Lufthansa has placed orders for seven executive jets from Cessna, the US business aircraft maker, in its first step towards building its own fleet of nine corporate jets operating in the region of Europe and Russia.
The German flag carrier is set to be the first European airline to develop its own fleet of business jets.
Private aviation has enjoyed an unprecedented global boom during the past three years, as corporate executives and wealthy individuals have sought to avoid the increasing hassle, inconvenience and delays of flying through congested hub airports and to use business jets to increase executive productivity.
Several other European airlines have considered entering the corporate jet market, including KLM, the Dutch subsidiary of Air France-KLM, which has recently investigated the fledgling market for air taxi jet operations with four-seat very light jets.
The Lufthansa Private Jet service will offer a network of about 1,000 airports in Europe and will be available both for point-to-point services and to connect premium passengers to the group’s long-haul network via its hubs at Frankfurt, Munich and Zurich.
The private jet users connecting to long-haul flights will have access to the airline’s exclusive first class terminals at the hub airports and will also be able to earn frequent flier miles.
Lufthansa will offer four different categories of light, mid-size and large business jets, ranging from four to 12 seats.