Lufthansa Will Fly To Just Six Long Haul Destinations

Filed Under: Lufthansa

Lufthansa Group has today revealed further schedule reductions over the coming months, as the airline continues operating just a small percentage of their regularly scheduled flights.

Lufthansa will operate six long haul routes

Through May 3, 2020, Lufthansa will operate long haul flights 3x weekly to just six destinations, all out of Frankfurt:

  • Bangkok (BKK)
  • Chicago (ORD)
  • Montreal (YUL)
  • Newark (EWR)
  • Sao Paulo (GRU)
  • Tokyo (HND)

In addition to that, Lufthansa will continue to operate 50 daily connections from Frankfurt and Munich to major cities in Europe.

By comparison to some other airlines, Lufthansa is still operating quite a few flights. However, keep in mind that Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines, both of which are part of the Lufthansa Group, have ceased operations temporarily.

Lufthansa is only operating six long haul routes

SWISS will only fly to Newark

SWISS is also part of the Lufthansa Group, and through May 3, 2020, the airline will operate just two long haul routes, 3x weekly:

  • Geneva to Newark
  • Zurich to Newark

The Geneva to Newark route is an interesting one. Ordinarily SWISS’ Geneva route is to New York JFK, so I imagine the shift to Newark is because United has a hub there, so this will offer lots of connectivity to other destinations.

The strange part is that the Geneva to Newark flight doesn’t appear to be in the schedule yet.

The airline will also drastically reduce short haul and medium haul flying, focusing on select European cities.

SWISS’ only long haul destination is Newark

Bottom line

It’s crazy how the industry has evolved. If you told me several weeks ago that there would be a time where Lufthansa operated only 18 total long haul flights in a week, I wouldn’t have believed it.

At this point I’m thinking to myself “hmmm, they’re operating that many flights? Seems aggressive.”

With all kinds of airlines around the globe grounded fully, and with huge immigration restrictions, Lufthansa is operating a surprising number of flights.

What do you make of Lufthansa’s current long haul schedule?

  1. It’s no mystery: LH code shares with UA, who’s hub is at EWR. This maintains connecting LH service to most of the US.
    JFK service doesn’t offer that (UA doesn’t serve JFK).

  2. Completely off topic, but it looks like some travel companies are ceasing to allow point redemptions for items not related to travel:

    “Before the novel coronavirus outbreak, members of airline and hotel loyalty programs could redeem their miles and points for items such as gift cards and services not directly related to travel. However, in response to the crisis, several companies have temporarily removed this wider category of offerings.”

    Granted, it’s an exceptionally bad value redeeming for gift cards most of the time…

  3. In all these cases LH/LX’s STAR partners UA and AC will likely maintain similar transAts that aren’t flying with LH/LX metal which is why YYZ-FRA will be handled by AC. Seems quite rational and logical under the circumstances though I’d have though May is rather optimistic but most airlines are going month by month.

  4. Very interesting Swiss will be operating two services both to Newark. Possibly from Geneva for UN staff I’m thinking? Why doesn’t Swiss fly year round to EWR instead of JFK to Geneva anyway.

  5. Relatively speaking, a lot of capacity on the EWR-FRA route. Up to 2 daily flights. Plus Air Canada service from Toronto

    I find it interesting that Alitalia has continued up to 2x daily flights JFK to FCO while Air France has made JFK to Paris 3x. How can Alitalia continue to fly daily to JFK? Makes no sense

  6. Considering how New York and New Jersey is the hotspot now for the coronavirus, this is kind of shocking.

  7. Is American Airlines clueless. They are operating 22 flights next week daily between NYC airports and CLT.

  8. Geneva being HQ from World Health Organization is imperative they have a connection out of the city.

  9. I think the flights from EWR to FRA are mainly to get Germans and German residents back to Germany. There are as yet no repatriation from the USA to Germany.

  10. DFW -> FRA on AA70 has just disappeared from American’s schedule until Jun 1. It was previously on the schedule to return May 7.

  11. @Ronald
    WHO can’t teleconference? They have to meet in NYC??

    Also, they’re still flying to Tokyo even though Japan won’t let Europeans in indefinitely? I guess Japanese citizens still need to get home and vice versa. But still doesn’t seem like they’ll need 3x/week.

  12. Had a wedding in Istanbul in July.

    Flying via Zurich and had JFK-ZRH, booked with LifeMiles.

    Wedding and trip canceled, now just hoping that SWISS cancels this route past June 28 so I don’t have to pay $400 redeposit fee for 2 people.

