Synergy of railways and aviation in Germany

The German transport sector is continuing to intensify cooperation between the different modes of transport. Instead of competing with each other, the market players are looking for more synergy opportunities. Among the latest developments is the extension of the strategic partnership between Lufthansa and Deutsche Bahn.

Starting from the mid-July, the passengers from the German cities of Hanover and Leipzig as well as from Basel in Switzerland, who want to take a Lufthansa flight departing from Frankfurt Airport, have got a new, reliable option to travel to that air hub by train. These three destinations were added to the Lufthansa Express Rail network, a joint train service of Deutsche Bahn (DB) and Lufthansa for air travellers.

The new routes can be booked via all Lufthansa sales channels. To take a DB train to Frankfurt Airport, the customers need to use their Lufthansa boarding pass. “By intelligently linking rail and air transport, we jointly support the sustainable turnaround in Germany. We want to offer more and more customers a consistent and comfortable travel chain,” the German national railway operator stated.

A plane flies over ICE high-speed trains running along highway in Germany, source: Thomas Herter via Deutsche Bahn (DB)

Long-term partnership

Deutsche Bahn and Lufthansa started its strategic partnership in 2001 when the first Lufthansa Express Rail connection was launched. It linked Frankfurt Airport with Stuttgart. By the middle of 2016, five new destinations in Germany were added to this service: Cologne, Dortmund, Dusseldorf, Karlsruhe and Mannheim. At the end of 2018, the Lufthansa Express Rail network consisted of 12 connections after the stations of Aachen, Erfurt, Freiburg, Göttingen, Kassel and Ulm were included.

Currently, this rail service to Frankfurt Airport is available for the customers travelling from 17 stations (including the new ones): Aachen, Basel (new), Cologne, Dortmund, Dusseldorf, Erfurt, Freiburg, Goettingen, Hanover (new), Karlsruhe, Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe, Leipzig (new), Mannheim, Nuremberg, Stuttgart, Ulm, Wuerzburg. Lufthansa and Deutsche Bahn plan to develop their partnership and to double their joint offer. “With the expansion of our joint cooperation, air travellers can benefit as much as possible and at the same time do something for reducing CO2 emissions and protecting the climate,” DB Passenger Board Member Berthold Huber noted.

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Author: Mykola Zasiadko

Mykola Zasiadko is editor of online trade magazines RailTech.com and RailFreight.com.

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