Germany's Frankfurt Airport opened (02-Oct-2012) its new Pier A-Plus at Terminal 1 on 02-Oct-2012, as scheduled. Operations at the new pier are scheduled to commence on 10-Oct-2012. The EUR700 million facility is designed to increase capacity at the airport by up to 6 million passengers p/a. The pier will be used exclusively by Lufthansa and Star Alliance airlines. Fraport executive board chairman Stefan Schulte said, "this extra capacity will allow us to meet traffic growth expected in the coming years and to strengthen our role as one of the world’s leading aviation hubs. This terminal expansion also sets new standards for the travel experience of our passengers and for terminal management." [more - original PR] [more - original PR - German]
Frankfurt Airport opens EUR700 'Pier A-Plus' facility
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Lufthansa Group-Singapore Airlines JV Part 3: JV to support expanded Singapore-Europe capacity
The new Lufthansa Group and Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group joint venture open up opportunities for additional capacity from Singapore to Germany and Switzerland. Lufthansa is confident the improved connectivity beyond Singapore which comes with the JV will help support higher traffic and capacity levels while SIA will benefit from improved connectivity beyond its three German and Swiss gateways.
The two airline groups recently already added over 1,100 weekly one-way seats from Singapore to Germany and Switzerland, representing expansion of 8%, ahead of the formal start of the JV. The expansion included the launch of flights by SIA to Dusseldorf, a route that likely would not have been viable without the JV, and the up-gauging of flights to Singapore by Swiss from A340s to 777-300ERs.
Both airline groups are now considering further capacity increases as well as new routes. Lufthansa is looking at using its new A350 fleet to resume Singapore-Munich, which would supplement its daily Singapore-Frankfurt A380 service and give the group 21 weekly frequencies and nearly 8,000 weekly one-way seats under the JV compared to 31 frequencies and nearly 10,000 weekly seats for SIA.
Lufthansa linked to possible acquisitions of SAS, Brussels Airlines & Condor. Eurowings is priority
Numerous media reports have speculated that Lufthansa may be on the acquisition trail. Group CEO Carsten Spohr told Bloomberg that consolidation in Europe is needed and that Lufthansa wants to be a part of it (Bloomberg, 22-Apr-2016), but did not identify specific targets. Moreover, Mr Spohr said the Group was concentrating on making sure that its LCC platform Eurowings worked first.
Interestingly, however, the reports have specified three possible acquisitions, in each case suggesting that they could be used as part of the Eurowings project. The three are SAS, Brussels Airlines and Condor Flugdienst (part of the Thomas Cook Group). In all three cases, there are historical and/or cultural reasons to suggest that some form of closer cooperation, including the possibility of acquisition (or partial acquisition), could feasibly be up for discussion.
Lufthansa's partnership with SAS goes back to the time before they were both involved in setting up the Star Alliance, while Lufthansa is already a minority shareholder in Brussels Airlines and a former shareholder in Condor. Of the three, only Condor could be a realistic candidate to become part of the Eurowings operation. None of these possible Lufthansa acquisitions would significantly change European airline market structure.