Even with a record number of daily new COVID-19 cases, Lufthansa is continuing service to three Indian cities form it Frankfurt (FRA) hub. But effective immediately, those flights will make technical stops in Dubai (DXB) so that crews do not have to remain overnight in India.
Lufthansa Adds Dubai Stop On All India Flights
Lufthansa has consolidated all of its India flights to Frankfurt. That includes:
- Bangalore (BLR) – 3x weekly (LH754/755)
- Delhi (DEL) – 4x weekly (LH760/761)
- Mumbai (BOM) – 3x weekly (LH756/757)
Through the end of the month, each flight in each direction will make a ground stop in Dubai of up to 1 hour, 15 minutes.
All three services to India utilize a four-cabin Boeing 747-8 with economy, premium economy, business, and first class. While passenger traffic is limited, cargo is not only lucrative but essential. Lufthansa serves not only as transport of vital medical supplies for much of Europe that are manufactured in India, but has also delivered vital resources to help in India’s own battle against the virus.
With the Dubai stops, flight crews will fly from Germany to Dubai, rest, then fly Dubai to India to Dubai as a tag flight, rest again, then fly back to Germany. This will limit crew time to only about two hours on the ground in India – just enough time to unload then reload cargo and passengers.
Note that passengers will not be allowed off or on in Dubai, so Lufthansa will not suddenly be offering three flights per day to Dubai and new Fifth Freedom service from DXB to BLR, DEL, and BOM.
Lufthansa’s daily (three-cabin, no first class) service between Frankfurt and Dubai (LH630/631) will continue as normal.
Reacting to a worsening situation in India and concerns over crew safety, Lufthansa will temporarily use Dubai as a puesdo-hub to conduct its India operations. United is doing something similar for its Taipei service now and I would expect more creative routings as pandemic flareups continue around the world.
And yes, if you are traveling in first class between Germany and India you’ll now have up to three hours longer in first class on your round-trip journey, though all first class lounges remain closed. Somehow, if you are traveling back and forth between India now that is probably not your primary concern…
(H/T: One Mile At A Time // image: Lufthansa)