By Shashank Nigam

Just a few hours ago, Lufthansa raised its forecast for full-year 2008 operating profits from EUR1.1 billion to EUR1.3 billion thanks to a stronger-than-expected fourth quarter. And this comes in at a time when not most major airlines around the world are struggling, but when Lufthansa’s main rivals in Europe, Air France-KLM and British Airways have both issued profit warnings in the past two weeks.

How does Lufthansa defy the trend?

A Lufthansa spokesperson says that lower fuel prices and favorable valuation effects were offsetting a slowdown in traffic demand. But I think there’s more at play here. It’s the formidable Lufthansa brand, that has stood the test of tough times, yet again. A brand that exudes reliability and efficiency

And a strong Lufthansa brand coupled with a vast network in developing markets like India only further helps the cause.

Continuing my series of articles on what makes or breaks airlines operating in India this February, I’d like to share the story of Lufthansa – probably the strongest foreign carrier in India. Below is an article that was recently published in the Indian Express (North America) edition, which comprehensively covers the key success factors for Lufthansa. The article includes a couple of quotes by me, as well as other leading aviation industry experts. You can read it right here, or download it for later as well.

Lufthansa in India- Breaking Boundaries (Indian Express) Pg 1 of 2

Lufthansa in India- Breaking Boundaries (Indian Express) Pg 2 of 2

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  • Mohan Chandar

    Few Reasons I can think of the top of my head. The Hub and Spoke model with Frankfurt connecting several key Indian cities to just about every major US city. Most Indian Traffic using LH is destined to the US. The Connections are excellent, Two 8-10 hour flights with not more than a couple of hours to Transit. Frankfurt airport is pretty easy to navigate and connect, much better than CDG/LHR. Not too much of competition for India-US traffic given the strengths of LH/FRA. LH clearly scores over BA/AI/KL-NW/AF/AI on several counts. 9W I thought must be providing some competition now, but then they only fly to EWR/JFK for now. My thoughts.,

  • Vignesh N

    As far my general knowledge goes, it has corporate tie-ups with global companies. And for obvious reasons, many global companies have offices in India. This means, associates in Indian offices travel by Lufthansa to their parent offices in US/Europe and elsewhere.

    Also it is part of Star Alliance, which I believe, is the world’s largest airline alliance which means more connectivity across the globe and hence the most preferred one.

    As far as my experience with Lufthansa, it offers great Indian food (both South & North Indian) and offers variety of Indian movies (Bangla, Tamil, and Hindi).

  • Martin von Wolfersdorff

    Dear Shashank,
    I was Sales Manager for Eastern Europe and extensively travelled to Rumania, Russia etc. Being based in Duesseldorf, all my flights were booked with Lufthansa. On return flights, I felt home from the moment I was in the plane! Customer focused, friendly and well trained staff, every thing radiating consistency and quality. It felt very . . . German.

    Behind this eye candy at the surface, I think it is the strategic alliances and longterm market understanding which makes Lufthansa successful.

    Best wishes,
    Martin

  • Rajiv BajajSamuel Johnson Gamaliel

    In addition to the points of Vignesh,

    the geographical location of Lufthansa hub in Frankfurt makes the strategic connectivity to the North America & Europe.

    Flight Scheduling is good for the connecting flights to Longhaul flights to Northern America, which is reducing the travel time / transit time and good distribution of flight hours like 11 + 13 /12 hrs instead of Gulf hub operations like 4 + 16 /17 hrs. On short haul,good connectivity to European cities ( west to eastern european countries) as it is in centrally located in Europe, adds another feather to this attraction.

    Considering Quality, Cost, Customer Service it is good among its competitors AF, BA for Economy Class passengers also.

  • http://www.petrelocation.com Rachel @ PetRelocation.com

    Lufthansa also has what is considered to be one of the premiere live animal programs, which caters to pets being flown internationally. They do this by offering an “Animal Lounge” at their hub in Frankfurt, where pets are cared for, fed, watered and walked. They also keep pets in climate controlled conditions throughout the entire travel period. At PetRelocation, we use Lufthansa almost exclusively when shipping pets into/out of India.

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