the German government. Wonder if LUFTHANSA had backup plans for this PrivateAir trouble too? Or does LUFTHANSA Group try to take over those employees and planes too? (sorry, LUFTHANSA N E V E R takes over staff form there competitors unless they agree to BIGcuts, so i doubt that take over will happen). Read this, LUFTHANSA will have to plan different again now. Or maybe they have strong influence at the German Federal Aviation Authority again, just like on the whipe out of airberlin just 1 year ago.

    Privatair is grounded in Germany!!

    Der deutsche Ableger der schweizerischen Fluggesellschaft Privatair, der über einige Jahre hinweg auch im Auftrag der Deutschen Lufthansa AG flog, musste nun eine Hiobsbotschaft vom deutschen Luftfahrtbundesamt zur Kenntnis nehmen, denn dieses suspendierte AOC und Betriebsbewilligung des Carriers.

    Gegenüber dem Branchenportal Aerotelegraph.com bestätigte die Muttergesellschaft, dass die Lizenz des Deutschland-Ablegers behördlich suspendiert wurde. Weiters ist zu lesen, dass dies eine direkte Folge der gerichtlichen Fehlpublikation – so das Unternehmen – wäre. Zwischenzeitlich soll das Gericht der Beschwerde von Privatair stattgegeben haben und die Insolvenz aufgehoben haben. Dennoch wurde der deutschen Tochtergesellschaft nun die Lizenz auf Eis gelegt. Dies bedeutet Flugverbot.

    Um eine Reaktivierung erreichen zu können müsse man einige Schritte unternehmen und “das dauert noch etwas”, so das Unternehmen gegenüber Aerotelegraph.com. Weiters erklärte man, dass dieser behördliche Schritt “unschön und nicht hilfreich” wäre. Man habe momentan jedoch den in Deutschland registrierten Flottenteil ohnehin nicht im Einsatz.

    Nicht betroffen von der Entscheidung des Luftfahrtbundesamt ist die schweizerische Muttergesellschaft, deren AOC und Betriebsbewilligung – ausgestellt durch das Eidgenössische Bundesamt für Zivilluftfahrt – aufrecht sind.

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