BERLIN, September 2 (Reuters) – Lufthansa LHAG.DE Low-cost European airline Eurowings saw its business class seats start selling again for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, prompting it to make twice as many flights in September as in August.
Eurowings will offer its customers around 300 direct commercial routes from September, double the number in August, to destinations such as Paris, London, Rome, Brussels, Zurich or Vienna, the airline said in a statement.
It also said 10 of its business lounges will reopen in September, offering food, drinks and free Wi-Fi.
“We are seeing that business class is exhausted on many flights for the first time since the start of the pandemic – a clear signal that business travel is rebounding strongly after the end of summer vacation,” the managing director said Jens Bischof.
Lufthansa said earlier this week that it aims to win back business travelers by increasing the number of flights and improving catering.
Bookings for the group were stronger than expected in July and August, Harry Hohmeister, head of the group’s Lufthansa, Austrian, Swiss and Brussels airlines, said at an event organized by the FVW tourism newsletter.
However, Lufthansa does not expect business air transport to fully recover to pre-crisis levels until the middle of the decade.
It doesn’t expect any loosening of restrictions on travel to the United States until the end of the year, Hohmeister said, but Lufthansa won’t cut transatlantic flights because they still make sense even with few passengers. because they can carry freight.
Lufthansa carries around 50% of the passengers it carried before the coronavirus crisis in 2019, and flights to 88% of pre-pandemic destinations.
(Reporting by Emma Thomasson and Ilona Wissenbach Editing by Douglas Busvine and Mark Potter)
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