Lufthansa recently announced that its route from Frankfurt, Germany, to Pune, India will be operated again during the Winter season 2018.
Originally, Lufthansa offered this route through Frankfurt-based partner PrivatAir. They previously operated the niche route on a Boeing 737-700 configured with 20 LieFlat Business Class Seats and 66 Economy Class seats all configured with IFE.
The partnership between Lufthansa and PrivatAir ended in summer 2018, as the two couldn’t agree on a contract. Lufthansa sought a new airline to partner for the route. However, Lufthansa faced increased pressure from large German firms such as Volkswagen and Daimler that wanted direct flights, so it decided to resume the service themselves. The only problem is that the airport in Pune (PNQ) does not have a long enough runway to support widebody aircraft, so Lufthansa decided to use an Airbus A319 for this flight.
The new route will be 11 hours and 25 minutes long with the aircraft flying 6693 kilometers (4159 miles/ 3614 nautical miles). As mentioned, the new route will be flown on an A319, which has a maximum range 6,950 km (3,750 nautical miles) with a standard configuration for European flights. Sadly, this means no Lie-Flat seats, no IFE, and quite the narrow legroom across the cabin. The plane will have a fuel stop in Baku, Azerbaijan (GYD) without giving passengers the opportunity to disembark. Historically, the PrivatAir flight made its fuel stops and crew changes in Bucharest, Romania (OTP).
According to a press release, the flight will operate with a “reduced seat capacity,” allocating room for the crew to rest and an additional flight team. Nevertheless, passengers on this flight face significantly reduced comfort. This flight isn’t cheap either, at almost $4000 for a return ticket in Business Class!
Featured Images by Roberts Abols/Aeronautics Online