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Tag Archives: Lufthansa

Lufthansa to fly to Aalborg and Keflavik

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) will expand its European services in next year’s summer flight timetable. From March 29, 2015, the airline will be operating a new route from Frankfurt Airport to Aalborg in Jutland, Denmark, with 14 flights a week.

The commercial and university city will be Lufthansa’s third destination in Denmark, after Copenhagen and Billund.

The airline will also be launching a twice-weekly nonstop service between Frankfurt and Keflavik (near Reykjavík), Iceland, from May 2, until September 26, 2015. The Aalborg route will have two flights a day with a Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft, with 90 seats in Business and Economy Class. The service will depart from the Lufthansa hub every morning at 8.25 a.m. as flight LH 844 and every afternoon at 4.10 p.m. as flight LH 846, arriving in Aalborg at 10.05 a.m. and 5.50 p.m. respectively. The return flights will land in Frankfurt at 12.25 p.m. and 8.10 p.m. respectively.

The service to Keflavik (Reykjavík) will operate on Thursdays and Saturdays with an Airbus A319, with 138 seats in Business and Economy Class. Flight LH 856 will take off from Frankfurt in the morning and land in Reykjavík around midday. Flight LH 857 will arrive back at Frankfurt Airport in the early evening.

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 D-AIBB (msn 4182) taxies at Geneva.

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Lufthansa Group details its winter schedules changes with 18,900 flights a week

Lufthansa Group (Frankfurt) has announced the details of its combined schedules for the winter season:

The airlines in the Lufthansa Group – Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Germanwings, Lufthansa and Swiss International Air Lines – are again offering their customers a dense and high-frequency route network in the upcoming 2014/2015 winter flight timetable, with 18,900 flights a week. This winter, the Lufthansa Group airlines will be linking 260 destinations in 100 countries on four continents via its hubs in Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Vienna and Brussels, but also with many point-to-point connections. Around 20,500 weekly code-share flights with other partner airlines extend the carriers’ respective programmes and enable single-source bookings. The winter flight timetables for the individual Group airlines apply from Sunday, October 26, 2014 to Saturday, March 28, 2015. Thanks to the use of larger aircraft, the Group’s capacity in available seat-kilometers is increasing by 2.9 percent compared with the same period last year. At the same time, the number of flights in the period of the timetable is going down by 2.9 percent. On average, therefore, a Lufthansa Group aircraft is taking off somewhere around the world every 32 seconds. The individual route networks of the Group airlines are increasingly converging with one another. Almost all destinations are connected via a Lufthansa Group hub. End-to-end fares enable passengers to book multiple journeys with convenient and punctual connecting flights. 49 per cent of the nearly 105 million passengers a year now book a transfer connection via a Lufthansa hub. 19 European airports are even served by all five airlines in the Lufthansa Group.

Key news from the five Lufthansa Group airlines:

Lufthansa

This winter, Lufthansa is extending its route network to attractive new holiday destinations in warmer regions. After a break of over 15 years, Lufthansa is resuming flights to Las Palmas in the Canary Islands this winter. From October 26, the new connection will take off from Munich to Gran Canaria every Sunday, and every Saturday during school holidays too. Also new in the winter months are flights from Munich to Split (Croatia) and Valencia (Spain). As of October 2, Lufthansa also flies from Frankfurt to the Moroccan city of Marrakesh. This cultural city is situated at the foot of the Atlas Mountains in the Moroccan interior and can be reached in just under four hours with an Airbus A320 every Thursday and Sunday. A further addition to the flight plan from Munich is Miami in Florida, the US sunshine state, which will now have a daily nonstop connection. Delhi, the Indian capital, will also get a daily service from Frankfurt with the Airbus A380. The Frankfurt-Luanda connection to the capital of Angola will be strengthened by a third weekly flight. Starting on 15 December, Lufthansa and Deutsche Bahn will extend their joint AiRail product of fast ICE train connections to Frankfurt Airport from Karlsruhe and Kassel.

Swiss International Air Lines

In the winter flight timetable 2014/2015, Swiss is adapting its flight plans to winter demand. As well as seasonal reductions of some flights, Swiss is increasing its capacity to popular holiday destinations. The long-haul route between Zurich and Miami is to receive four extra Swiss flights a week, taking the total to fourteen weekly connections. Services to São Paolo, the biggest city in Brazil, will also be increased by three flights a week this winter, taking the total to ten weekly connections. The flight timetable will also include a daily connection to Los Angeles again. In Geneva, Swiss is continuing many destinations from its summer flight timetable throughout the winter, including Copenhagen, Rome, Lisbon and Pristina.