  13. it’s all about money and savings.
    I suspect airport fees might be lower at EWR. They also probably maintain one group of employees to serve all LH Group flights. The station manager helped me out several years ago. We arrived on a LH flight and the station manager was a second generation LX (and SR) employee. this could not be done as easily at JFK with different terminals.

  14. @Jim

    It’s because they don’t have a Toronto flight, whereas they do have a Montreal flight! YYZ operated as codeshare by AC.

  15. And SWISS still not allowing First Class award redemptions through partners… Come on. LH F availability with miles is superb right now.

  16. But Thailand and Japan only let people in that are either citizens or have some kind of residence permit…
    LH can’t get me home, told me to contact Thai, then my travel agent. They don’t give two hoots right now about their customers. No refunds either.

  17. Hello from Germany.
    I have just arrived from Hong Kong in first class as only passenger.
    All econoomy passengers upgraded to business which I think Lufthansa wonderful for do that.
    I hope all planes survive including Lufthansa.

  18. I thought thailand was shutting the borders down very tight, surprised they are still going to BKK

  19. WHO, UN and other staff are now at home enjoying tax free salaries. I doubt they will want to risk their lives getting contaminated while travelling. International organization staff are just wasting everyone’s money. Spending all their time working perks out. The most painful travellers of the bunch. This is straight from people who service them.

  20. Actually, Swiss serving only Newark and relying on onward connections with United makes the case (after the crisis) for a new hub model with a380 and 747 aircraft. it could lower emissions and save money for the airlines as well.

  21. @Jim,

    IATA, which is short for International Air Transport Association, is headquartered in Montreal, Canada, and also has Executive Offices in Geneva, Switzerland.

    Perhaps this partly explains why Montreal (YUL) is among the six (6) long haul routes LH is operating 3x week.

    Separately, apart from Newark (EWR) being the fortress hub for LH/LX’s anti-trust immunized joint venture (Star) alliance partner, United, that may allow for onward connections to possibly increase traffic on all of those airlines’ flights, another reason that may partly explain their use of Newark instead of NY/JFK is that with significantly reduced flights overall, especially for international cities, and to reduce costs, deal with any staffing shortages for terminal operations (including airside tarmac/ramp ops), customs & immigrations, policing & TSA security screening, etc., two (2) of JFK Airport’s six (6) passenger terminals are being/already are closed, Delta’s smaller T2 (which opened in the early 1960s and was used exclusively by DL for its domestic flights only), and British Airways’ (BA) similarly sized (and almost as old) T7, with JetBlue’s international arrivals hall at T5, and the entire T1, which also has its own customs and immigration hall owing to it being used nearly exclusively for international departures and arrivals also having their hours for operations reduced, too.

    Although press reports offer conflicting information on some details (this being noted in the event information included with this reader comment varies slightly from the actual, and as a reminder that anyone with flights departing/arriving at JFK would be wise to check with the OPERATING carrier within 72 hours only for the terminal their flight will operate at per advisories posted by the NYNJ Port Authority on its web page as hours of operations for ALL terminals, and therefore departures & arrivals at JFK’s terminals other than T4 are subject to change on very short notice), airlines with flights that until recently operated at terminals other than T4, where all of Delta’s flights, domestic & international, will operate at until further notice (NOTE: JFK T4 is sub-leased from NYNJ Port Authority & operated by a separate corporate entity, JFK IAT/Schiphol, not Delta; T2, however, is sub-leased & operated/managed by Delta from NYNJ Port Authority), with flights on ALL airlines, including British Airways (BA) and Alaska Airlines now operating at T8, where American, Cathay Pacific, and many other oneworld alliance carriers, EXCEPT Japan Airlines (which remains at T1, which it jointly sub-leases from NYNJ Port Authority & manages/operates with it’s Terminal One Group Association [TOGA] partners: Air France, Korean Airlines & Lufthansa) have been relocated to until further notice.

    [NOTE: as of this writing it’s unclear if BA’s T7, which opened 50 years ago in 1970, will ever reopen once Covid19 pandemic abates/passes into history after vaccine is introduced/cure is found, since it’s already scheduled to be torn down in 2022 after T8 is expanded modestly per the recently announced $13 billion terminal reconfiguration at JFK that will ultimately see JFK’s current six (6) terminals consolidated into just three (3) shopping malls – er terminals! – that may/may not be designated using numbers, geographical orientation or ??? (predominant airline/alliances – thus far nobody really knows?!?!].

