German airline Lufthansa announced on Thursday that it would significantly cut back on the number of flights to Tel Aviv as early as October, this due to its "effort to increase the global profitability of the fleet's activities.
The cuts will mean a 15% decrease in the seat capacity on the airline's flights to and from Israel due to a move to Airbus A321 models.
It should be noted that the Airbus models which will be used on the Israel-Germany routes from October will not be equipped with entertainment systems.
The surprising move is being carried out due Lufthansa's accumulating future reservations which currently stands at 168 planes worth Euro 17 billion ($20.83 billion).
Within the framework of the perennial preparations of this investment, it was decided that planes that serve long haul routes will only be operated on longer routes and not on relatively short routes like the Frankfurt-Tel Aviv and Munich-Tel Aviv routes.
Thus, from the next winter season (beginning on October 28, 2012) Lufthansa flights from Frankfurt and Munich to Tel Aviv (and back) will be operated by Airbus A321 models. An Airbus A320 is already in use on the Berlin-Tel Aviv route.
A Lufthansa spokesman told Ynet: "Lufthansa is joining other airlines around the world with narrow-body aircrafts. This is a 15% cut in seat capacity on the planes and the reason for it is that the company is investing huge amounts in new planes and must prepare itself financially for the move."
The company further noted: "The Israeli market was always and will continue to always be of the utmost importance to Lufthansa.
"Lufthansa intends to continue and increase the flights to and from Israel and will approach the German authorities in order to reopen the aviation agreements between Israel and Germany so that it would be able to add flights on existing routes and open new routes.
"The company hopes that in the near future it will be able to offer its customers four to five daily flights on routes between Israel and Germany."