With all Air Berlin longhaul operations cancelled out of Berlin, a big void has been left. Lufthansa is starting to fill it in with new service to New York (JFK) starting November 08, 2017.
Per Svenblogt, the new service will operate Monday-Thursday and Saturday on the following schedule:
- LH406 Berlin to New York (JFK) dep 5:35pm, arr 9:35pm (10hr)
- LH407 New York (JFK) to Berlin dep 11:20pm, arr 12:15pm+1 (6hr,55min)
Something doesn’t seem right about the schedule above–the flight is generally about 8 hours going and 9 hours coming back. That’s some serious padding on the way to New York (and lack of padding on the way back). At first I thought the schedule assumed the earlier switchover to standard time in Central Europe than in the United States, but that cannot be it. Europe changes on October 29th while the USA changes on November 5th–both before the 08 Nov start date.
Anyway, on the one hand it is interesting that Lufthansa is not serving Newark, hub of Star Alliance and JV partner United. That would surely allow for better feeds to/from U.S. domestic and Canadian transborder flights. Furthermore, the time complements nicely with the United-operated service to Berlin, which leaves earlier in the evening and returns midday rather than in the late afternoon.
Then again, JFK remains an important station for Lufthansa with a great club. It could also be a function of Lufthansa taking over an Air Berlin route.
There has been no official announcement yet, but I expect it shortly. Let’s see how many former Air Berlin routes Lufthansa takes over. As Sven noted, it interesting that this will be a Lufthansa-operated route, not one operated by low-cost subsidiary Eurowings. We don’t know yet what aircraft will be used, though it probably won’t be the A380 above.