    Again, as of this writing, the only airline still indicated as operating at JFK T7 is All Nippon Airways (ANA), but I would imagine that will change once that airline finds a new home at the airport as relocating terminals includes finding suitable space for offices, or of course, lounges for premium flyers, etc., if terminal closures at JFK are for a prolonged period – or if T7’s days as BA’s home have already come to an end ahead of the originally scheduled 2022 closure.

    So again (for this, too), anyone with flights via NY/JFK are advised to check with the OPERATING airline no more than 72 hours prior to departure/arrival for the terminal their flight will be operating at since the publication (“Airport Voice”) that originally reported the terminal closures and/or reduced hours at JFK also said T8’s departures shift to T4 after 8pm until the next morning, while other sources seem to agree on T1 now operating from 4:30am until 8pm daily for departures and arrivals.

    Meanwhile, some of JetBlue’s flights will also operate at T4 (as its international flights used to before it built its own customs & immigration hall last decade), although its unclear which flights from published reports that were reviewed while composing this reader comment.

    Bottom line is this:

    1.) with the hours reduced at Lufthansa’s (partly controlled/managed) JFK Terminal 1, it’s possible that instead of undertaking the trouble and expense of shifting its staff/other resources to Terminal 4 if T1 shuts down at 8pm at its own, and subsidiary airline(s) flight(s) cannot conform to those hours;

    2.) at least two (2) terminals at JFK, T2 and T7 are either already closed, or soon will be, so a reminder that anyone with upcoming flights on airlines that may yet still be listed as operating at those terminals, or one just goes to because of their previous flights are advised to contact the operating carrier within 72 hours only to confirm which terminal their flight will operate at;

    3.) JFK Terminal One (T1; Air France [but NOT KLM, which uses T4]; Aeroflot; Japan Airlines; Korean Airlines; among others) hours have been reduced to 4:30am until 8pm daily until further notice for all operations;

    4.) JFK T5 (JetBlue & others) and T8 (American, Alaska, British Airways, Cathay Pacific & others) also operating on a reduced schedule, although it is unclear if this applies only to their international flights; or all departures after 8pm, plus international arrivals after 8pm and before terminal fully reopens the next morning.

    Clearly, the situation at JFK is in flux, with gate/terminal changes for all airlines possibly made on short notice, except perhaps Delta and those airlines that were already based at T4 (AeroMexico, Emirates, Virgin Atlantic, etc.), so just keep that in mind!

    And unfortunately, the NYNJ Port Authority’s web site is woefully deficient of useful information, and instead simply states that flyers should consult with their operating carrier to find out which terminal will be used for their flights only within 72 hours of departure/arrival times.

  22. Please note the updated CORRECTION for the incomplete paragraph in my reader comment above, as follows:

    Bottom line is this:

    1.) with the hours reduced at Lufthansa’s (partly controlled/managed) JFK Terminal 1, it’s possible that instead of undertaking the trouble and expense of shifting its staff/other resources to Terminal 4 if T1 shuts down at 8pm at its own, and subsidiary airline(s) flight(s) cannot conform to those hours, that with United’s fortress hub at Newark, it just made much more sense to switch Swiss’ Geneva flights to EWR, while concentrating its resources there instead of at JFK where LH/LX not only lack UA’s feed, but also to eliminate cost/risk of having to split/shift operations for some flights (or any IROPS delays) arriving departing after 8pm to JFK T4 with T1s hours reduced to 4:30am until 8pm.

  23. Oh, one last “Addendum”/post script re LH’s Montreal (YUL) flights:

    Don’t forget! Airbus’s footprint in Montreal is also vastly increased & continues to grow after taking over Bombardier’s C-Series and rechristening it as the A220!

    So, it’s possible that, too, partly explains why Montreal is among the “Chosen Few” six destinations where Lufthansa continues to offer any regularly scheduled long haul nonstop service while other long haul destinations remain suspended.

  24. Per Swiss’ website, they have ceased all long-haul from Geneva. The GVA-EWR flight mentioned here is wrong (and never happened to my knowledge).
    The only long-haul Swiss is operating is ZRH-EWR three times a week (Wed, Fri and Sun).
    Swiss is keeping 8 European destinations from Zurich and 4 European destinations from Geneva.
    Link here:
    Please update the information on the article.

  25. Have you seen the stream of repatriation flights from FRA via BKK to AKL and CHC? With NZ locked down tight, plane spotters will be denied their first and last looks at Lufty A380s and 744s on Kiwi soil. The airline has never flown there before.

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