The train is to become the alternative for trips within Germany for significantly more air passengers than before. Travelers from more than two dozen international airlines could use the train to continue their journey in Germany in the future.
Deutsche Bahn is expanding its cooperation with Lufthansa to link train and air travel to all airlines in the Star Alliance group. Deutsche Bahn will thus become the alliance's first intermodal partner, the cooperation partners explained in Frankfurt.
In the future, guests of two dozen international airlines who arrive or depart from Germany's largest hub, Frankfurt, will be able to use their ticket to transfer to Deutsche Bahn's ICE trains within Germany. All they need is a booking, as is the case with a long-haul connection with a feeder flight. In the event of train delays, the airlines take care of the necessary flight rebookings, explained Lufthansa board member Harry Hohmeister. Lufthansa pushed the project as a member of the Star Alliance.
"We also want such partnerships in other markets," said Star Alliance boss Jeffery Goh. The number of transit passengers is expected to increase from half a million today to five million by 2030. "This is how we bring more people from the plane to the environmentally friendly rail," said Deutsche Bahn board member Michael Peterson.
At Lufthansa Express Rail, the number of bookings has more than doubled since 2010. According to him, the capacity of the railway will be sufficient for the additional users of the international airlines.