Lufthansa Group airlines are raising capacity from the UK by 15% this summer.

The German airline company wants to tap into the potential for passengers to make connections from its mainland Europe hubs.

Lufthansa, Brussels Airlines and Austrian Airlines will increase services from the north and south-west of England to Austria, Belgium and Germany.

Travellers from Newcastle and Bristol will gain access to one of the group’s hubs in Frankfurt, Munich or Brussels.

Passengers leaving from London will see increased services to Vienna and Munich.

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This capacity increase, in addition to the opening of two new gateways in Bristol and Newcastle, showcases the growing demand from smaller regional airports, according to the company.

The new routes include Newcastle-Munich six times a week from February 3 and Bristol-Frankfurt with 12 flights a week from March 30. This follows Brussels Airlines starting a Bristol link to the Belgian capital in October with 12 flights a week.

Frequencies are also being raised on services by Austrian Airlines between Birmingham and Vienna and Lufthansa from Glasgow to Frankfurt.

While the majority of the growth will take place across regional airports, Lufthansa Group is also expanding at Heathrow’s Queen’s Terminal with 359 departures a week as the biggest foreign airline group from the London airport.

The development provides UK travellers with a wider and more frequent choice of 19 onward connections via Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich and Vienna.

New destinations in North America from Frankfurt and Munich this summer include Las Vegas, Phoenix, Anchorage, Seattle and Detroit.

The expansion coincided with OTA eDreams ODIGEO and Lufthansa Group signing a new distribution agreement based on Iata’s New Distribution Capability.

The strategic agreement involves all four eDreams ODIGEO brands – eDreams, Opodo, Travellink and GO Voyages.

As part of this deal, the OTA and Lufthansa Group airlines have become preferred partners for joint innovation initiatives, such as the development of new travel ancillary services.