Passengers flying Singapore Airlines (SIA) will soon be able to connect with Eurowings flights at Dusseldorf and Munich.
In the past such a tie-up would have been unthinkable. Let’s face it, who would have thought a full-service quality carrier like SIA would ever wish to feed its passengers onto a few frills budget airline?
But as we explained in the magazine (see Business Traveller, December 2015, Low-cost carriers: Meeting in the middle) it’s only a question of time before conventional carriers strike deals with budget airlines on short feeder routes.
Both need each other. In the case of Europe, conventional carriers need the budget airlines to expand their coverage and so better compete with the Gulf-based airlines.
Budget airlines, meanwhile, need new sources of passengers because their business plans are based around continual growth.
Why Dusseldorf and Munich? Well Dusseldorf is a new route for SIA and so the ability to attract more connecting passengers to other European destinations helps spread the risk (of starting a new route).
In the case of Munich, SIA will soon have more seats to fill as the existing [Munich-Singapore] service (which originates in Manchester) becomes a dedicated Munich-Singapore flight from the start of the winter timetable (see Singapore Airlines to link Manchester with Houston).
And why choose Eurowings? That’s because it’s the budget subsidiary of Lufthansa and the latter, like SIA, is a Star Alliance member.
Also as we have previously reported (see Lufthansa, Swiss and Singapore Airlines join forces to combat rivals, SIA, Lufthansa, Austrian and Swiss have formed a joint venture to better compete with the Gulf carriers on routes between Europe, Asia and Australasia.
Eurowings will provide SIA passengers with connecting possibilities to/from various points both in the UK and mainland Europe. There will be benefits for SIA passengers both arriving in, and departing from, the two above-named airports in Germany.
An interline agreement between SIA and Eurowings has now been signed. We await more detailed information with interest.