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Munich Airport: long haul capacity growth outpaces Frankfurt

Annual seat capacity between Munich Airport and long haul destinations has jumped by almost a quarter over the past two years. Since last summer there have been route launches from Munich to Bogotá by Avianca, to Banjul (Gambia) by Corendon Airlines Europe, to Osaka by Lufthansa, and to Dallas by American.

Eurowings is planning four US route launches from Munich in 2020: Anchorage, Phoenix, Las Vegas (operated by Eurowings in summer 2018 after Condor had operated the route in summer 2017) and Orlando.

Eurowings' parent Lufthansa plans to launch a new five times weekly Munich-Bangalore service from Mar-2020, deploying A350-900 aircraft. Lufthansa will also launch five times weekly Munich-Detroit (already operated by Delta summer only) in Mar-2020, and six times weekly Munich-Seattle (ceased by Condor in Oct-2017) in Jun-2020.

Munich is a significant second long haul hub for Germany after Frankfurt, whose North America and Asia Pacific capacity has remained virtually unchanged over the past two years.

In the week of 19-Aug-2019, Munich's seat capacity to North America is 38% of Frankfurt's and to Asia Pacific, it is 39%. Lufthansa will increase its A380 fleet at Munich from five to seven aircraft from summer 2020, matching its Frankfurt A380 numbers.

Summary

  • North America accounts for more than half and Asia Pacific for more than one third of Munich's long haul seats this summer.
  • Munich's long haul capacity has grown faster than the total – driven by North America and Asia Pacific, moving from 11% of seats in 2017 to 12.6% in 2019.
  • However, the number of long haul destinations from Munich has fallen since 2017.
  • Munich is a significant long haul hub, giving Lufthansa additional flexibility in its network and welcome bargaining power with its main hub at Frankfurt.

North America and Asia Pacific account for high proportions of Munich's long haul seats

For the purposes of this report, long haul destinations from Munich are taken to be those in North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific and Africa excluding North Africa.

North America is the largest of Munich's long haul regions, accounting for 53.2% of its long haul seats in 2019, according to CAPA analysis of data from OAG.

Asia Pacific accounts for 37.5% of long haul seats, while Latin America has 5.9% and long haul Africa only 3.4%.

Munich Airport: long haul* seats by region, 2019

 

Long haul capacity at Munich has grown faster than total capacity since 2017…

Long haul seat numbers from Munich fell between 2011 and 2013, but then enjoyed a recovery, with 9.5% growth in 2014, according to data from OAG.

Growth was modest in 2015-2017, between 3% and 4% pa, but has accelerated in the past two years.

Munich Airport: weekly seats (one way) to long haul destinations*, Sep-2011 to Feb-2020

 

In 2018 long haul growth was 10.6% and in 2019 it is set to reach 11.7%. These figures compare with growth in total Munich seat capacity of 5.8% in 2018 and 2.8% in 2019.

Over the past two years combined, long haul growth will have been 23.6%, compared with 8.7% for seats to all destinations.

…driven by North America and Asia Pacific

Between 2017 and 2019 more than 770,000 additional long haul seats will have been added, with the two largest long haul regions each contributing approximately half of this number.

North America's two-year increase in seats will be 400,000 (up by 22.8%) and Asia Pacific's will be 375,000 seats (up by 32.8%).

Latin America's 2017-2019 growth will be 17.4%, whereas long haul Africa (i.e. excluding North Africa) will have dropped by 22.0%.

Munich Airport: rolling 52-week seat numbers (one way) to long haul destinations* and long haul as a percentage of total seats, Sep-2011 to Feb-2020

 

The faster growth in long haul seats compared with total capacity from Munich over the past two years has led to an increase in long haul's share of total seats. This was broadly 11% between 2012 and 2017, fluctuating within a fairly narrow range. However, it rose to 11.7% in 2018 and is set to be 12.6% in 2019.

The number of long haul destinations has fallen since 2017

Although the numbers of seats on long haul routes from Munich has leapt since 2017, the number of long haul airports with direct links to the Bavarian capital has actually fallen.

According to CAPA analysis of OAG data, Munich has 32 long haul destinations in the week of 19-Aug-2019 (in the summer peak period), compared with 38 in the equivalent week of 2017.

Munich Airport: number of long haul destinations* by region

Week

Africa**

Latin America

Asia Pacific

North America

Long haul total

21-Aug-17

5

5

9

19

38

19-Aug-19

4

2

10

16

32

The number of routes has dropped in all long haul regions, apart from Asia Pacific, where it has grown from nine to 10.

In North America, the number has dropped from 19 to 16; in Latin America, from five to two; and in long haul Africa, from five to four.

Munich Airport: long haul destinations, week of 19-Aug-2019

North America

Asia Pacific

Africa*

Latin America

Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson

Bangkok Suvarnabhumi

Boa Vista Aristides Pereira**

Bogota El Dorado

Boston Logan

Beijing Capital

Johannesburg Oliver R Tambo

Mexico City Juarez

Charlotte Douglas

Delhi Indira Gandhi

Sal Amilcar Cabral**

 

Chicago O'Hare

Hong Kong

Banjul Yundum

 

Dallas Fort Worth

Mumbai

 

 

Denver

Osaka Kansai

 

 

Detroit Metropolitan

Seoul Incheon

 

 

Houston George Bush

Shanghai Pudong

 

 

Los Angeles

Singapore Changi

 

 

Montreal Trudeau

Tokyo Haneda

 

 

New York JFK

 

 

 

New York Newark

 

 

 

San Francisco

 

 

 

Toronto Pearson

 

 

 

Vancouver

 

 

 

Washington Dulles

 

 

 

Munich-Asia Pacific: Lufthansa has launched Osaka and entered two other routes

The increase by one in route numbers from Munich to Asia Pacific between Aug-2017 and Aug-2019 is the result of Lufthansa's launch of a daily Osaka service in Mar-2019. Lufthansa is the sole operator.

