Frankfurt Airport’s (FRA) new Winter Timetable 2016/17 – which goes into effect on October 30 in tandem with the changeover to wintertime – will feature 88 passenger airlines flying to 248 destinations in 100 countries. More than half of the offered destinations and more than a third of available seats are on intercontinental routes (beyond Europe), thus underscoring FRA’s role as both Germany’s principal gateway and a key hub in the global air transportation system.
The number of flights offered from FRA during the Winter Timetable 2016/17 will remain almost unchanged compared to the previous year, down just 0.9 percent to 3,760 passenger services per week (of which 595 are on domestic, 880 on intercontinental routes, and 2,285 on European routes). The number of seats available at FRA will slightly decline by 2.0 percent to 675,000 seats per week. These declines are largely a result of the current geopolitical situation in various regions around the world. Without these effects, the number of offered flights would have increased slightly, while the decline in available seats would have remained markedly below the current level.
Frankfurt Airport will again add new destinations to its global route network for the upcoming winter schedule. Among them is Kazan (KZN) in Russia, which has been served by Aeroflot during the summer schedule with a twice-weekly flight from FRA since June 2016. Lufthansa will open two new gateways in northern Europe for winter sports aficionados, flying once a week to Tromsø (TOS) in Norway from November 26, and Ivalo (IVL) in Finland from December 24.
Moreover, this winter schedule Lufthansa will continue to serve destinations recently added to its FRA-network for the Summer Timetable 2016, including San Jose (SJC) in the U.S., Panama City (PTY) in Panama, and Tirana (TIA) in Albania. Other airlines will also maintain their FRA-routes added during the summer schedule: WOW Air will continue to fly to Reykjavik (KEF) in Iceland; FRA-based carrier Condor will continue offering a service to Seattle (SEA) in the U.S.; Air China will maintain its service to the city of Shenzhen (SZX) in southern China; and Croatia Airlines will continue flying to Dubrovnik (DBV) on Croatia’s Adriatic Coast.
Particularly holidaymakers who prefer warmer temperatures can look forward to increased frequencies to sun destinations during the winter. While Condor will continue flying thrice weekly to Cape Town (CPT) in South Africa, this route will also be served by Lufthansa with three FRA-CPT flights per week, starting December. Lufthansa will be adding Funchal (FNC) on the Portuguese island of Madeira to its network, with a once-weekly flight from FRA. This popular destination has already been served by leisure carriers Condor and TUIfly — both airlines will continue their direct flights to Madeira this winter.
Thai Airways will be expanding flights to Bangkok (BKK) in Thailand, from 13 per week to two daily services. Starting November 16, Thai Airways’ FRA-BKK service will also include three weekly stopovers on the popular island of Phuket (HKT). Lufthansa will be adding three more services to Friedrichshafen (FDH) in southern Germany (for a total of 24 flights per week to FDH). TAP Air Portugal will increase frequencies from FRA to Lisbon (LIS) to a total of 26 flights per week on that route. Turkmenistan Airlines will add a second weekly service to Ashgabat (ASB), Turkmenistan’s capital.
Flight schedules to destinations in Turkey have been thinned out by many airlines, reflecting the uncertain geopolitical situation in the region. Turkish Airlines is reducing frequencies to Istanbul (IST/SAW) from 37 to 30 flights per week and will discontinue its service to Ankara (ESB). However, ESB will continue to be served by SunExpress, offering thrice weekly service from FRA to Turkey’s capital. Lufthansa will reduce flight offerings to IST from three to two daily services, while Pegasus Airlines will reduce its FRA-Istanbul service from two to one daily flight. The popular resort of Antalya (AYT) on the Turkish Riviera will be served ten times per week (from previously 19 weekly services).
Two airlines will no longer be flying to/from FRA in the winter schedule: Onur Air from Turkey will discontinue its FRA-Istanbul service, while Sri Lankan Airlines will no longer be flying to FRA following an overall restructuring of the airline’s intercontinental network.