German flag carrier, Lufthansa, has announced expansion of its services to key Indian cities for business and leisure travellers alike. It also announced the launch of a new route from Frankfurt to Pune in western India from 1 July 2008.
Lufthansa said that travellers will now be able to access Pune non-stop, six times a week in an Airbus A319 aircraft re-configured as a business jet.
''The Lufthansa services are increasing in line with the ongoing, very dynamic economic development in India,'' said Dr Karl-Rudolf Rupprecht, senior vice-president hub management, Frankfurt. ''With seven non-stop destinations and 55 flights per week, Lufthansa remains the leading European airline in India. We have almost quadrupled our flights to India since 2001, when we operated 15 flights per week to three destinations.''
Lufthansa said it will operate services to Pune as all-business class flights on the Airbus A319, which has been refitted as a business jet and is operated by PrivatAir, a VIP and business aviation specialist.
According to Lufthansa, the aircraft has 48 modern lie-flat seats which, when fully reclined, provide an almost horizontal sleeping surface measuring two metres (6'6'') in length. Bigger seat pitches, more generous table-top areas, power ports for notebooks as well as a reading lamp that is integrated into the seat provide ideal conditions for business travellers to work during the flight.
Thanks to the spacious layout of the cabin, passengers travel in an extremely quiet and relaxed atmosphere and can enjoy individualised in-flight service.
The city of Pune is located approximately 200 kilometres south-east of Mumbai and is home to many large international firms in the IT, biotechnology and biochemistry sectors. The region is also regarded as the centre of the automotive industry and a key manufacturing base for numerous international car manufacturing companies in India. European carmakers like Mercedes, Volkswagen, Renault, Fiat, Skoda and Audi as well as the large Indian automobile companies Tata Motors and Bajaj Auto manufacture cars in their plants in Pune mainly for the Asian market.
Pune, which is twinned with Bremen, has become an important location for German companies.
About 200 German companies are currently represented there.
The return fare for the business class service can be booked at the special introductory fare of 2,199 euros from 24 April until the end of June 2008. This includes all taxes, fees and the Lufthansa Ticket Service Charge of 15 euros for bookings made online at www.lufthansa.com.
The new service at a glance: Frankfurt – Pune (India)
Schedule (all times are local times)
New from 1 July 2008 (inaugural flight)
LH 768 Frankfurt 16:15 hrs – Pune 04:00 hrs (next day) - daily except for Saturdays
LH 769 Pune 05:29 hrs – Frankfurt 10:50 hrs - daily except for Sundays
Flight time (average):
Frankfurt – Pune: 8 hours 15 minutes
Pune – Frankfurt: 8 hours 50 minutes
6,673 kilometres / 4,146 miles
Airbus A319LR (Lufthansa Business Jet, operated by PrivatAir)
48 seats (Business Class)