Featured image: Hendrik Bittorf/Airways

Trip Report: Lufthansa City Airlines Inaugural Flight 

DALLAS After two years of planning, Lufthansa City Airlines (VL), the newest member of the Lufthansa Group, took off for the first time. Airways had the opportunity to join this inaugural flight from Munich (MUC) to Birmingham (BHX), operated with an A320neo. 

Terminal 2 Departure Munich Airport. Photo: Hendrik Bittorf/Airways


Our journey started at Terminal 2 of MUC, mainly for Lufthansa and Star Alliance Airlines flights. We did the online check-in using the Lufthansa App, available 24 hours until 2 hours before the flight. At the airport, we gave up our luggage at a “Self-Drop-Up” point, which was pleasant and fast.

After checking our luggage, we passed the security check, which took about 5 minutes. As this was a flight out of the European Union, we also had to undergo border control by the federal police. Everything went well, so we walked to our gate, H34.

Lufthansa City Airlines built up a buffet for the celebration. Photo: Hendrik Bittorf/Airways

Perks at the Gate

When we arrived at our gate, an excellent buffet sprawl awaited up. Lufthansa City Airlines and crew members took pictures at the airport counter. After that, we were already kindly invited to eat from the buffet.

There was a selection of fruits as well as fresh pastries. Matching the flight to Birmingham, some pieces had England flags on them. There was apple juice, orange juice, and a large selection of coffee varieties.

To make the service perfect, some Gategourmet employees walked around, served croissants, and ensured cleanliness. Some VL crew members also stood around; you could talk nicely with them.

Gate H34 for the first Lufthansa City Airlines flight. Photo: Hendrik Bittorf/Airways


After a great breakfast, the first boarding announcement for a VL flight was already made. They told us that it was a really special flight and congratulated us on being part of it. Boarding was by groups.

First, all Lufthansa First and Business Class passengers were allowed to board, and then the rest. Lufthansa City Airlines crew members stood before the gangway and distributed gingerbread hearts and key chains.

The welcome sign next to the aircraft door. Photo: Hendrik Bittorf/Airways

Walking through the gangway went quickly, and we entered our Airbus A320neo. The flight captain and a flight attendant welcomed us and showed us our seats. It was 21F for this flight. Chocolate and an “Inaugural Flight Certificate” were lying on every seat.

Inaugural Flight Certificate and chocolate on every seat. Photo: Hendrik Bittorf/Airways

The Airbus, including the windows, was clean. In seat pockets in front of us, there was a VL Welcome Card, the onboard delight card, a World Shop magazine, and the Lufthansa City Airlines A320neo safety card.

It took a few minutes until everyone was on board. After boarding had finished, the Lufthansa City Airlines Managing Director Jens Fehlinger made the first announcement on board, first in German and then in English.

He told us again that we were on an extraordinary flight and that they had prepared a lot for this. After him, the captain made the usual announcement, followed by the safety instructions by the flight attendants. 

Lufthansa City Airlines A320neo wing. Photo: Hendrik Bittorf/Airways


The aircraft got pushed back, and the engines started. As a frequent traveler, one learns to enjoy the sound of the relatively silent A320neo engines.

After about 5 minutes, we started taxiing to the northern runway of MUC, named 26R. There, we had to wait until a Lufthansa A380 has landed. 

Lufthansa City Airlines A320neo wing during takeoff. Photo: Hendrik Bittorf/Airways

Directly after turning on the runway, the crew gave full power, and we took off. The departure was well on time, and the A320neo had a strong climb rate. 

Lufthansa City Airlines A320neo wing during cruise flight. Photo: Hendrik Bittorf/Airways

After about 10 minutes, we reached our cruising altitude of 38.000ft with a ground speed of 468kts. The Captain turned off the seatbelt signs, and service started. It was the same onboard delight card as on Lufthansa flights. 

Free service on Lufthansa City Airlines flights. Photo: Hendrik Bittorf/Airways


As usual, you had to pay for all the snacks and meals. Lufthansa City Airlines offered a 0.3l water bottle and a little chocolate bar for free. City Airlines' Managing Director even went around to offer chocolate.

Both were delicious and high-quality. On our two-hour flight, we flew first over Frankfurt, leaving Germany, continuing our flight over Belgium, passing Brussels. Then, we flew directly across the North Sea past London to Birmingham. It was an excellent day for flying as almost no clouds were visible. 

The coast of Belgium. Photo: Hendrik Bittorf/Airways


After one hour and 10 minutes, we started descending into Birmingham. The flight attendants went around to collect the remaining trash, and then the captain switched on the seatbelt signs. Since the wind came from the south, we first flew past BHX, then came two left turns. 

Arrival at Birmingham Airport/BHX. Photo: Hendrik Bittorf/Airways

The Captain set us up on runway 15 in Birmingham within a very short time. We had to wait about 5 minutes because a SWISS A220 was still in the way.

At 10:10 a.m. local time, we were able to leave the plane. The captain personally was standing at the cockpit door and said goodbye to the passengers. 

Lufthansa City Airlines A320neo at BHX. Photo: Hendrik Bittorf/Airways

After the flight, some crew members left the plane and held a photo session with the airline management. After arriving, there were border controls again, and then we could directly get our luggage at Carrousel 5.

As usual, it was an enjoyable flight if you were onboard a Lufthansa Group Airline. 

Inside Lufthansa City Airlines A320neo. Photo: Hendrik Bittorf/Airways

Talking with the Crew

We did this because there were many opportunities to get in touch with the kind Lufthansa City Airlines staff and the flight crew. We asked the crew members where they had worked before and how they had come to VL. Many came from Lufthansa Cityline before, but others also came from Eurowings.

There was a job advertisement for City Airlines in 2023 for which they applied. We also wanted to know how they prepared for the new tasks. There were training flights within Germany; most had flight experience before. 

Lufthansa Cityline Crj900 taxiing to the runway. Photo: Hendrik Bittorf/Airways

Will Lufthansa City Airlines Replace Lufthansa Cityline?

Some employees of Lufthansa are very critical of the new airline. Lufthansa City Airlines should no longer have as good working conditions as Cityline.

During the first flight, employees told us that VL should not replace Cityline but that both airlines should work in parallel and complement each other. How LH will implement this will be shown in the future.

Pre-order the 2025 Airways Calendar