Austrian Airlines

In its 2014/2015 winter flight schedule, Austrian Airlines is again offering its passengers a wide range of up to 100 destinations in 56 countries around the world. Following the successful introduction of Newark (USA) last July, Austrian Airlines will increase its weekly capacity from five flights to six flights a week as of April 2015, and to one flight a day from June. From June 2015, Austrian will therefore be flying daily to all its North American destinations. As a result of high demand in transit traffic, Austrian Airlines is also increasing the frequency of its flights to and from Chişinău from seven a week to a maximum of ten a week in the future.

Brussels Airlines

Belgium’s largest airline is adding a new European destination to its winter flight timetable and improving many connections by adding additional flights: Riga, the capital of Latvia, will be served six times a week from Brussels as of October 26. Riga is one of the most important cultural and economic centres in the Baltic region and is hosting the EU presidency in the first half of 2015. Brussels Airlines is boosting its capacity with additional flights from Brussels to: Tel Aviv, Madrid, Marrakesh, Budapest, Geneva, Vilnius, Hanover and Bologna. Connections are also being improved to the African destinations of Douala, Yaoundé, Nairobi, Kigali, Bujumbura and Luanda.

Germanwings

In its winter flight timetable, Germanwings is offering a total of 84 destinations from Berlin-Tegel, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Cologne/Bonn and Stuttgart. Additional capacity will still focus on Düsseldorf, where Germanwings is taking over more routes from Lufthansa. There are new high-frequency connections from the Rhineland metropolis to Berlin (57 flights a week), London-Heathrow (33 flights a week) and Zurich (24 flights a week). Also new from Düsseldorf are flights to Málaga (two flights a week), Naples (three flights a week), Nice (two flights a week), Moscow (seven flights a week) and Rome (five flights a week). The transfer of Lufthansa routes to Germanwings will be completed on January 8, 2015 with Düsseldorf – Zurich. Germanwings is also introducing a completely new route, Düsseldorf – Istanbul, with two weekly flights. Its programme in the German capital is also being extended with the takeover of two Lufthansa flights a week between Berlin-Tegel and Tel Aviv. With one flight a week, the German airline is also launching a new connection from Cologne/Bonn to the Cypriot port of Larnaca.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Lower cost Germanwings is taking most of the Dusseldorf routes from Lufthansa. Airbus A320-211 D-AIQH (msn 217) taxies at Antalya.

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Lufthansa is facing another two days of strikes by its pilots

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) issued this statement concerning strike action against the carrier today and tomorrow:

Lufthansa is working flat out to devise special timetables for the next two days in response to planned strike action by its Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union. The union has called for a nationwide strike affecting all Lufthansa flights operated with Airbus A320-family, Boeing 737 and Embraer aircraft from 13:00 CEST on Monday October 20 to 23:59 CEST on Tuesday October 21.

A first special timetable, valid for the first 24 hours of the strike, was placed on the http://www.LH.com website around 19:00 this evening. A second special timetable for the remaining strike period should be published tomorrow (Monday 20 October) around 13:00. The special timetables are also intended to ensure that Lufthansa services can be returned to normal once the strike is over.

In view of the length of the strike action called, Lufthansa’s short- and medium-haul services are likely to suffer substantial disruption during the strike period. But as part of its special timetable preparations, the company is currently determining which flights can still be operated. Lufthansa’s long-haul services will operate normally tomorrow (Monday); but travellers are still asked to check the status of their flight prior to their departure. The company’s http://www.LH.com website is the best place to do so: since the strike action has been announced on a Sunday, it will be some time before the call centres can be brought up to maximum capacity.

Travellers whose flight is cancelled as a result of the strike action have the options of rebooking or cancelling their ticket free of charge. Customers who have booked a Lufthansa flight for 20 or 21 October can also rebook their ticket once free of charge even if their original flight is expected to operate. Tickets for travel within Germany can also be exchanged for a rail ticket on http://www.LH.com or at any Lufthansa Quick Check-In machine.

