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How airlines decide to open new routes: Munich–Kittila

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Lufthansa’s Paulo Yoshikawa tells how the airline decided to open the new service between Munich and Kittila.
In December 2015, Lufthansa introduces new winter service to Finland with one weekly Munich–Kittila flight. The route will be operated by an Airbus A320 with 168 seats.Many steps were involved before opening the new route.
– Airlines cannot create demand but they go there where the demand is. Lufthansa has a special department for analyzing passenger flows and anticipating future demand, Paulo Yoshikawa, Lufthansa’s Manager for Finland and the Baltic region, says.
– We take decisions only after a careful analysis.
Kittila opens the door to Lapland, with a scheduled flight
Another factor is competition.
– There is a lot of charter traffic to Kittila but we are going to offer a scheduled service. Today many travellers want to travel independently and this is the group of travellers we are targeting.
Munich and Kittila were not chosen by accident. Kittila opens the door to many destinations in Lapland. Levi, the well-known ski resort, is just some 10 kilometres away from the airport.
– Connections to Munich, one of our main hubs, are excellent from anywhere in the world. Within two hours of the Kittila flight’s arrival we have more than 40 connecting flights to other destinations worldwide. So passengers from Kittila really have excellent connections to anywhere in the world via Munich.
The only scheduled flight from continental Europe to Lapland
Paulo Yoshikawa sees the new connection as a win-win-win situation. For the time being, it is the only scheduled flight from continental Europe to Lapland.
– Travellers profit from direct flights between Munich and Kittila as they can flight directly from the heart of Europe to the heart of Lapland. Lufthansa profits from the great potential of the new route. Thirdly, Lufthansa is contributing to the development of the local tourism industry.
Lufthansa already sells Kittila at full speed in its global network. Expectations are high.
– Kittila is a unique destination for us. It is our northernmost destination above the Polar Circle which is very exotic. I believe it will attract a lot of leisure travellers who want to see the Northern Lights and to enjoy the winter activities Lapland has to offer.
Lufthansa flies directly from Munich to Kittila once a week on Saturdays from 19.12.2015 until 26.03.2016.

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