Three of Lufthansa Group’s airlines – Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and Swiss – are to continue to operate their Moscow flights to and from Domodedovo International airport (IATA: DME) at least until 2025. The group has extended its contract with the airport, after reportedly considering switching its operations to Sheremetyevo (IATA: SVO).
From the start of this year, Lufthansa Group has been considering alternatives to its long-time partnership with Domodedovo, in view of its expiring contract there. It had been in talks with Sheremetyevo, following which Brussels Airlines, which is also part of the group, decided to move its Russian capital operations from DME to SVO in June. However, by September, the group reached its decision to retain Domodedovo as its base to maintain the link with S7 Airlines, its Russian connection partner.
According to the new agreement, in the future, Lufthansa Group airlines will use the new T2 terminal development.
Lufthansa has been flying to Domodedovo since 2008, the Moscow airport having served more than 13.9 million passengers on some 126,000 flights.
The fast-growing Sheremetyevo has been facing a number of infrastructural challenges associated with its growth. In the peak season month of June, passengers of some arriving flights had to wait for several hours to reclaim their baggage; and the operation of its third runway, finally launched after a long delay, is now jeopardised, as inhabitants of several adjacent villages are still waiting to be moved elsewhere.
Lufthansa Group has maintained its position as the largest European airline group operating in Russia. In the coming IATA winter season, starting October 27, Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and Swiss will offer customers 73 weekly flights from Domodedovo.
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