The flights of sister Lufthansa Group carriers Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Germanwings, SWISS and Air Dolomiti (operated by OS, SN, 4U, LX and EN) will operate normally during the strike period. Lufthansa Cargo, too, remains largely unaffected. Germanwings is currently studying whether it can operate up to four Lufthansa flights that would otherwise be cancelled as a result of the strike action. And Lufthansa’s personnel are doing their utmost to ensure that travellers – and connecting passengers in particular – can be rerouted via the Lufthansa Group’s Zurich, Vienna and Brussels hubs wherever possible to get them to their destination on time despite the strike action. Customers who have provided contact details will also be informed by email or SMS text message of any changes to their flights.

Lufthansa views the Vereinigung Cockpit’s announcement of its latest strike action as totally incomprehensible and disproportionate. The company also feels that the continuing series of strikes here only confirms that urgent action is needed to review the current strike laws in Germany for companies providing critical infrastructural facilities.

The transitional benefits offered by Lufthansa are still among the best (if not the best) in the world and therefore a significant privilege, the company maintains, and are thus exactly the opposite of the “social slashing” that the Vereinigung Cockpit claims. The company’s concrete offer to redesign these transitional benefits includes a comprehensive retention of current status and privileges and a gradual transition to a sustainable model for all current pilots.

Lufthansa also aims to offer pilots who have joined (or will join) the company since 1 January 2014 the option of early retirement from flight duties. And the company has offered the Vereinigung Cockpit further talks to discuss the financing of the transitional benefits for these newer staff. In response, the company has received no proposals for redesigning the present transitional benefits to date from the Vereinigung Cockpit itself.

Around half of the just under 10,000 pilots within the Lufthansa Group currently work under transitional benefit provisions that only allow them to retire from flight duties at age 60 or over, if at all. Indeed, the Vereinigung Cockpit itself has concluded collective labour agreements incorporating such provisions within the Lufthansa Group. But, Lufthansa maintains, the union is now insisting on provisions for the pilots it represents that would give them benefits which would be exceptionally generous in the aviation industry worldwide.

Lufthansa’s remaining 115,000 employees have made their contribution to ensuring the company’s long-term future and competitiveness in a harsh and unfair global market arena. So Lufthansa does not see the slightest reason why this particular employee group should be solely determined to retain its present status and privileges for decades to come, and to do so even for pilots who are yet to join the company.

Read the analysis from Business Insider: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-114 D-AILU (msn 744) “Lulu Stork” arrives at London (Heathrow).

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Lufthansa to drop service to Abu Dhabi next summer

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) has announced it will drop its daily route from Frankfurt to Abu Dhabi, the home of Etihad Airways. The route will be dropped on March 29, 2015. The German airline has been getting increased price competition from Etihad and its partner Airberlin (Berlin) on the route.

The route is operated with Airbus A330-300s.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-343 D-AIKJ (msn 701) arrives at Washington’s Dulles International Airport.

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Lufthansa brings its “Taste of America” tour to New York, Charlotte and Miami

Lufthansa Taste of America

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) is bringing its “Taste of America” food truck to its key U.S. destinations to showcase its onboard dining services. The airline issued this short statement, photos and video:

At the halfway mark of our cross country tour, sharing samples of the regionalized menus served on board Lufthansa flights from the US. Next up Atlanta, Dallas and Los Angeles.

Lufthansa Taste of America truck

Video:

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Lufthansa today unveils its new Premium Economy Class on D-ABYQ

Lufthansa Premium Economy Class

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) has converted its first aircraft with the new Premium Economy Class. The company issued this statement:

At 11.00 a.m. today, LH 9880, a special flight took off from Frankfurt Airport. On board the Boeing 747-830 was the new Premium Economy Class. The aircraft, with the registration number D-ABYQ (msn 37839(, is the first in the Lufthansa fleet to offer the new class of travel on board. Experts from Lufthansa Technik have fitted the Boeing 747-8 with the 32 new Premium Economy Class seats and performed all the necessary quality checks.

The aircraft, which is called the “Schleswig-Holstein”, flew over the German region of the same name in a two-hour special flight.

“Today, we are seeing a genuine première”, said Karl Ulrich Garnadt, Member of the Executive Board of Lufthansa AG and CEO of Lufthansa German Airlines. “We are launching a new travel class for the first time in 35 years.” Garnadt stressed that Premium Economy was an important part of the “biggest product upgrade in Lufthansa’s history”. By late summer of next year, Lufthansa will have modified First, Business and Premium Economy Class on its entire long-haul fleet according to schedule and as part of its quality campaign. “With Premium Economy Class alone, we will be able to offer some 1.5 million passengers per year the opportunity to choose extra comfort and quality at affordable prices,” said the German Airlines CEO.

