The Lufthansa team had another busy Christmas holiday period, enhancing rumours of further takeovers of SAS and of LOT and Malev to add to its stamp collection, just as the Austrian Airlines takeover is confirmed today.
When 2010 rolls around and the German airline influence spreads across Europe, wishing Ein Glückliches Neues Jahr in Lufthansa is going to become a lengthy – and often delicate - process next year.
How simple in the old days when you could just say it in German and have done with it.
In 2010, when the year ticks over with an array of nationalities likely to include Americans (jetBlue), Austrians (Austrian Airlines), Belgians (Brussels Airlines), British (bmi), Hungarians (Malev), Poles (LOT), Scandinavians (SAS) – along with possibly some of Spain-based Spanair – Swiss (Swiss International) and Turks (Sun Express), life will become a whole lot more challenging.
The Belgians will probably still be speaking two languages by then, so a hearty Gelukkig Nieuwjaar (or Beste Wensen) and Bonne Annee to them, Feliz Año Nuevo for the Spanish, and for the Malev team, Boldog Uj Evet!
Then of course for its Turkish Airlines partners and for Sun Express, it’s Lyi Senele!
And as everyone is well aware you don’t simply use German to keep the Swiss Germans happy. They prefer to say Es Guets Neus Johr, and while you can get away with Italian and French for two of their other main languages, Vantirevel Bumang is what the Swiss Romansch minority likes to hear.
In Scandinavia, the words may look the same in each language, but just try ignoring the fact that each is a separate country and pronounce them the same way. So, it is Godt NytÅr, Godt Nytt År and Gott Nytt År! – each accompanied by a separate shot of vodka.
For the new Milan-based subsidiary, Felice Anno Nuovo will do well.
However, for the time being, there is no need for Kull 'Aam Wa-Antum Bikhayr – but, as we have seen, a lot can happen in a year. What’s the betting Lufthansa will find an Arab friend in the meantime?
Or S Novym Godom for a new Russian partner? And we haven’t even started on Asia yet…..
Fortunately the language of aviation is English. So may we wish a Happy New Year to all airlines and the industry, whatever company or country you come from!