Lufthansa has just announced that they will soon be offering low-cost long haul flights; a first for a traditional European company. Their low cost subsidiary, Germanwings, which was limited until now, to domestic and European flights is to widen its horizons. Initially from the winter of 2015, under the name of Eurowings, they will propose "leisure" destinations in the Indian Ocean, South Africa and Florida from Cologne and Bonn.
To do this, the subsidiary will use 310-seater capacity long-haul Airbus A330’s, incorporating two classes: Economy and Premium towards the front.
Like any self-respecting low-cost, Eurowings will have many paying options, ranging from extra baggage to onboard consumption. Three types of tariffs will be offered but it is still too early to know the details.
Eurowings will eventually have a fleet of seven long hauls, a minute number compared to the 160 long range aircraft that make up the Lufthansa Group. Nevertheless, the objective of the German company’s head, Carsten Spohr, is to attack other low-cost airlines by offering destinations they cannot offer, and at attractive prices.
However, for this model to work, Eurowings will have to reduce its operating costs by 40%, compared with those of Lufthansa, in particular by the system of having to purchase tickets exclusively online.
This low-cost long-haul project, is something that does not seem to be popular amongst the flight crew. This week, the German company’s pilots began their eleventh strike over their benefits since the beginning of the year, thus causing more financial harm to Lufthansa which already amounts to over 170 million Euros.