Pune: The only flight of Lufthansa airlines from Pune to Frankfurt, which connects the city to other European countries, will be discontinued till the summer schedule. The discontinuation of the flight will directly affect the passengers travelling from Pune to Germany and other countries.
The six-day flight will be discontinued till October end, which is the end of the summer schedule of the airline.
The airline released a statement regarding the discontinuation on Sunday.
According to the statement, the flight will be suspended until the end of the summer schedule due to operational and commercial reasons.
“Lufthansa has decided to suspend its cooperation with one of its wet lease partners until the end of the summer schedule due to operational and commercial reasons. The last scheduled departure took place on June 29 in Pune. Lufthansa and the former wet lease partner are now examining various options to resume cooperation as soon as possible. Lufthansa regrets this decision and has rebooked the passengers already booked,” Lufthansa spokesperson said.
The flight from Pune departs at 1.55 am while the flight from Frankfurt arrives at 12:55 am. The flight was cancelled from December 2017 to January 3, 2018, later the flight was resumed.
The flight, which was started 10 years ago, was patronised by premium customers and had a good demand. Offering all business class seats when it first commenced operations, it later switched to a mixed class version of business and economy classes. The flight was the only direct European connection available to passengers from Pune and Western Maharashtra.
A wet lease is a leasing arrangement whereby one airline (the lessor) provides an aircraft, complete crew, maintenance, and insurance (ACMI) to another airline or other type of business acting as a broker of air travel (the lessee), which pays by hours operated.
“Suspension of the direct Pune-Frankfurt flight of Lufthansa is a great setback to the city. This flight was quite popular with the passengers and offered a vital link between these two industrially and culturally rich global business centres. It played an important role in facilitating manufacturing, business, trade, commerce and tourism from Pune and surrounding areas,” said city-based aviation expert and analyst Dhairyashil Vandekar.
Pune has hundreds of German companies, tie-ups and recent start-ups in sectors such as heavy engineering, auto and auto ancillaries, machine tools, chemical and pharmaceutical, engineering, IT services and software, biochemistry, biotechnology, logistics and transport, electronics and electrical equipment, medical tourism, finance and insurance etc. Frankfurt served as a popular gateway to businessmen, industrialists, corporates, tourists and students from Pune who preferred this flight, as it offered convenient connections to destinations in Europe, USA and Canada. Suspension of this flight will also be disappointing to a large number of Germans and their families who are working in Pune and have made Pune their second home.
“Seeing the important role that the flight was playing in facilitating and promoting trade and culture between the two countries, it is hoped that the issues requiring Lufthansa to suspend the flight will be soon sorted out and this flight will be reinstated. While connections are available to Germany from Mumbai, it is nothing compared to the convenience that this flight offered to passengers of flying directly out of Pune,” Vandekar said.