Daily to Dusseldorf.
Lufthansa’s air traffic between Glasgow and the German city in the heart of the prosperous Rhine-Ruhr region, generates around £19 million and clocks up 71,000 trips annually. Now that the daily schedule is in place, the company has seen a 5% increase in business across its flights from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. Previously operated as a seasonal route from Edinburgh, the Dusseldorf journey has been daily out of Glasgow since June. ‘This will now be available all year round,’ said Christian Schindler, Lufthansa’s General Manager UK & Ireland on a brief visit to Glasgow this week.
Germans come by the plane load for: ‘golf, the Highlands and the whisky trails’ explained Christian. And with the 90 seater CRJ 900 aircraft being 80% full, the potential to grow that business is being grasped by Lufthansa.
The company already operates three flights a week to Frankfurt from Aberdeen. Edinburgh has a daily Lufthansa flights which are busy, despite the loss of the Dusseldorf route.
According to Francois Bourienne, commercial director at Glasgow Airport, Germany represents the largest international market for Glasgow. He said: ‘Since its launch in April, Lufthansa Regional’s direct service to Dusseldorf has proved extremely popular with business and leisure passengers alike. The new service provides the perfect opportunity to strengthen links between Glasgow and Düsseldorf, both of which are economic powerhouses in their own right. Scottish passengers are also able to take advantage of the excellent onward connectivity offered by Dusseldorf Airport and use it as a hub to reach destinations such as Munich, Zurich and Vienna.’
And the connectivity is the key to the Scottish Lufthansa routes. Said Christian: ‘Aberdeen passengers tend to go long haul to Africa, the United States and Asia. Glasgow and Edinburgh traffic tends to be more continental based.’
With Frankfurt and Zurich airports each having high speed rail stations within their complexes, and Munich having first rate city rail links, Lufthansa can provide a smooth onward journey to any passenger coming out of Scotland. A through ticket – including the rail journey – can be part of a package. ‘It is important to have the rail links,’ says Christian diplomatically. ‘Important both economically and ecologically. For a journey of 250 miles or less, rail is best.’
He is proud of the fact that Lufthansa was the first airline to be listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Until recently, it was the only airline listed. Christian is also happy to be working for the airline because it actively encourages all employees to come up with innovative ideas to save time and money and to enhance the service offered.
‘Employees win prizes – even £1 million – with new ideas,’ he said. Right now a ‘shark skin’ idea using the knowledge of how sharks glide through water, is being considered to strip paint and dirt off the outside of the aircraft. Research indicates the aircraft might fly faster and use less fuel if water is used instead of acid cleaning agents. Another money saving project already in use is an ‘electric tug’ or ‘tow tractor’ which allows the pilot to move the aircraft on the ground instead of it using its engines and a lot of fuel.
Said Christian: ‘I’m very proud that we won the first prize in the Technology Awards for the Airline Business Magazine earlier this month. This fits our corporate ethos of our social responsibility. We work hard to reduce noise, emissions and fuel consumption and to reduce our impact on the environment.’
As the biggest airline company group in Europe and the fourth largest in the world, Lufthansa is giving Glasgow a chance to soar with them.
Glasgow Bike Station is freewheeling in good directions.
First – this weekend – they re-locate to new, bigger premises in Haugh Street, Yorkhill. ‘We’ve over run the tiny space we started with in Barrowlands,’ explained Richard Kidd, the workshop manager.
In the expanded space, they’ll have more space for recondition bikes for sale and bike repair workshops among the other bike related activities the charity fosters.
Their newly acquired Awards will also be given display space in the sales show room. Earlier in March The Glasgow Bike Station won first prize at the Scottish Green List National Awards. The 2012 event honoured those working to make a difference to sustainable development in Scotland.
Gregory Chauvet, Bike Station Project Manager, said: ‘I am extremely proud of everyone at The Bike Station for their continued hard work throughout the year and for winning this prestigious award.’ It was presented by the Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Stewart Stevenson and announced by Keep Scotland Beautiful Chief Executive, Derek Robertson.
The Glasgow Bike Station picked up a further two awards the next day (Wednesday14 March) at the Grow Green Awards held at the Winter Gardens, Glasgow Green.
The first was for Best Sustainable Transport Project in Glasgow and the second for Outstanding Green Project in Glasgow.
The awards recognise individuals, groups, schools, and local businesses that made a real difference; whether getting people out on their bikes, growing their own food or even setting up community composting schemes.
Greg said: ‘These awards act as a catalyst for everyone at The Bike Station. It pushes us all to work towards a more cycle and environmentally friendly city.’
The project is one of more than 40 across Scotland granted Scottish Government Climate Challenge Funding. Their ‘A Better Way to Work’ events which promote cycling, walking and public transport as convenient and sustainable ways to travel to work, continue to keep The Bike Station on the move.