09 JUN 2014: Last week at Pearson International Airport a water cannon salute officially welcomed Lufthansa’s sleek new Airbus A330-300. The arrival of flight LH 495 was big on a couple of levels. It was a historic route between Munich and Toronto never flown before by the German national airline. The other - the fancy new interiors.


For me personally, I could count my lucky stars decked out in Made in British Columbia safety gear standing on the restricted runway, mere metres from the pair of red fire engines which were dousing this flying crane-logoed plane in local H20.

“I can’t believe we didn’t get wet,” grins Juergen Siebenrock, vice-president of The Americas for the Lufthansa Group with a plume of mist in the distance.

Sunny day, blue sky what an inaugural welcome.

Menu


Ushered to the American Express Lounge for some food and wine samplings we were greeted by a Lufthansa rep who explained the new Lufthansa menus. First Class guests will have in its three menu options lobster and salmon wraps among other appetizer choices including Russian caviar.

I tried the salmon wrap and washed it down with a Riesling, very nice indeed.

“Wait until you try our new business class seats when you board the aircraft,” mentions Hans DeHaan, director for Lufthansa Group Canada.

So what’s the reason behind this?

Success


Lufthansa has seen wide spread demand both from Germany, Central Europe and from Canada so there’s a definite need for adding more hubs such as Vancouver, Montreal and now Toronto with its double daily service to now Munich and Frankfurt, says Siebenrock describing the growing Canadian routes.

“We have incredible confidence in the Canadian market since we have double hubs in Germany, Frankfurt and Munich,” he says. The additional Toronto- Munich seasonal daily service increases access to over 450 destinations in 118 countries.

The Star Alliance, in particular Air Canada, has been good to Lufthansa. “This wouldn’t work without a strong partner like Air Canada with all the capacity we’re bringing in, you need a partner to feed the network and help us fill this, and they’ve done a fantastic job. The Star Alliance joint venture and officially Air Canada has been instrumental in helping us grow this,” said Siebenrock.

Lufthansa’s been on a fleet overhaul mission too. “We just made the biggest single order of aircraft in the history of a German company, over $30-billion we’re focusing on the 777 and the A350 aircrafts. Those are the aircraft we have on order and they will be delivered over the next 10 years. We are always investing. But it’s the aircraft, product, people, and service, all these things have to be in tune,” he noted.

German Consul General Walter Stechel put it another way. “Every German company is an ambassador. Every German product, artist, scientist and athlete is an ambassador. But in the globalized world many times it’s the airline that is the first glimpse of the country. The country’s technological prowess; its design and good taste; its hospitality and friendly service, we Germans are proud to have Lufthansa as our flag carrier and that’s our ambassador to the world,” he further explained at a press conference which took place at Gate E80 inside Terminal One amid a festive atmosphere surrounded by an oom pah pah band, party balloons and the classic national nibbly, the salted pretzel.

The Greater Toronto Airport Authority executives are impressed too. “It’s a great milestone to celebrate the more than 40 year history between Toronto and Lufthansa. The introduction of a new daily seasonal route is important to Toronto and the region as a whole. Giving passengers more choice in connecting to more points is truly the engine of growth,” said Scott Collier, the new vice president of customer and terminal services with the GTAA.

First Class + Business Class Seats

Back at the new airplane I made the classic left turn like actress Penelope Wilton in the film “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” did when she blurted, “Not just getting on the plane but getting on the plane and turning left” she professed as the big excitement in air travel.

In Business Class, find 48 full-flat business class seats. This premium section also has removed the earlier dividing walls between seats. “We don’t need them anymore. A lot of people didn’t think it was necessary or appropriate so we got rid of that,” explained Lufthansa rep Alex von Steun.

While the bed completely goes horizontal there’s no more angular feel. Centre seats also are configured more on diagonal schemata.

As for First Class expect pure comfort in a quieter cabin. Sound proofed by a durable thick curtain the floors have under padding so guests don’t hear stiletto tappings or other footwear.

Munich

Munich, the capital of Bavaria, is Germany’s third largest city. Home of Oktoberfest and business headquarters like BMW and Siemens, the city also boasts prominent museums and galleries such as the Deutsches Museum, the world’s largest museum of science and technology.

Schedule

Lufthansa currently offers a double daily service from Toronto to Frankfurt and Munich. The Toronto-Munich seasonal direct service runs now until October 24, 2014.




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Ilona Kauremszky

A regular contributor to Travel Industry Today, Ilona is a prize winning journalist whose writing pursuits have taken her around the globe.

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