It was on 10 May 1959 when the first Lufthansa flight from Germany landed in Greece. LH294 operated by a Vickers Viscount turboprop airliner reached Athens after taking off in Hamburg with stops in Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich – a quite extensive journey but normal routing during the 1950s.
This year, Lufthansa German Airlines marks 55 years of successful operations in Greece and celebrated this milestone by continuing to be a bridge between Greece and the world.
“Since commencing service to Greece in the 1950s, we have developed our operations here into a true success story. The growth in the Greece has been impressive over the last months with more sales potential at the horizon,” Harro Julius Petersen, General Manager Greece and Cyprus, said at a recent event in Athens.
Every year, more than 700.000 passengers fly from and to Greece with the German carrier. In 2013 the figure increased significantly by 10 percent with additional German tourists and business people flying to and from Greece. A further increase is expected for 2014.
All in all the Lufthansa Group offered flights to more than 104 million passengers in 2013.
Lufthansa continues to be a reliable partner for Greek business, attracting local travelers as the group including Germanwings operates over 100 flights per week on routes between Athens, Thessaloniki, Rhodes, Heraklion, Corfu and other Greek destinations and Frankfurt, Munich, Cologne/Bonn, Hanover, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Berlin and Hanover.
Jointly with SWISS, Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines, Lufthansa offers services to more than 285 destinations in 102 countries on four continents, through the Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna, Zurich and Brussels hubs.
Another driver in the longstanding relationship between the German airline and Greece, as well as Cyprus, is the strong marine segment of the passenger business.
According to Lufthansa, the two countries are undoubtedly the worldwide leaders in its important business segment. In 2013, the marine revenue share of Lufthansa in Greece and Cyprus accounted for around 20 percent of the worldwide Lufthansa Marine Revenue, while the revenue share of marine sales for these markets was around 30 percent of the overall revenue.
“Our Hellenic passengers – being loyal to our group for more than 50 years – can be assured that Lufthansa will improve day by day the service that we are known for and take them to their destinations in utmost convenience and comfort,” Mr. Petersen said.
According to the airline’s announcement, Lufthansa will invest one million euros every day until 2015 in better ground and onboard services: new seats in all classes, individual inflight entertainment in Economy Class, innovative First Class and Business Class as well as brand new lounges.
In addition, Lufthansa is modernising its long-haul fleet and during this summer timetable alone will be adding six new intercontinental aircraft to the fleet, which are more fuel-efficient and much quieter.