ATR72 leaves the fleet and is exchanged for an Embraer 175. Stuttgart route will be discontinued - in future there will be a greater focus on tourist destinations.
After more than 2 years, it was obviously time for an interim assessment in the executive floor of Lübeck Airport and thus also at Lübeck Air. What initially went out as a message to the local travel agencies was now confirmed by Aviation.Direct during the ITB in Berlin. Lübeck Air is turning itself upside down shortly before the start of the 2023 summer flight schedule. The connection to Stuttgart will be discontinued at the end of this week.
The connection had, according to its own statement, developed well in the last 2 years, but not sufficiently enough to continue to be flown in the future. This means that being off the track is not a short-term or temporary cancellation, but a permanent one. According to Lübeck Air, the only remaining inner-German connection to Munich on the double daily edge is running much better and will also be maintained in the future.
The decisive news, however, is that the only ATR72 D-ALBC will leave the fleet this summer and thus in the coming weeks. The machine, which was previously operated in cooperation with the Danish Air Alsie, will be replaced by a larger Embraer 175 jet with 88 seats. Even if the agreement with the future partner, who will also operate the aircraft under wet lease, is already at an advanced stage, Lübeck Air will only make an official announcement in the coming weeks.
This means that the plans for Lübeck Air's own AOC are also no longer valid. The airline confirmed this to us. This endeavor is now no longer pursued. While the cooperation with the Danish Air Alsie will continue in a different form in the future, this looks different with the German Airways, which last year operated an Embraer 190 with the Lübeck Air branding. This was ended as planned after the last summer flight plan and will not be pursued again this summer.
Both the surprising end of the ATR72 and the choice of the E-175 as the future aircraft type are closely related to the empirical values of the past 2 years. Although the machine had turned out to be an extremely reliable type of aircraft for Lübeck Air, the executive floor had to realize that the original focus on business travelers did not correspond to the actual status quo. Both bookings on domestic German flights and general demand showed a clear trend towards more private travelers from/to Lübeck. This demand for more southern travel destinations and thus longer and longer flight routes makes the ATR72 a very unsuitable aircraft type for this.
Since Lübeck Airport and Lübeck Air will now, with the exception of Munich, focus more on destinations in the south, after more than 2 years of interim results, there is also a change in the aircraft type among the northern Germans.
Sundair and Smartwings are represented in the 2023 summer flight schedule from Lübeck
There are also small changes in the 2023 summer flight schedule at Lübeck Airport. In addition to the partnership with Sundair, which will primarily fly to Antalya, Heraklion (Crete), Corfu and Palma de Mallorca from Lübeck with the Airbus A319, a new airline was also found for flights to Gran Canaria. The Czech airline Smartwings will fly weekly to the Canary Islands with Boeing 737 aircraft from the end of September to the end of October 2023, a kind of “test balloon” in order to continue these flights in the coming winter if there is demand.
The Sundair flights from Lübeck are obviously enjoying a significant increase in demand in the second season. As Aviation.Direct was informed by Lübeck Airport, bookings are currently almost 30% higher than in the previous year. A positive circumstance which again clearly underlines the trend towards destinations and demand in the south. The airport, which currently has operating hours from 6 a.m. to 23 p.m. and can be approached according to CAT 2 regulations, also benefited from the strikes at the neighboring airports in recent weeks. For example, Sundair used Lübeck Airport as a substitute airport for Bremen when the ground staff there went on strike.