The stragglers are coming in. At the weekend we published an update on the growing number of carriers launching hand baggage only tariffs.
Now it’s understood United will jump on the bandwagon later in 2018.
And it’s almost certain Lufthansa Group members (Lufthansa mainline, Austrian and Swiss) will do likewise.
Aviation magazine Flight Global reports that United will start by introducing HBO fares on selected transatlantic and Latin American routes later this year.
It therefore means Lufthansa Group, with whom United operates a JV, will have little choice but to follow. Airlines which work closely with one another must have tariff consistency.
In any case as we have already explained Lufthansa mainline has, since Autumn 2017, been quietly selling transatlantic HBO fares in Scandinavia. (Lufthansa does not offer transatlantic HBO fares in any other European market).
Why Scandinavia? Because Lufthansa needs a keen headline price to compete with Norwegian’s transatlantic services.
From Scandinavia the price difference between a Lufthansa transatlantic HBO and a normal economy fare is at least US$60-$100.
And now it appears Lufthansa Group will be rolling out these HBO fares across Europe.
Markus Binkert, commercial director of Swiss and income manager of Lufthansa Group, told Germany’s aerotelegraph.com “This concept will become the industry standard.”
“We too are deliberately considering this [HBO fares]. It is an issue that is being discussed within Lufthansa Group. So far no decision has been taken. But I expect this [the decision] sooner rather than later.”