Demand for Lufthansa flights to U.S. soars on re-opening

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mFILE PHOTO: Lufthansa planes are seen parked on the tarmac of Frankfurt Airport

BERLIN (Reuters) – Demand for transatlantic flights has jumped since the United States announced plans last week to reopen to fully vaccinated travellers from countries including most of Europe, German airline Lufthansa said on Tuesday.

On some days last week, bookings for transatlantic flights were up threefold from the week before, with demand on some routes nearing pre-crisis levels, it said in a statement.

The United States said last week https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/us-relax-travel-restrictions-passengers-uk-eu-november-source-2021-09-20 it would reopen in November to air travellers from 33 countries including China, India, Brazil and most of Europe who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

For the large traditional European airline players, such as British Airways-owner IAG, Lufthansa and Air France-KLM, the decision represents a chance https://www.reuters.com/business/aerospace-defense/easing-restrictions-will-boost-us-airlines-business-travel-still-unclear-2021-09-20 to recover the transatlantic routes that are key to their profits.

Lufthansa said bookings for December flights to the United States reached pre-crisis levels last week.

Both leisure and business travellers snapped up tickets for flights from Zurich and Frankfurt to New York and to Miami.

Bookings last week for Premium Economy, Business and First Class flights to the United States was up compared with the same period in 2019.

Lufthansa said it was launching additional flights to the United States to meet the jump in demand, offering three flights daily to Miami from November on carriers Lufthansa and SWISS.

It is also considering adding more connections to New York, in addition to up to 55 weekly connections from its European hubs that it already has scheduled, to meet demand for pre-Christmas travel.

As demand for flights to the United States soars, Lufthansa is also adding more feeder flights within Germany and to its European hubs in Austria, Belgium and Switzerland.

(Reporting by Maria Sheahan, Editing by Louise Heavens)

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