Lufthansa cancels planned Airbus A380 service to Mumbai

As per the time-table on its website, German carrier Deutsche Lufthansa has once again cancelled its planned equipment upgrade on its Frankfurt Mumbai Frankfurt service.

The airline first cancelled a planned upgrade from the existing Boeing 747-400 to the new Boeing 747-8i in July. At that time the airline said it would upgrade Mumbai to an A380.

Just two weeks earlier, we had reported the plans of the airline to upgrade Mumbai to the A380 from this winter schedule which starts on October 26, 2014. At that time there was speculation as to which airline, Lufthansa or its arch rival, Emirates airline, would score the sole A380 at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji airport.

Last last week it appeared that Emirates had won the round once again. We had analysed the options for Lufthansa, given that the equipment upgrade on this route is desperate required to arrest the diminishing market share for the Germans.

Since the airline continues to show a planned A380 service to New Delhi, it would behove the airline to consider moving the current Boeing 747-8i that is deployed on the New Delhi Frankfurt route to Mumbai.

What should be the next step for Lufthansa? Share your thoughts via a comment.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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9 comments

  1. Considering 748 has a better cabin product than 380, that can be a blessing in disguise for Mumbai passengers.

    • I haven’t seen the 748 interior yet – given that there aren’t really more than a handful of them flying around & almost none in my part of the world. However, the A380 cabin is quite unbeatable at this – I wouldn’t think the 748 can beat it. At best, equal it…

  2. I believe LH should try the load factor and customer response with 748 product for sometime. Then if has good response then it should try upgrading to A380 when the slot is free. I guess BOM is highly competitive and to fill an A380 or to get over 80% load it takes sometime. So its wise for LH to go with 748 for the time being!

    • If they can’t fill a A380 to BOM, they won’t be able to fill one to any Indian city.

      They wouldn’t be playing scheduling games unless they really wanted to fly the A380 to BOM, so they probably do see the market.

      In any case, they need to retire their old 747-400s and put in either the A380 or the 747-8. Beautiful as the old 747 is, it can’t compete anymore (efficiency wise, or interior comfort, IFE, etc)

  3. The problem is due to bureaucracy. Only Mumbai and Delhi is always a focus. Though Bangalore and Hyderabad has a A380 stand if not used it is of no use of boasting infrastructure. If a country has to develop it is based on the infrastructure and the best use of it. Promotion of all cities are necessary it is not just Mumbai and Delhi which makes India.

    • C9,
      BOM is the place , where our country rakes in the “moolah”. BLR & HYD are “IT/BT” cities- revenues from IT/BT is miniscule and risky, when you compare with Core Industries. So naturally there is consistent traffic all year round in BOM. BLR, in addition to ferry IT traffic to west, should think of a hub facility, tourism feeders to Mysore/Hampi, connect Coimbatore/Hubli/Mangalore (+Hosur shuttle) to small industrialists who do business in EU/US.

  4. I guess the next step for Lufthansa would be to just keep the service going on with the current equipment of the 747-400 for the time being till the Mumbai airport gets fully constructed.As far as I know,Mumbai airport has only one stand(i.e. code F) which is being used by SIA and Emirates.Due to the coinciding schedules of the code F using aircrafts,Lufthansa simply cannot bring in the 747-8I equipment as the aircraft is code F compatible.All they can do is to either reschedule their Mumbai-Frankfurt service or continue using the 747-400 till the other code F gates are constructed.
    As far as the infrastructure is concerned at other airports like Bangalore and Hyderabad which are code F compatible there should be the required load factors to tweak those services to larger aircrafts like 747-8I or the A380.Bangalore which already enjoys the 747-8I services is because of the satisfactory load factors.

  5. LH must leverage it Star Alliance relationship with AI better to compete with EK, EY and QR in India. The government and AI wanted the alliance so bad, it is time for pay back.