Lufthansa announced (01-Aug-2012) it commenced A380-operated Frankfurt-Houston service on 01-Aug-2012. The introduction of the 526-seat A380 aircraft on the service was welcomed by Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport and Houston Mayor Annise Parker. Lufthansa vice president The Americas Juergen Siebenrock said, "We are extremely excited to introduce our flagship A380 aircraft as the very first in the Houston market." [more - original PR]
Lufthansa commences A380 Frankfurt-Houston operations on 01-Aug-2012
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American-US Airways merger: the competitive impact on European carriers
The planned merger of AMR Corp, parent of American Airlines, and US Airways Group will have a small, but noticeable impact on European airlines via their North Atlantic networks. The merged AA-US Air will be the number four ranked airline group on the North Atlantic, an improvement on AA’s current sixth place. In terms of the alliances, if this merger and the Delta-Virgin Atlantic deal both complete, the three global alliances will have divided routes between Europe and North America almost equally between them, with little left for non-aligned carriers.
AA and US Air operate to Europe from different US hubs and there is no city pair route overlap between the two (so competition authorities seem unlikely to worry themselves on the grounds of these operations). However, when looking at overall markets between the US and individual European countries, the merger will have a competitive impact on European carriers’ North Atlantic activities, most notably Iberia and Alitalia, followed by Aer Lingus.
No hamburgers or frankfurters, but Ryanair will be serving Germany more
Germany is Europe’s number two aviation market (after the UK) by seats. However, although Ryanair is Germany’s third largest carrier, its share of seats there is only about 6%. It has a 14% share of capacity across all its markets and a significantly higher share in other major countries such as Italy, Spain and the UK. This under-representation in Germany may be about to change.
Although high charges at the main hubs and a well-organised main competitor have hindered Ryanair’s growth in Germany, it has shown at bases such as Duesseldorf Weeze and Frankfurt Hahn that it can build a dominant position.
Now, just as that competitor is focusing inwardly on its own restructuring, Ryanair is opening 47 routes from Germany in 2013, including three new airports. Looking further ahead, it has declared that it is in talks with 20 German airports with a view to adding five or six to its route network. We assess Ryanair’s current position and prospects in Germany, including consideration of which airports might attract it.