German carrier Lufthansa said the cost of operations in India is very high and thus the company has ruled out plans to expand in the sub-continent.
‘We are not interested in being another player for domestic operations. Because we are not an expert in that,’ Lufthansa Group Airlines senior director for South Asia Wolfgang Will said.
He was responding to a question whether Lufthansa had any plans to set up a local carrier in India following Qatar Airways announcing its plans to foray into the domestic airline business. ‘We have the highest fuel cost in India, we have a lot of taxes, very high operational cost because airport charges are very high,’ Will said.
‘And I did not hear of any domestic airline in India making a lot of profit,’ he added. Will said Lufthansa is currently busy in integrating its operations here after the launch of services to Mumbai by its subsidiary Brussels Airline. ‘We have no time or possibility to look beyond our current engagement,’ he stressed.
The Lufthansa Group operates 65 flights per week to New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru and Pune from its Frankfurt and Munich hubs. Of these, Lufthansa Airlines operates 46 flights per week, while the Swiss Airlines and Brussels Airlines, the two subsidiaries, operate 14 and five respectively, per week. Will said India has a huge demand for international travel. According to Will, all German carriers together were operating 75 percent of the total weekly seat entitlement agreed upon between India and Germany under the Air Service Agreement.