German airline Lufthansa is scrapping its flights from Manchester to Berlin – less than a year after they launched.
The carrier said it will stop running the flights from April after not seeing enough demand from business travellers, who typically spend more than tourists.
Lufthansa has only been flying to the German capital from Manchester since June but UK general manager Christian Schindler said the plane it used on the route would now be used on a ‘more profitable’ service in and out of Berlin.
Despite the blow to Manchester Airport bosses, Lufthansa said it had seen a seven per cent increase in the number of Manchester passengers it handled last year, up to more than 740,000.
It pledged to continue running its services to Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich and Stuttgart and that it hoped to see similar growth during 2013.
Mr Schindler added the airline would consider re-introducing Berlin flights in the future if it thought they would be profitable.
He said passengers flying from Manchester tended to connect with flights from German hub airports to far-flung destinations like Beijing, China, and parts of South Africa.
Mr Schindler said: “Overall, 2012 has been a good year for Lufthansa in the UK and Manchester has been great.
“We have already started 2013 well and expect Manchester to do well again this year.”
But he added: “As an airline, we are not adding aircraft to our fleet and are not replacing any aircraft we take out of service this year.
“Unfortunately, Manchester to Berlin is one of the services that will be affected by that.”