Capacity to Asia Pacific has additionally been boosted over the past two years by Lufthansa's entry on two routes.

Lufthansa entered Munich-Singapore in Mar-2018, with a five times weekly service, codesharing with Singapore Airlines, which operates the route daily.

In Jun-2019 Lufthansa entered the Munich-Bangkok Suvarnabhumi route, matching the daily frequency on the route already operated by Thai Airways. According to OAG, Eurowings will assume the Lufthansa operation from the start of the coming winter season.

In addition, Lufthansa has increased its summer frequency to Seoul from six times weekly to daily.

Munich to Asia Pacific: weekly seats (one way), Sep-2011 to Feb-2020

 

Munich-North America: American Airlines has launched Dallas Fort Worth and entered Charlotte-Douglas

In North America, the net decline in destinations between Aug-2017 and Aug-2019 by three follows the cessation of four routes and the launch of one.

Munich-Halifax was only flown by the sole operator Condor in summer 2016 and summer 2017.

Munich-Las Vegas was flown by Condor in summer 2017 only and by Eurowings in summer 2018 only, and is no longer operated.

Munich-Seattle was briefly operated by Condor between Jun-2017 and Oct-2017 only.

Munich-Philadelphia was operated for many years by American Airlines (and previously, US Air) until Mar-2019, when it ceased.

American Airlines replaced its Philadelphia service with the launch of Munich-Dallas Fort Worth in Jun-2019. It flies the route daily as sole operator.

In spite of the smaller number of routes, seat numbers between Munich and North America have grown over the past two years. This has been driven by American Airlines' Mar-2019 entry into Munich-Charlotte Douglas, matching Lufthansa's daily frequency.

Munich to North America: weekly seats (one way), Sep-2011 to Feb-2020

 

Munich-North America: Lufthansa's Chicago frequency increase and Montreal upgauge

In addition, growth has resulted from Lufthansa's summer 2019 frequency increase on Munich-Chicago from daily to twice daily (its JV partner United also operates the route, with a daily service).

Lufthansa has also upgauged on Munich-Montreal, while maintaining a daily frequency.

Munich-Latin America: Avianca has launched Munich-Bogotá

The Munich-Latin America market has added one route, but lost four routes over the past two years, for a net reduction of three in mid August.

However, three of the four routes no longer operating this summer will return in the coming winter.

Munich-Cancún and Munich-Punta Cana, previously year-round routes for Condor (and Eurowings from Apr-2018 to Apr-2019), are now winter-only and so, are not operating this summer.

Munich-Havana was also previously a year-round route for Condor, but is now winter-only. Eurowings also operated the route in winter 2018/2019.

Munich-Mauritius was operated by Condor between Jan-2017 and Apr-2018, when it withdrew. Eurowings entered the route before withdrawing in Apr-2019. The route has not been in operation this summer, but Condor will re-enter in winter 2019/2020.

Munich-Holguín was terminated by the sole operator Condor in Apr-2018.

Avianca launched Munich-Bogotá in Nov-2018 and flies the route five times weekly as sole operator.

Munich-Africa: Mombasa and Mauritius withdrawn, Banjul launched

Route numbers between Munich and long haul Africa have fallen from five to a net of four since Aug-2017, following two cessations and one route launch.

Munich-Mombasa was terminated by the sole operator Condor in Apr-2018 after two years of operation.

Munich-Mauritius was operated by Condor in winter only until Jun-2017, when it began a year-round service. However, this was terminated in Apr-2018, when Condor withdrew and Eurowings entered as the sole operator, but then pulled out in Apr-2019. According to OAG, Condor will return to the route in the coming winter season.

Corendon Airlines Europe launched a weekly summer-only service to Banjul Yundum Airport (Gambia) in Apr-2019 and is the sole operator.

Munich is a significant long haul hub

Over the past two years Munich's long haul growth has been driven by destinations in North America and Asia Pacific. Current indications of plans by Lufthansa and its subsidiary Eurowings suggest that North America will further increase its importance to Munich's long haul growth in 2020.

Munich has more capacity to major long haul regions than other European airports that have higher total passenger numbers.

For example, Munich has almost three times the Asia Pacific capacity of Madrid and almost the same North America capacity as the Spanish capital. Compared with Barcelona, the airport has nearly five times the Asia Pacific seat numbers as the Catalan city and 40% more North America capacity (based on OAG data for the week of 19-Aug-2019).

Lufthansa's planned transfer of responsibility for Eurowings' long haul operations to its Network Airlines division could further enhance Munich's importance as a long haul hub over time.

Even without that possibility, Munich is a significant long haul hub, giving Lufthansa additional flexibility in its network and welcome bargaining power with its main hub at Frankfurt.

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