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Simple Flying
Lufthansa's new SEA-MUC route promotes economic ties

On May 31, Lufthansa launched the fiftieth international connection from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) to Munich Airport (MUC). For Lufthansa and the Port of Seattle that operates SEA, the new route is a matter of increasing connectivity.

At a brief launch event, Rick Duncan, the SEA Airport Director, Aviation Business & Properties, shared that the new SEA-MUC route will not only connect two Microsoft Corporation headquarters but also connect SEA with Siemens – which builds light rail vehicles for Seattle’s growing Sound Transit light rail network – and BMW, the renown German automobile and motorcycle manufacturer. Duncan also stated expecting “Unexpected millions of economic stimulation” from the new route.

One should note that Lufthansa Group is part of the Star Alliance, the world’s largest airline alliance.

Don Bunkenburg, the Senior Director of Sales USA Central, West & Central America Lufthansa Group, shared Janzen’s sentiment at the ceremony, added Lufthansa has 26 routes between Germany and the US. Bunkenburg stated also that the new Seattle-Munich route will connect SEA to Lufthansa’s second-largest hub with worldwide flights after the 16 years of Seattle-Frankfurt Lufthansa direct flights.

Indeed, that is what SEA does. With fifty international connections and growing this year, SEA will continue to serve the world.


SEA’s 50 connections and growing

SEA now enjoys 50 services to 33 international destinations on 25 different airlines. Below is a list that includes upcoming 2024 routes:

International Connections from SEA
NassauBahamasAlaska Airlines
Belize CityBelizeAlaska Airlines
CalgaryCanadaAlaska Airlines, WestJet
EdmontonCanadaAlaska Airlines, WestJet
KelownaCanadaAlaska Airlines
MontrealCanadaAir Canada
TorontoCanadaAir Canada, Alaska Airlines
Vancouver, BCCanadaAir Canada, Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines
VictoriaCanadaAlaska Airlines
ParisFranceAir France, Air Tahiti Nui, Delta Air Lines
FrankfurtGermanyCondor, Lufthansa
DublinIrelandAer Lingus
TokyoJapanAir Nippon Airways (ANA), Delta Air Lines, Japan Airlines
CancunMexicoAlaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines
Los CabosMexicoAlaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines
Mexico CityMexicoAeromexico
Puerto VallartaMexicoAlaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines
ManilaPhilippinesPhilippine Airlines, starting in October
BeijingPRCHainan Airlines
ShanghaiPRCDelta Air Lines
DohaQatarQatar Airways
SingaporeSingaporeSingapore Airlines
SeoulSouth KoreaAsiana Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Korean Air
TahitiTahitiAir Tahiti Nui
TaipeiTaiwanEva Air, Delta Air Lines, and in August Starlux Airlines
AmsterdamThe NetherlandsDelta Air Lines
IstanbulTurkeyTurkish Airlines
DubaiUnited Arab EmiratesEmirates
LondonUnited KingdomBritish Airways, Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic


However, there is another element to this new route worthy of further review. Namely air cargo.


Another air cargo connection for SEA

A review of the official Port of Seattle freight statistics for SEA for 2023 shows Lufthansa is flying its weight. According to those statistics, Lufthansa hauled via her belly freight capacity 3,463 metric tons and 3.09% of the international 111,982 metric tons of SEA air freight. Additionally, drilling down into the SEA-Europe market, Lufthansa was 9.74% of SEA’s 35,528 metric tons to & from Europe for 2023.

According to Lufthansa Cargo, the A350-900 can carry 15,120 kg (33,333 lb.) of freight in each flight. Additionally, the A350-900 can pack 20 LD3 containers up front and 16 LD3 containers in the back. For scale, this is more than the Airbus A380 superjumbo, which can carry only 11,370 kg (25,066 lb.) and 32 LDC containers in total.

With that, air cargo is vital to SEA. SEA is home to Alaska Air Cargo’s main operating base, providing direct air freight connections to Alaska and her rich natural resources of fish and minerals – for starters.


Observing International Flight Attendant’s Day

Additionally, there were some modest attempts to recognize International Flight Attendant’s Day 2024. 

Simple Flying was able to speak to one of the Lufthansa cabin crew on her way to crew the flight. The unnamed flight attendant who goes unnamed as she was not speaking for Lufthansa did share she had a good time and wouldn’t be putting in the hours otherwise.

But she said she was concerned for the US flight attendants having to conduct a worldwide informational picket for June 13. But unlike in the United States where flight attendants have to negotiate plus informational picket as pictured above to right for months and sometimes years; it is far easier for Lufthansa's flight attendant union to conduct a strike. One strike was called this March.



Flight details

Lufthansa in its June 1 statement shared these details about the new flights:

RouteFlight numberFlight daysDeparture – Arrival (local times)
Seattle – MunichLH4893x weekly (Tuesdays, Fridays, Sundays)6:50pm - 1:45pm (+ 1 day)
Munich – SeattleLH4883x weekly (Tuesdays, Fridays, Sundays)3:35pm - 4:59pm


The intent is to fly these flights with Airbus A350-900s due to their capabilities in furthering sustainable flight and Lufthansa's commitment to sustainability.


About D-AIXP, the Airbus A350-900 flying first flight

The first aircraft Lufthansa sent to SEA was yes, an Airbus A350-900 in D-AIXP in the new Lufthansa livery.. According to ch-aviation, the A350 was delivered on February 29, 2020, after a September 20, 2013 order and January 31, 2020 first flight.

The Airbus A350 is a clean sheet 2010s design intended to compete with the Boeing 787 – and one can read a Simple Flying comparison between the 787-10 and A350-900. Like the 787; the A350 is optimized for efficiency with a composite fuselage and composite wing. But the A350 comes with blended winglets and new engines – in D-AIXP’s case, two Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-84s packing 84,000 lbs. of thrust to cruise at 0.85 Mach. 

Finally, Simple Flying profiled in May Lufthansa’s shortest routes using the A350-900, and in April, Lufthansa’s longest routes using the A350-900.

This sentiment is supported by the fact Lufthansa sells upcycled items to its fans as per our annual holiday gifts guide, demonstrating commitment to aviation sustainability and premium products.


Save the date for SEA History Discussion

Finally, Seattle’s Museum of Flight will be hosting a special film screening and discussion panel called, “Past and Present: 75 Years of Service at SEA” from 2 PM until 3:30 PM local on July 13. The event is a joint effort between the Museum of Flight and the Port of Seattle. Simple Flying will be in the audience.

Jun 06, 2024

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