Following entry bans that lasted for well over a year, the Council of the European Union, along with the German government, introduced new guidelines last week that allow fully vaccinated U.S. citizens to enter Germany. The new guidelines went into effect on June 20 and allow U.S. citizens into the entire Schengen-area of Europe. In addition Switzerland will open up to vaccinated U.S. citizens on June 28, pending formal Swiss parliamentary ratification this week.
“The United States is Lufthansa Group’s most important market outside of our European home markets. Now, with the new German guidelines in place, we are ready to meet the pent-up travel demand of Americans wanting to travel to Germany to experience a memorable European holiday or desperate to visit their family and friends that they weren’t able to see in person for the past 15 months,” said Frank Naeve, Vice President of Passenger Sales, The Americas, Lufthansa Group.
“Furthermore, the Group’s extensive, global network gives us the advantage of offering the entire world to our customers, along with seamless transfers and premium quality. Now, for example, if you want to fly from one of our many American gateways to dream destinations such as Berlin, Palma de Mallorca or Mykonos, the easiest way with the best connectivity offerings is with the Lufthansa Group,” he added.
The German-based airline operation is continually bolstering lift from, the United States, currently serving: Atlanta, New York, Newark, Chicago, Detroit, Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Houston, Miami, Boston, Seattle, Dallas-Fort Worth, Orlando and Charlotte (resuming July 3). Currently, the Lufthansa Group runs around 150 weekly flights from the U.S., to increase to some 190 in July.
Summer Travel 2021
Beyond the home markets of Austria, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland, the Lufthansa Group has ramped up its network reach throughout the Mediterranean and Southern Europe, considered hotspot leisure destinations during the warmer months.
For example, Lufthansa is now flying, non-stop, from its hubs in Frankfurt and Munich to thirteen locations in Greece, from historic cities to idyllic islands. The thirteen locations are Athens, Mykonos, Rhodes, Corfu, Kavala, Thessaloniki, Kalamata, Preveza, Zakynthos, Thira, Kos, Chania and Heraklion.
Austrian Airlines is offering more than 100 destinations this summer – of which approximately 30 focus on leisure travel in the Mediterranean region. The airline just launched routes to classic destinations such as Crete and Rhodes. Additionally, there are more flights to Athens and Thessaloniki. In June, further destinations such as Catania, Chania, Karpathos, Olbia, Palma de Mallorca, Santorini, Skiathos and Zakynthos will follow. From July onwards, routes such as Cagliari, Funchal, Gran Canaria, Ibiza, Kalama, Mykonos, Naples, Tenerife will be see increased serviced.
SWISS is expanding its summer services from both Zurich and Geneva to popular tourist destinations. From Zurich, Berlin will receive up to six daily flights, while Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Hamburg, Vienna, Copenhagen and Athens will each have up to three daily services. Naples will be served up to 11 times weekly, and Thessaloniki will receive up to nine weekly flights. SWISS is also offering new services from Zurich to Billund and Tallinn.
New destinations will also be served from Geneva in the summer schedule – the popular Greek island resort of Santorini is now receiving two non-stop flights a week, and two weekly services will also be provided to the Adriatic city of Split in Southern Croatia starting in early July. Also new to the schedule are Funchal and Ponta Delgada.
Brussels Airlines resumed flights from New York and Washington DC., marking the first time in more than a year that Brussels Airlines has been able to connect the U.S. capital and the European capital of Brussels. Via its hub in Brussels, the airline offers optimal connections to 15 destinations in Sub-Sahara Africa: Abidjan (Ivory Coast), Accra (Ghana), Banjul (Gambia) and Dakar (Senegal) are planned to be flown to on a daily basis. In Central and East Africa, Douala and Yaounde (both in Cameroon), Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo) and Entebbe.
(Uganda) are also planned for daily flights. Luanda (Angola), Cotonou (Benin), Bujumbura (Burundi), Monrovia (Liberia), Kigali (Rwanda), Freetown (Sierra Leone) and Lomé (Togo) will be served several times a week. Also beginning this month, Brussels Airlines will gradually reopen its attractive network with over 50 leisure travel destinations, including France, Portugal, Spain and Greece.
Lufthansa Health Policies
On Lufthansa Group flights, passengers are required to wear a protective medical mask— either a surgical mask or an FFP2 mask, or mask with the KN95/N95 standard, during boarding, the flight and when leaving the aircraft. An exemption from the obligation to wear a mouth-nose mask during the flight is only possible for medical reasons, if the medical certificate is issued on a form provided by Lufthansa Group and a negative Covid19 test, not older than 72 hours at the scheduled start of the journey, is available.
As studies and reports continue to indicate, infection on board is highly unlikely. All Lufthansa Group aircraft are equipped with the highest quality HEPA air filters, which ensure an air quality similar to that in an operating room. In addition, the air circulates vertically instead of dispersed throughout the cabin.
Flexible Re-booking Policies
Lufthansa Group airline fares can be rebooked, free-of-charge, as often as desired until the end of July. Customers can also change their itinerary as they wish, depending on availability, and, for example, fly from Los Angeles to Munich to instead of Los Angeles to Frankfurt.
Passengers that want to postpone their original trip, but are unable to decide on a new date and destination, have the option of initially canceling their booking without committing to a new travel date. The customer’s ticket remains in the system
as a credit until they decide to make a new reservation and redeem it. However, the new booking must be made by August 31, 2021 and the departure date must be by July 31, 2022.
The rebooking fee waiver applies worldwide, for all new bookings in all fares on short, medium and long-haul routes. This enables flexible travel planning for all Lufthansa Group Airlines customers.
For travelers heading to and the Federal Republic of Germany, air travelers six years and older must either show that they are fully vaccinated or fully recovered or have tested negative prior to departure. . Proof of vaccination in written (e.g. CDC card) or digital form (a cellphone photo is not sufficient) will be required. Travelers who are neither fully vaccinated nor fully recovered must continue to present a negative COVID test prior to departure. Both PCR tests and rapid antigen tests are accepted.
Transit travelers with a destination outside the Schengen area who do not leave the international transit area of the airport do not need to present a negative test prior to departure.
The United States is no longer categorized as a risk area according to the Robert Koch Institute. Thus, travelers are no longer required to register digitally for entry or quarantine on arrival in Germany.