Mumbai: Ruling out any plans to venture into India's domestic aviation business at this stage, German carrier Lufthansa today said the cost of operations here is "very high."
"We are not interested in being another player for domestic operations. Because we are not an expert in that," Lufthansa Group Airlines' Senior Director for South Asia Wolfgang Will said here.
He was responding to a question whether Lufthansa had any plans to set up a local carrier in India following Qatar Airways announcing its plans to foray into domestic airline business.
"We have the highest fuel cost in India, we have a lot of taxes, very high operational cost because airport charges are very high," Will said, adding it (launching a domestic airline) will be a "misadventure".
"And I did not hear of any domestic airline in India making a lot of profit," he added. Will said Lufthansa is currently busy in integrating its operations here after the launch of services to Mumbai by its subsidiary Brussels Airline.
"We have no time or possibility to look beyond our current engagement," he stressed. The Lufthansa Group operates 65 flights per week to New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru and Pune from its Frankfurt and Munich hubs.
Of these, Lufthansa Airlines operates 46 flights per week, while the Swiss Airlines and Brussels Airlines, the two subsidiaries, operate 14 and 5 respectively, per week. The Brussels Airlines launched its services from Brussels airport to Mumbai on March 31.
An airline conducts business when it has a successful plan in place, he said. Will said India has a huge demand for international travel.
According to Will, all German carriers together were operating 75 per cent of the total weekly seat entitlement agreed upon between India and Germany under the Air Service
"We still have the potential to make use of the (unutilised) bilateral. As an airline group, we have very strong brands presence already in the market (India)," the Lufthansa executive said.
The group will now operate 40 additional seats after the launch of its latest wide-bodied Airbus A350 plane to Mumbai from Munich on Sunday, he said. Mumbai became Lufthansa's second A350 destination in India after New Delhi with the launch of a flight to the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport here from Munich. Lufthansa is upgrading its flight services on the Pune -Frankfurt route to six times per week from the current four from June, Will said.