Due to the demise of Air Berlin, and the fact that many Air Berlin loyalists are ‘stranded’ without their favorite carrier, LH Group has announced that it will continue to send widebody aircraft to Berlin in order to accommodate travelers wishing to travel to and from Berlin. This announcement follows on the heels of Lufthansa’s use of the 744 during certain flights between Frankfurt and Berlin during September.
Lufthansa in their press release feigned surprise at the fact that they’re seeing increased demand from Berlin, but with AB’s shutdown looming what was to be expected? With LH being able to buy a significant chunk of AB’s operations, aircraft, and staff this obviously did not really come as a surprise to anyone.
So with that in mind, here are the changes that are coming for the next few weeks:
From October 23 to October 25 SWISS, Austrian, and Lufthansa will schedule most, if not all flights to be operated by A321 aircraft in order to increase capacity from Berlin to Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, and Vienna.
During this 2 day period, Lufthansa flights not being operated by the A321 will see the A346 operate the flight between October 23 and 25. For it’s part, SWISS will send their A333s to fly between Zurich and Berlin on October 24 and 25. Austrian will run their 767s between Vienna and Berlin on October 24.
SWISS has updated their timetable to reflect the assignment of their 777 aircraft to 3 European destinations during this coming Winter. This has happened each year since the addition of the 777 to LX’s fleet as it provides an opportunity for SWISS to continue to train and certify crews for the 777 aircraft.
This winter’s 777 destinations include Geneva, Hannover, and Vienna and will operate as follows:
Zurich – Geneva will see the 777 between December 4 and March 23 on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays. Flight number LX2802 from Zurich, and Flight LX2807 from Geneva.
Zurich – Hannover will see the 777 between December 4 and March 22 on Mondays and Thursdays. Flight number LX816 from Zurich, and Flight LX817 from Hannover.
Zurich – Vienna will see the 777 between December 4 and March 22 on Mondays and Thursdays. Flight number LX1582 from Zurich, and Flight LX1853 from Vienna.
Now before you get excited about being able to book a First Class ticket for these short haul flights, SWISS will not open the ‘F’ cabin for booking. However, passengers booking Business Class tickets will be able to enjoy the 777’s Business Class cabin.
There have been anecdotes from past years that passengers have been allowed to sit the ‘F’ cabin, but that would be at the discretion of the purser. From personal experiences in seeing how SWISS pursers behave with even the most trivial matters, I would be surprised if any of these stories are true.
If you haven’t acted yet, you have 2 days left to take advantage of Lufthansa’s fare deals for travel to the USA. The fares cover travel on Lufthansa Group airlines as well as Air Canada and United.
The sale covers Business Class with fares starting as low as €1500 from most Lufthansa / SWISS / Austrian origination cities in Europe. Most of the USA’s east coast can be reached for only €1500-€1600, while the midwest and west coast can be booked for only €1800-€2000.
Canadian destinations have even better pricing with fares to Montreal or Toronto coming in at only €1300.
This fare sale is set to expire on September 6 so there is are 48 hours to take advantage.
The rules and fine print of the deal:
Minimum stay of 7 days is required
Tickets must be booked 60 days prior to departure
Travel must be complete by October 12, 2018
When flight LX7545 arrived in Zurich after a short hop from Geneva on August 15, it marked the end of an era in SWISS aviation. With the completion of this flight came the retirement of SWISS’ last Avro RJ100 aircraft, one of 21 that had served SWISS dutifully for 15 years. In addition to the RJ100, SWISS had also operated 4 of RJ85 variant.
During its 2 decades of service, this workhorse earned the nickname of ‘Jumbolino’ due to the fact that it hung 4 engines from its wings as it sought to imitate much larger aircraft even though it served as a short haul specialist.
SWISS’ last RJ100 arrives to a water cannon salute after completing its final flight. (Photo Credit: SWISS).
According to SWISS, the RJ100 fleet flew over 700,000 hours and operated well over a half-million flights during its successful tenure with the airline.
The retirement of the Jumbolino was primarily due to the addition of Bombardier C-series aircraft to the fleet. With the C-series, SWISS gains substantial operational improvement and capacity over the RJ100. Currently there are 10 C-Series (8 of the -100, and 2 of the -300 variant), with plans for 20 more to join the fleet by the end of next year.
3 RJ100s remain in service with Brussels Airlines but their retirement is planned before the end of the year. Lufthansa Group will no longer operate the aircraft type after SN retires their 3 birds.
Lufthansa and SWISS are currently offering a fantastic fare for travel from Paris to California in Business Class. In looking over valid travel dates, it appears that the fares are available into early next year. However, it looks like the fares are valid for travel on Monday / Tuesday / Wednesday. Going into 2018, the fare seems to only work for Monday travel. Regardless, you can book a roundtrip ticket for only $1993.
Since this is not an advertised sale, I don’t know how long the fare will last, or if in fact it is an error fare which can be removed at any time.
As with any fare published by Lufthansa, the same pricing would apply to flights operated by other Star Alliance carriers that flight the same route.