New Delhi: Bullish on the Indian market, Lufthansa Group CEO Carsten Spohr on Sunday said the airline group is working closer with Air India as well as expanding its own operations into the country.
"We have strengthened our position in the Indian market. We think we can do more... flying more, new partnership with Air India which is a different company than it was before to grow our market share," he said.
The group has a two-fold strategy for India and one pillar is to expand the operations to the country, he said during a media briefing on the sidelines of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit here.
"We have just announced reopening Frankfurt-Hyderabad (service) which we had to close a few years ago. We will also be for the first time serving Bangalore from Munich...
"We are using our own aeroplanes, operations to expand into India," he said.
The second pillar is working closer with Air India, he said, adding that now, with a new leadership, with Tata and Singapore Airlines behind it, "we can do more with Air India".
Lufthansa and Air India are part of the Star Alliance.
While noting that India is the latest favourite country, Spohr said Lufthansa Group has been very successful in India in the last years.
Lufthansa Group, which has been present in the Indian market for more than 90 years, currently has more than 50 weekly services to India, connecting Frankfurt, Zurich and Munich with various Indian cities, including Delhi and Mumbai.
To a query about bilateral flying rights, Spohr said Lufthansa Group has at this point of time sufficient traffic rights with the exception of code share rights and connecting traffic.
"I look at India as being an opportunity... We have done nice business... Indian upper middle class wealth very much looks at Europe as a way to spend," he noted.
In April, the group said it would start flights on Munich-Bangalore and Frankfurt-Hyderabad routes this year as it looks to tap the post-Covid growth opportunities in the Indian aviation market.
The flights on the Munich-Bangalore route will be operational three times a week and the first flight will be on November 3.
On the Frankfurt-Hyderabad route, the flights will commence in the coming winter.
At that time, Lufthansa had said it intends to make the best of India's untapped growth opportunity - especially in the post-Covid era - by providing consumers with the most premium travel experiences during their international trips, be it for business or leisure.
Lufthansa Group comprises the segments of Network Airlines, Eurowings and Aviation Services.
Worldwide, the group has 1,09,509 employees and generated revenues of 32,770 million euros in the financial year 2022.
(With agency inputs)