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Lufthansa relaunches low-cost unit, with 'New Germanwings' launch on 01-Jul-2013

2-Jul-2013 12:45 PM

Germanwings stated (01-Jul-2013) the “new Germanwings” launched its completely new brand and product concept on 01-Jul-2013, offering an “à la carte flying” concept. Details include:

  • "À la carte travel": Passengers will be able to choose from three basic economy class modules – Best, Smart and Basic.
    • Best fare: Represents the best product currently available on inter-European low-cost routes. A seat in one of the three forward-most rows will be reserved for the passenger with a seat pitch of 32 inches (81.2 centimetres) and an empty middle seat. Other components of the new Best fare include access to Lufthansa lounges, priority check-in and the use of the fast lane at security checks, more miles in the Miles & More programme, HON Circle miles, double the baggage allowance (two items weighing 23 kilograms each), à la carte catering on board, flexible rebooking and ticket cancellation. The cabin area containing the Best seats is significantly isolated by a screen. The Best fare is available via all booking channels for all intra-German flights as well as for Germanwings' core European markets, that is to say Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Russia, France and UK;
    • Smart fare: Is the new standard fare and corresponds to a conventional economy product. Rows towards the front of the aircraft will be reserved for passengers on this fare. Passengers will have a 32-inch (81.2-centimetre) seat pitch. Smart includes catering in the form of a snack and non-alcoholic drinks as well as a 23kg baggage allowance;
    • Basic Fare: Corresponds to a conventional low-cost product. Those who avail of this fare will opt to forego free catering and a baggage allowance, for example, and will be able to choose a seat from row eleven back.
  • Implementation: In recent months, Germanwings has implemented the new product and brand concept, first announced and presented in Dec-2012. The airline's entire fleet, which currently includes 38 aircraft, was converted to the new design, both internally and externally, in six months. Germanwings was advised by Lufthansa Consulting during the extensive realignment;
  • Fleet: According to current plans, the “new Germanwings” is to operate a fleet of 87 aircraft by the end of 2014. This will include 64 fully-owned A319s and A320s as well as a further 23 CRJ-900 aircraft owned by Eurowings-Luftverkehrs AG which will in future fly solely for Germanwings;
  • Destinations: The ‘new Germanwings’ will combine the decentralised European routes of Lufthansa that operate outside of the Frankfurt and Munich hubs and those of Germanwings. The airline introduced its new concept in Berlin, Hamburg, Stuttgart and Cologne/Bonn. Berlin Airports noted that the ‘new Germanwings’ is further consolidating its position in Berlin by offering a total of 204 weekly services to/from Berlin Tegel in this summer’s flight schedule. The airline employs a team of 133 staff in Berlin. On taking over all planned Lufthansa routes, the airline will take off and land 624 times per week. A total of ten aircraft will then be in operation in the capital for the ‘new Germanwings’, representing a market share of 14.4% the highly fragmented home market. Following the complete transferral of all routes, the airline will serve 36 destinations from Berlin and transport some 2.6 million passengers in 2014;
  • Financials: Germanwings’ operating costs are 20% to 30% lower than Lufthansa, Germanwings CEO Thomas Winkelmann said, according to a dpa-AFX report. He expects a profit by 2015 at the earliest. [more - original PR - Germanwings] [more - original PR - Germanwings - German] [more - original PR - Berlin Airports] [more - original PR - Berlin Airports - German] [more - original PR - Hamburg Airport - German] [more - original PR - Germanwings CEO statement] [more - original PR - Köln/Bonn - German]