Lufthansa 'to sell off Miles and More'

9 Dec 2013 by Alex McWhirter

Lufthansa is expected to sell off its popular Miles and More frequent flyer programme next year.

The airline's board members will make a final decision on the matter in the spring, according to reports in the German media.

If they agree to the sale, Miles and More will be sold to an independent company in the second half of 2014.

Miles and More has 20 million members and is possibly Europe's most popular frequent flyer programme.

It is an important revenue generator for Germany's national airline. Although no official figures are published, airline analysts suggest that the scheme contributed 700 million euros (£785 million) in profit to Lufthansa in 2012 with a similar amount expected for this year.

The idea behind the sell-off is to get more members involved. According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine, only a fraction of the 20 million members are regular fliers and Lufthansa wants to "increase the customer benefits of the 18 million members who do not fly and therefore strengthen customer loyalty".

What it means is that a new owner would take on board more business partners who in turn would offer additional promotions to members.

But conservative members of Miles and More lament the fact that this scheme would change and would no longer exist as a pure frequent flyer programme for regular passengers.

Last week, it was reported that Lufthansa is on the verge of removing the rear galleys from its short-haul Airbus A319, A320 and A321 fleet in order to fit in more seats (see news, December 2).

Alex McWhirter

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