Lufthansa has plans to "strengthen" its partnerships with Indian airlines like Vistara and Air India in 2020, the European carrier's top Indian official said. After the sad demise of Jet Airways with which it had partnerships, they are now in search of an alternative airline. Currently, Lufthansa has an interline agreement with Vistara, which allows passengers to check-in their luggage at the departure airport itself for the whole leg journey consisting of flights with both airlines including stopovers. It also has a codeshare agreement with Air India, which allows passengers to book a ticket on the other airline, using the first one's ticketing system.
“With Vistara...we are strengthening our relationship in the weeks to come. Jet Airways was one of our partners here in India and with them having left the scene, we are looking for Indian airlines to partner up with," explained George Ettiyil, Senior Director Sales for South Asia at the Lufthansa Group.
He also added that apart from launching a Munich-Bengaluru flight service in April, the airline does not plan to start any other new routes to India in 2020.
When asked if Lufthansa was planning to convert it’s interline agreement with Vistara to a codeshare agreement, he said: "We are trying to strengthen it. Let us see what the future holds in store. We have the desire to actually strengthen partnerships with other Indian airlines also. So, Vistara is an obvious choice, for 2020, the Lufthansa group will be trying to strengthen our Indian partnerships so that Indian carriers can bring passengers from second and third-tier cities to our four gateways."
Currently two brands of the group - Lufthansa and Swiss - operate flight services to India. Swiss has daily non-stop flights connecting Zurich to Delhi and Mumbai.
Lufthansa operates daily non-stop flights connecting Frankfurt to Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai and also daily non-stop flights connecting Munich to Delhi and Mumbai. From April 1, 2020, Lufthansa will start a five weekly flight service, connecting Munich and Bengaluru.
"We have seen a continuous growth over the past four years of India's share on our aircraft. We are trying to grow by allowing more Indian-origin passengers on our aircraft. We have no other plans of any other further flights for 2020", Ettiyil said.
"Promising cities are always on the radar. Hyderabad is always something that is there. But one has to always look at profitability." he added.
Lufthansa currently operates only wide-body aircraft for its long-haul operations between India and Europe.