Lufthansa Private Jet considering U.S. ops

 - May 23, 2007, 12:25 PM

Lufthansa Private Jet is here at EBACE 2007 at Booth No. 1240 enjoying the unexpected success of a combined airline-business jet product it launched just two years ago. It is now considering branching out into the U.S.

 “We are thinking of offering our point-to-point product outside Europe,” Lufthansa Private Jet head Gerald Wissel told EBACE Convention News. He reminded that the U.S. is the first market for business aviation, hinting it could be the first expansion. Earlier this year, Lufthansa Private Jet inked a follow-on contract with NetJets Europe, which provides the German airline with business jet operations. The contract covers the 2007 to 2011 period, after the first two contracts for 2005 and 2006.

Initial expectations have been surpassed. An average 10 flights a day are flown under the scheme, whereas 20 per month had been at the beginning seen as a reasonable target. The average passenger load is in the 1.5 to 1.7 range, Wissel said. The activity is very seasonal, the busiest period being June to August.

A Lufthansa first-class passenger can book a single ticket covering the entire trip. For example, it can be a New York to Cannes via Frankfurt. The final leg can be flown in one of three categories. The light one includes Cessna Citation Bravos and Hawker 400s. The medium one consists of the Citation XL and the Hawker 800. The large one offers just the Dassault Falcon 2000. Only NetJets Europe’s core fleet is tapped and there is no sell-off to other operators, Wissel emphasized.