The ‘new Germanwings’ marks the launch of the biggest low-cost German airline and the introduction of a new concept with a maiden flight01.07.2013
Individualised offers for all customer groups with ‘à la carte flying’
BEST is the premium fare, primarily aimed at the needs of business travellers, but also appealing to the discerning leisure traveller. SMART includes an extensive range of additional services and BASIC is the purely low-cost category.
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 on Monday with the launch of a maiden flight. Hartmut Mehdorn, CEO of Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH, welcomed the ‘new Germanwings’, after the redesigned aircraft landed in Berlin Tegel.
‘We are delighted that the maiden flight is taking off from Berlin and wish the “new Germanwings” a successful product and market launch’, said Harmut Mehdorn, CEO of Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH. ‘As part of the Lufthansa Group, Germanwings is also well positioned in the German capital and one of our key customers. The expansion of its route network from Berlin has led to significant growth. In 2012, almost six million passengers flew to and from Berlin, representing a 16 per cent increase and a clear commitment to the location of Berlin. We wish Germanwings consistently high capacity utilisation.’
Carsten Spohr, member of the Executive Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG: ‘Germanwings is not only Germany’s biggest low-cost airline, but also the best quality carrier in this segment on the European market. We combine the strengths of Germanwings with the benefits of Lufthansa. I’m sure that our passengers – both business and leisure travellers – will really appreciate the new brand and the new product. This approach is also key to enabling Lufthansa to once again operate profitable European routes outside of our hubs. We are thus improving the profitability of Lufthansa by creating a highly attractive offer for our customers.’
Thomas Winkelmann, spokesman for Germanwings management: ‘Today is a historic day for our company: with a new product, lots of new routes and a bigger fleet, we are now entering the second phase of Germanwings’ success story. The new design of our aircraft marks a new beginning here in Berlin. We promise our customers that we will continue to offer the best value for money in Europe and set creative standards for our entire industry.’
The ‘new Germanwings’ is further consolidating its position in Berlin by offering a total of 204 flights per week to and from Berlin Tegel in this summer’s flight schedule. The airline employs a team of 133 staff in Berlin – and hundreds more in other companies in connection with Germanwings services. 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 per cent in 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.
Over the past few months, Germanwings has implemented the new product and brand concept announced and introduced in December last year consistently and in record speed. In just six months, the airline’s current fleet of 38 aircraft was completely redesigned inside and out. According to current plans, the ‘new Germanwings’ is expected to comprise a fleet of 87 aircraft by the end of 2014. This will include 64 of its own Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft as well as an additional 23 CRJ-900 jets of Eurowings-Luftverkehrs AG, operating exclusively for Germanwings.
A highly motivated team of staff developed the new, differentiated offer in record speed. The technical processes associated with the switchover to the ‘new Germanwings’ were implemented smoothly and swiftly, too. The three new fares have been available for booking online since Monday, and via travel agencies since 12 April. The check-in systems have been converted, customers can find the new logo everywhere, and the smartphone apps for the mobile services of Germanwings have been redesigned.
True to the motto ‘reasonably priced but not cheap’, employees of the ‘new Germanwings’ will focus all the more on meeting customer’s wishes to the fullest in the future. Passengers will be able to choose from three basic Economy Class modules: BEST, SMART and BASIC. The BEST fare represents the best product currently available on inter-European low-cost routes and is setting industry standards. Passengers are reserved a seat in rows one to three, where they will enjoy a generous32-inch (81.3-centimetre) seat pitch and a free middle seat alongside them. Other components of the new BEST fare include access to the Lufthansa lounges, priority check-in and use of the fast lane at security, more miles in the Miles & More programme, HON Circle miles, double the baggage allowance (2 x 23 kg), à la carte in-flight catering and flexibility in terms of rebooking and cancelling tickets.
Like Business Class, the cabin area with the best seats is clearly separated by a curtain. The BEST fare is now available on all booking channels and domestic flights within Germany as well as for the core European markets of Germanwings, i.e. Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Russia, France and the UK.
The SMART fare of the new Germanwings is the new standard fare and corresponds to a conventional Economy product with exceptional quality. Rows towards the front of the aircraft will be reserved for passengers on this fare. They will enjoy the same generous 32-inch (81.3-centimetre) seat pitch as those on the BEST fare. SMART includes catering in the form of a snack and non-alcoholic drinks as well as a 23-kilogramme baggage allowance.
The lowest fare is the BASIC fare, corresponding 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.
Germanwings was advised by Lufthansa Consulting during the extensive realignment. The Lufthansa Group subsidiary has extensive experience in managing complex major projects and oversaw the consolidation of the various business models while maintaining low-cost structures. Project support ranged from the concept of strategic integration to the implementation of brand, product, fleet and network measures and the necessary administrative adjustments.