Lufthansa Premium Economy Class entertainment

From as early as December 1 – nine days earlier than scheduled – Lufthansa customers will be able to enjoy Premium Economy Class on all flights on the Boeing 747-8 fleet. The “dash-8 fleet” will then offer by far the most cutting-edge and exclusive travelling experience available at Lufthansa.

Premium Economy Class seats will make up some ten percent of the entire seating capacity on each wide-bodied aircraft. Over the next few months, Lufthansa will thus fit between 21 (Airbus A330-300) and 52 (Airbus A380-800) new seats in each of its aircraft. On board the Boeing 747-8, 32 seats will be modified in line with Premium Economy Class specifications. The airline commissioned a total of 3,600 seats from the manufacturer ZIM.

“Booking levels to date have significantly exceeded our expectations”, Garnadt added. “This shows that we are striking a chord with customers with our new offering. As well as cost-conscious business travellers, we’re also attracting the rapidly growing target group of leisure travellers who don’t want to skimp on on-board comforts during their holidays.”

Lufthansa Premium Economy Class benefits

Alongside Premium Economy Class, Lufthansa is also working intently on upgrades to First and Business Class on board its long-haul aircraft. All these quality-related measures are set to be completed by late summer 2015. Lufthansa will then be in a position to offer its guests in all classes the exclusive travelling experience of a prizewinning five-star First Class as well as the new Business Class, where aircraft seats can be transformed at the touch of a button into a comfortable bed with a horizontal sleeping area of 1.98 metres long.

“I firmly believe that, with this package of products and measures, we will undoubtedly achieve our objective of becoming the first Western five-star airline”, said Garnadt.

Lufthansa is currently offering special introductory prices for Premium Economy Class flights. For instance, return flights to Washington D.C. are available from as little as EUR 1,199, while passengers to Beijing can enjoy the new travelling experience for a mere EUR 1,249.
In addition, no rebooking fees are being charged to passengers looking to rebook from Economy to Premium Economy Class. As soon as Lufthansa Premium Economy Class becomes available on a flight route, an existing Economy Class booking can be upgraded to Premium Economy Class. Passengers will only have to pay the difference between the fares of the two tickets, provided that no changes are made to the original flights that were booked. This applies even if the original ticket was booked for a price that did not permit rebooking.

To increase global awareness of the new Premium Economy Class on the market, Lufthansa launched a broad marketing campaign already in mid-September. At the heart of this campaign is its “Recorder” TV advertisement (below). This shows the British musician Duncan Townsend experiencing the extras available in Premium Economy Class for the first time. Brandishing a sound recorder, he combines many different snippets of sound that he hears on his journey into a rhythm, which ultimately evolves into a re-interpreted version of Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell”: “More, more, more…”

Lufthansa will introduce its new Premium Economy Class on December 1 on the following routes from Frankfurt: Beijing, Buenos Aires, Chicago O’Hare, Hong Kong, Los Angles, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Seoul and Washington Dulles.

For more information: CLICK HERE

All images above by Lufthansa.

Copyright Photo Below: Bjoern Schmitt/AirlinersGallery.com. A dramatic view of Lufthansa’s Boeing 747-830 D-ABYI (msn 37833) on final approach to the runway at Los Angeles International Airport over the parking lot.

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Lufthansa cancels 25 long-haul flights today from Frankfurt

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) today is dealing with another strike by its pilots, this time affecting its long-haul flights from the Frankfurt hub. The airline issued this statement:

Owing to the renewed strike announced by the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) pilots‘ union, Lufthansa has cancelled 25 long-haul flights from Frankfurt for Tuesday, September 30. A total of 57 intercontinental flights were originally scheduled from Frankfurt tomorrow and 32 of those are planned to depart. Of those 32 flights, 26 will be flown by volunteer pilots, two others will depart earlier and four have been deferred to the following day (Wednesday).

The Lufthansa hub in Munich will not be impacted by the strike: Flights to and from Düsseldorf and short-haul flights from and to Frankfurt will also operate as scheduled. Furthermore, flights operated by the Lufthansa Group airlines Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Germanwings, Swiss and Air Dolomiti (OS, SN, 4U, LX, EN) will not be affected either.

