Germanwings name to be retired

28 Apr 2015 by Alex McWhirter

The Germanwings brand will cease to exist from this autumn.

The Lufthansa short-haul subsidiary will take on the new branding of Eurowings.

Germanwings CEO Thomas Winkelmann will transfer to Austrian Airlines, which is also part of the Lufthansa group, where he will replace current CEO Jaan Albrecht on June 1, according to reports.

In turn, Albrecht will transfer as chief executive to Sunexpress, a holiday carrier jointly owned by Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines.

Lufthansa had been planning to abolish the Germanwings name at some stage in the future, even before the recent disaster in the French Alps (see news, March 24).

Having two separate short-haul budget carriers, Germanwings and Eurowings, did not make sense.

For the past few weeks and months, Lufthansa has been busy changing flight codes so that by November the 4U code used by Germanwings will switch to Eurowings' EW code. In the case of flights between the UK and Germany, this has already happened.

Germanwings serves Lufthansa's non-core destinations. So when you request a flight, say, from London to Dusseldorf or London to Hamburg in the month of October, you'll be presented with a 4U code. Book the same flight in November and you'll find the code has been switched to EW.

Eurowings fares are expected to be roughly similar to those of Germanwings. But, in any case, the Lufthansa group carriers in Europe will also change their tariff structures in the autumn when they begin to charge ancillary fees.

The new Eurowings will open its first base outside Germany in Vienna this autumn (see news, February 19).,

Alex McWhirter

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