It’s been in the planning stages since last year but Lufthansa will officially launch its new subsidiary soon.

Branded City Airlines, Germany’s national airline has already launched a temporary website – see here.

Details of this new airline, an updated version of the original Lufthansa CityLine, remain sketchy.

What we do know is that it is registered in Munich, will operate short- to medium-haul routes (both international and domestic) and that it will deploy aircraft like the A319.

Schedules are expected to include those feeding Lufthansa’s hubs at Frankfurt and Munich.

In a statement to industry website AirInsight, Lufthansa admits it has lost passengers to rival carriers in recent years. Said a spokesperson, “Lufthansa has lost a significant share in the European market in recent years. In a highly competitive and fast-paced environment in the short- and medium-haul sectors, stable and sustainable solutions are needed to make hub-contact traffic viable for the future.”

Let me translate the “aviation speak” as I see it.

This new airline will replace budget subsidiary Eurowings on many or most prime business routes.

Secondly, as I have reported many times, Lufthansa has a policy of only using its mainline division to feed Frankfurt and Munich.

This means that even in the case of Germany’s capital, Lufthansa mainline does not operate a single international service. All Lufthansa international schedules from Berlin are hived off to Eurowings.

The downside is that mainline flights cost more to operate (because of staff costs and so on) hence the idea of Lufthansa City Airlines, which keeps the Lufthansa branding prominent but provides a more economical operation.

Right now staff for the new airline are being recruited. The big question is will both cabin staff and pilots accept their new terms?