For about a decade, Lufthansa offered the Frankfurt – Pune route, operated on wet lease by PrivatAir, a private charter operator. The route started in 2008 on an A319 in an all business-class configuration, and was recently being operated by a Boeing 737-700 BBJ in a 20 Business-Class + 66 Economy Class seat format. This route generally used to be full, given the number of German car companies which had set up home in Pune.
Lufthansa had, in June 2017, announced increasing the frequency of the route from 4 times a week to 6 times a week. However, they instead ended up cancelling their the partnership with PrivatAir and hence the entire service between Pune and Frankfurt has been cancelled July 2018 onwards.
As per a statement from Lufthansa,
Lufthansa has decided to suspend its cooperation with one of its wet lease partners until the end of the summer schedule due to operational and commercial reasons. The last scheduled departure took place on June 29 in Pune, India. Lufthansa and the former wet lease partner are now examining various options to resume cooperation as soon as possible. Lufthansa regrets this decision and has rebooked the passengers that were already booked.
This is going to be a bit of trouble for Punekars, because it was the only direct flight between Pune and Europe. So now everyone needs to transit from Pune to elsewhere before heading to Europe.
But they are not the only ones in trouble. Lufthansa had also handed over non-stop flights from Dusseldorf to Newark to PrivatAir, and now, this route has not been operated after August 1, 2018 when it was last operated by Lufthansa on their own.
Lufthansa is expected to restart the Frankfurt-Pune route, but on its own metal sometime in October 2018. There is no confirmed announcement to that effect yet as well.
Have you flown between Pune and Frankfurt on Lufthansa? Do you miss this route now that it is gone?