Frankfurt — German airline Lufthansa has reduced its domestic flight schedule to cut costs, which include high fees at the country's airports, chief executive Carsten Spohr has said.
Due to the high fees at German airports, Lufthansa is increasingly using its aircraft "more efficiently and profitably on other European routes," Spohr told dpa.
The carrier had also expanded cooperation with German railway operator Deutsche Bahn, the chief executive said.
Lufthansa and Deutsche Bahn have been offering a so-called Rail&Fly deal for years, with airline tickets for international flights including a train ride to a domestic airport.
Germany's domestic aviation sector has still not recovered from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which brought numerous travel restrictions, according to data compiled by the German Airports Association (ADV).
In September, some 1.9 million passengers were recorded on domestic flights, which accounts for only 45.3% of the pre-pandemic levels recorded in September of 2019.
In comparison, passenger levels on European flights have already returned to 80.2% compared to pre-pandemic levels, according to the ADV.
At the same time, domestic tickets were around 25% more expensive in August than three years earlier, according to Germany's Federal Statistical Office.
Lufthansa's domestic flights are mainly operated by the carrier itself as well as its subsidiary Eurowings, with competitors from abroad like low-cost airlines Easyjet and Ryanair having mostly withdrawn from the market.
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