Lufthansa flights between Germany and India will again be nonstop from Wednesday (June 2), thanks to the ebbing of cases during India’s catastrophic second Covid wave.
The German major’s 10 weekly flights between Frankfurt and Delhi (four times weekly), Mumbai (3) and Bengaluru (3) under the India-Germany air bubble will now no longer take a crew change stopover in the Gulf as they had been doing for nearly a month — thereby cutting travel time by upto 3 hours.
Lufthansa had early last month added a stopover in Dubai for its India nonstops to ensure its pilots and cabin crew do not require a layover in the Covid-ravaged country.
Dubai was later changed to Bahrain due to UAE restrictions on travellers from India. One set of crew operated from Frankfurt to Gulf; another set from the Gulf to Delhi/Mumbai/Bengaluru and back to Gulf and then a third set operated the aircraft — a Boeing 747-8 these days — back to Germany.
“Lufthansa will have normal operations. There will be no second (set of) crew. The crew will have a layover in India (Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore). There will be no stopover in Bahrain anymore,” the Lufthansa spokesman added.
Due to the Gulf crew change stopover, the about 7-hour journey between Frankfurt and Delhi/Mumbai took over 9 hours. And the 11-hour flight between Frankfurt and Bengaluru took 13 hours. Passengers would remain seated inside the aircraft during crew change.
Like several other countries, Germany has since end of April barred the entry of Indian citizens due to the Covid situation here. Only German nationals and holders of a German resident permit travelling from India are currently allowed to enter Germany.
It remains to be seen when foreign countries start lifting restrictions on travellers from India. While that may still take some time, the falling Covid cases in India will see Lufthansa crew from Wednesday taking layovers here.