Lufthansa opens up global gateway for Liverpool John Lennon Airport

LJLA CEO John Irving (right) welcoming Lufthansa‘s Heinrich Lange

Liverpool John Lennon Airport today announced a hugely significant link-up with German carrier Lufthansa that will connect the airport with worldwide routes once again.

The last time Liverpool was linked to an international hub was 2012, when Dutch carrier KLM axed its Amsterdam link with the airport.

But today (December 14) Lufthansa has announced a four-times-a-week service will commence from May 4, 2022, with direct links to Frankfurt, and opening up 150 more global destinations from there for both inbound and outbound travellers in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas.

This is Lufthansa’s 11th UK operation, and it will be the only network and Star Alliance carrier, as well as first German airline, to operate in Liverpool.

This will be the first time in its 66 years’ history in Britain that Lufthansa as one of Europe’s leading airlines will take off at Liverpool with its 168-seat Airbus A320 or its 90-seat Bombardier CRJ900, used on Sunday flights.

With a flight time of just one hour and 40 minutes, passengers from Liverpool will reach Frankfurt, Europe’s financial centre in the middle of Germany and close to the famous Rheingau wineries.

Heinrich Lange, senior director sales Northern Europe Lufthansa Group Airlines, said: “Lufthansa will be the first global network airline in Liverpool with easy reach to destinations on four continents.

“As a premium carrier we will be the only airline at John Lennon Airport to offer seats in business class and all the amenities of a full service approach.

“This new route is also good news for incoming business – Liverpool is among the five most visited cities in the UK, known as the city of music, football and trade and will benefit tremendously from this new international route.”

He told the airport’s proximity to Manchester, a key Lufthansa UK base, was not a factor in the carrier’s decision to begin flights from Liverpool: “We want to be where the customers are,” he said.

He expects the leisure sector to account for most traffic initially, saying: “After the (coronavirus) crisis it is difficult to say, but the leisure segment is recovering faster. This is where the potential will lie.

“But the return of business travel is something we are looking at,” he added.

John Irving, CEO Liverpool John Lennon Airport, said: “It has been a long held desire of both the airport and the city region as a whole to reconnect Liverpool with the world and we are, therefore, absolutely delighted to be welcoming Lufthansa to Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

“To be able to connect Liverpool globally via Frankfurt will bring huge benefits to the business sector across our region both now and into the future and, of course, will now enable the world to easily connect into Liverpool to visit our brilliant city and the surrounding areas.”

He added: “Lufthansa is such an iconic, five star airline. The links that their global network and that of their Star Alliance partner airlines brings are second to none and in partnership with key stakeholders across the region, we are looking forward to working with Lufthansa in preparation for the commencement of this important new route in May 2022.”

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region said: “Our area is an international destination of choice renowned for our unique blend of sport, culture, music and heritage. Today’s announcement is fantastic news that will give us much better connections to Europe and beyond, whether for tourism or business.

“Only last week, I met with Andreas Michaelis, the German Ambassador to discuss how we can strengthen the links between our region and Germany. From our twinned towns and cities, cultural ties stretching from The Beatles to Jürgen Klopp and centuries of trading relationships, we have strong foundations to build on.”

He said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming Lufthansa for the first time next year – along with the many, many visitors they’ll be taking to and from our region. I’m sure that once people have visited us, they’ll be back time and time again.”

Chris Brown, director of Marketing Liverpool, said “This new route is fantastic news for international tourists and Liverpool City Region’s ambitions to connect to global markets from one of Europe’s major hubs.

“It means more European and international travellers can enjoy our exciting 2022 events programme and world famous visitor experience.

“Liverpool has enduring cultural and sporting connections with Germany. From The Beatles second home in Hamburg to Jürgen Klopp’s love affair with the city, we are delighted to welcome another German icon to Liverpool next year.”

Paul Cherpeau, CEO of Liverpool Chamber of Commerce said: “Liverpool Chamber and its members will be delighted by the news of Lufthansa’s decision to add LJLA to its global network. Liverpool’s status as a global city is reflected positively in this announcement which will provide a boost to our connectivity to additional markets for business and leisure activities, enhancing our ability to expand our export and inward investment opportunities whilst catalysing the rebuilding and growth of our airport.

“The attraction of such a famous and reputable carrier such as Lufthansa is a testament to the existing quality and further potential in the Liverpool City Region economy and we look forward to a successful partnership in the years ahead.”

He also revealed that today’s news is the culmination of almost three years’ hard work by all parties to deliver such an important global link.

He said: “Three years ago I welcomed a delegation from Lufthansa. Today is the culmination of three years’ hard work by John Irving and the rest of the team.”

He told the Lufthansa delegation: “We want to make your 11th destination in this country the best in the country.”