Emirates airline’s further expansion into the German market is running into potential opposition from the German government, which may limit the number of Emirates fl ights in order to protect Lufthansa, Gulf Newsreported.
Emirates operates 49 fl ights a week to Germany, fl ying daily or double-daily service to Hamburg, Frankfurt, Munich and Duesseldorf, which is the maximum number of fl ights it is allowed under bilateral air rights between the two countries. Under the agreement, Etihad alsofl ies daily to Munich and Frankfurt.
“Germany is one of Emirates’ most important commercial markets in Europe and we would like to serve more cities,” an Emirates spokesperson said, naming Berlin and Stuttgart as targets for expansion. According to German media reports, the German government fears that these routes might hurt Lufthansa’s network of domestic flights.
One reported option is that Emirates may be allowed to fl y to Berlin and Stuttgart only if its weekly fl ight allotment remains unchanged, meaning it would have to pare down frequencies to other German cities first.
Earlier this year, the European Centre for Aviation Development (ECAD), a consultancy affi liated with Lufthansa, issued a report highlighting the differences between the two carriers. Among its fi ndings, ECAD said landing fees are nearly nine times more expensive in Germany than in Dubai.