Lufthansa announces low-cost, long-haul plans for 2015

3 Dec 2014 by Alex McWhirter

It’s now official. Lufthansa today announced plans for its new low-cost, long-haul division.

The new carrier will take the Eurowings branding and be operated by SunExpress Deutschland. The latter will provide the cockpit and cabin crew.

Eurowings will be based in Cologne and begin operations towards the end of next year with a fleet of three A330-200 twin jets configured for 310 passengers. In a few years’ time the plan is to increase fleet size to seven A330-200s.

But readers who were hoping that Lufthansa would operate Eurowings out of Frankfurt or Munich to cities such as New York, Dubai or Singapore will be disappointed.

As Business Traveller pointed out previously, Lufthansa is first and foremost a business airline. And therefore it would not wish to cannabalise any business traffic which would normally travel with its core brand. Therefore Eurowings flights will be departing from Cologne (considered a secondary airport within Germany) and will serve holiday destinations.

According to aviation newsletter “The new carrier’s objectives will be to concentrate on the vacation traveller. It is expected that the first long-haul points will be in Florida along with destinations in the Indian Ocean and Southern Africa.”

The seating on Eurowings’ A330s will be dense, but, as with existing Germanwings (Lufthansa’s low-cost short-haul brand) tickets will be sold at Best, Basic or Smart depending on the level of service required.

Lufthansa maintains that tighter Eurowings’ seating and a few or no-frills approach will mean that its operating costs can be cut by 40 per cent.

Unfortunately the announcement of Eurowings has coincided with three days of strikes by Lufthansa pilots who are against the formation of this new airline, because, if it proves a success, their jobs may be threatened.

There was a two-day strike last Monday and Tuesday with a further one-day strike (affecting long-haul flights) taking place tomorrow (Thursday).

Business Traveller will bring you more details of Eurowings as and when they are available over the coming months.

Alex McWhirter

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