ECONOMY

Lufthansa ups flights

German airliner Lufthansa will offer many more flights to Greece in 2004 to take advantage of the added demand due to the Athens Olympics, its local representative said yesterday. Michael Suesser, Lufthansa’s general manager for Greece and Cyprus, said that, with the beginning of the summer season in April (airline business is divided into two seasons), the company will launch an additional flight to Munich, with an Airbus 321 craft flying the route. In June, two months before the start of the Games, Lufthansa will offer a direct service to a third German town, Dusseldorf, with a Boeing 737. During the Games themselves, from August 13-29, it will add six daily flights to its usual destinations of Munich and Frankfurt. The airline foresees especially strong traffic for the opening and closing days of the Games. Commenting on the airline’s choice of a third German destination, Suesser said that it «will not only offer additional space but it will provide another point of departure, after Frankfurt and Munich, for those interested in traveling to watch the Olympic Games.» Lufthansa’s policy provides a sharp contrast to the inaction of Olympic Airways, which is poised to transform itself into Olympic Airlines. The company, still in the hands of the State, and not yet certain whether any of the 12 declared suitors will submit an adequate bid to take over the company, is watching the competition already preparing for next year’s event. Lufthansa may be the first company to announce a heavier flight schedule to Greece but others are getting set to do the same. Confirming the recent trend of offering additional comfort to business- and first-class passengers, Lufthansa presented its new 2-meter-long seat, convertible into a bed. For additional privacy, the passengers can be separated by curtains.