Update: While I could get to the booking page earlier, it appears as if the first class space on this route is now “phantom” space, so may not be bookable.
Lufthansa recently announced two new daily flights to Tokyo Haneda’s airport, out of their hubs in Frankfurt and Munich. The service on both routes will commence on March 30, 2014, and schedule looks as follows:
LH716 Frankfurt to Haneda departing 6:20PM arriving 12:15PM (+1 day)
LH717 Haneda to Frankfurt departing 2:05PM arriving 6:45PM
LH714 Munich to Haneda departing 3:45PM arriving 10:05AM (+1 day)
LH715 Haneda to Munich departing 11:50AM arriving 4:55PM
The Frankfurt flight will be operated by a Boeing 747-400, while the Munich flight will be operated by an Airbus A340-600 — both should feature their new first class cabins, though I’d expect business class to be the old product.
This service is coming at the expense of some of their Tokyo Narita service, as they’re discontinuing the Munich > Tokyo Narita flight, and the Frankfurt > Tokyo Narita flight will now stop in Osaka.
So why should you care?
Well, remember back in November when Lufthansa loaded availability onto the new Toronto to Munich route, and how every single day had award space in first class, even when booking through Star Alliance partner airlines?
Well, that’s happening again on the Frankfurt > Tokyo Haneda route.
Both the Frankfurt and Munich to Tokyo Haneda flights have very good business class award space, with two seats available just about every day:
On top of that — and most importantly — the Frankfurt > Tokyo Haneda flight has two first class award seats available every day.
As most of you probably know, typically Star Alliance carriers only have access to Lufthansa first class award space at most 15 days out, so having access this far out is awesome. It’s even more valuable in light of the upcoming United MileagePlus devaluation, as you won’t be able to change routings or flights after February 1 and keep the old award rates.
It’s worth noting that this award space will show up on the Aeroplan, United, or Lifemiles websites, though won’t show up through the ANA website.
Aeroplan, United, and US Airways all allow routings from the US to Asia via Europe. The catch with US Airways is that they block Lufthansa first class award space, and the catch with Aeroplan is that they impose fuel surcharges on Lufthansa redemptions. So ideally I’d recommend redeeming United miles, as they charge just 67,500 miles one-way for first class from the US to Japan via Europe.
I’d recommend booking quickly, as I don’t expect this to last!
(Tip of the hat to SMK77)