Lufthansa commences Pune-Frankfurt direct service

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Pune, Jul 2 (UNI) German national carrier Lufthansa's maiden flight arrived at the Pune International Airport here today from Frankfurt.

With this, the airline has commenced its new non-stop six-days a week service between Frankfurt and Pune, the seventh destination in the country.

Talking to reporters here, Werner Heesen, Director (South Asia) of Lufthansa, said apart from Pune, the airline has been operating from the other cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kolkata.

He said the Pune-Frankfurt flight will fly out from Pune six days a week, barring Sunday. The flight from Frankfurt to Pune will not be available on Saturday. The Airbus A319 has 48 seats in an all-business class configuration.

He said the occupancy factor was good on the Pune-Frankfurt flight, without giving more details.

Mr Heesen said all the routes that Lufthansa was operating were profitable and it had not had a chance to either close down or stop flights from any of the locations. About 22-23 per cent of the Asia Pacific revenue came from India and is the second biggest market after Japan, before China.

Looking at the travel figures, he said about 30 per cent of the entire business came from the small and medium enterprise travellers.

He said presently, Lufthansa is not looking at the economy class from Pune, as these seats have been increased in Mumbai.

Replying to a query about the cargo handling from Pune, he said the Airbus 319 did not have the capacity for handling of cargo as it had extended tanks for carrying fuel. He, however, noted that as soon as the runway at the Pune International Airport was ready, it will be looking at more options for the city.

Mr Heesen said Pune is the eighth largest city in the country and is home to many international firms in IT, bio-techology, bio-chemistry and automotive segment. It is also a medical tourism destination, targetting overseas patients, including those from Europe.

The roundtrip from Pune to Frankfurt will be Rs 95,000 and to the US will be Rs 1,29,000.

UNI DWN SSS SKB PDT RK2031

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