This fifth strike action within just four weeks will hit Lufthansa in the busiest air-traffic month of the year. Both the number of scheduled flights as well as capacities are traditionally at their highest level over the year at the end of September. Moreover, it is especially difficult at the end of the month to change crewing rosters and get pilots to volunteer for flights because planning options are restricted by the monthly limits on pilots’ flight-duty hours. Furthermore, Lufthansa is barred from resorting to night flights by the stringent night-flight ban after 11 p.m. at its home base in Frankfurt.

“Even if we manage under these difficult conditions to get more than half our scheduled long-haul flights from Frankfurt off the ground with volunteer crews tomorrow (Tuesday), the walkout will again severely damage our reputation and erode confidence in our airline’s reliability. The VC union’s repeated resort to strike action will damage Lufthansa with unforeseeable consequences for all 120,000 employees, including the pilots”, emphasized Kay Kratky, member of the Lufthansa German Airlines Board with responsibility for Operations and the Frankfurt Hub. “We apologize explicitly for the measures taken by the VC union, which is the only collective bargaining partner at Lufthansa intent on uncompromising and inconsiderate pursuit of its individual interests.”

Copyright Photo: Long-haul flights to the United States are severely impacted today. Airbus A340-642 D-AIHW (msn 972) taxies at Los Angeles.

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Lufthansa is facing another pilot’s strike tomorrow

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) meanwhile is facing another day of strikes tomorrow (September 30) by its pilots, represented by the Vereinigung Cockpit union. The strike revolves around a dispute concerning retirement benefits.

The union issued this statement (translated from German):

The Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) 2014 plans industrial action at Lufthansa for tomorrow Tuesday, September 30.

Lufthansa pilots are on September 30, 2014 from 8.00 – 23.00 local time will strike on long-haul flights with the aircraft types Airbus A380, Boeing 747, Airbus A330 and Airbus A340 will not perform any departures from Frankfurt Airport. With this strike, a new collective agreement transitional care will be achieved.

Since Lufthansa management has not submitted any compromise or competitive offer, we are forced to take these other measures.

The Vereinigung Cockpit declares that it is always ready to avert strikes. We regret any inconvenience to the customers of Lufthansa.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-841 D-AIMB (msn 041) arrives back at the Frankfurt hub.

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Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary proposes to feed airlines like Lufthansa and Air France-KLM

Ryanair - Michael O'Leary (MF)

Ryanair‘s (Dublin) CEO Michael O’Leary never avoids any kind of publicity, good or bad. He is expert in garnering attention grabbing headlines with his proposals and often controversial statements.

In this interview with the Irish Independent, the flamboyant CEO says his ultra low-fare carrier could feed the big European carries like Lufthansa and Air France-KLM as they concentrate on competing against the Big Three of the Gulf (i.e. Emirates, Etihad and Qatar) for the discerning long-haul passengers. The on-going pilot’s strike against Air France reinforces his view that the current in-house feeder model is broken.

All three carriers are reportedly losing money on their intra-European feeder routes. Ryanair to the rescue?

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Marco Finelli/AirlinersGallery.com.

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Lufthansa Group approves 10 Airbus A320s for Eurowings, will replace its Bombardier CRJ900s, SunExpress Airlines may operate low-cost long-haul flights with Airbus A330-300s

Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa) (Frankfurt) today (September 19) outlined its plans for Eurowings (Lufthansa Regional) and its new long-haul division, possibly flown by SunExpress Airlines (Antalya), a joint venture between Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines (Istanbul).

The Lufthansa Group’s quality and growth initiative presented on July 9, 2014 is gathering pace.

At the Supervisory Board meeting on September 17, the Supervisory Board Members were informed by the Executive Board of the implementation progress made so far. The Lufthansa Group’s Supervisory Board has paved the way for the planned transition to a more economical type of aircraft at Eurowings by approving an order for ten Airbus A320ceo planes for the company. With its fleet of 23 aircraft, Eurowings services domestic German and European routes from airports other than the Frankfurt and Munich hubs on behalf of Germanwings. A further 13 A320s will be transferred from the Group’s total aircraft order volume to Eurowings starting in 2015, in order to make its entire fleet consist of Airbus aircraft. Replacing the current Eurowings fleet of Bombardier CRJ900 regional jets with modern A320ceo aircraft will further increase the Düsseldorf-based airline’s unit cost advantage and will thereby improve its ability to compete with low-cost airlines in Europe. The Lufthansa Group intends to use its Wings concept to cement its good market position in passenger traffic in its home markets of Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Belgium in the long term, including with point-to-point connections. Business on these routes away from the major hubs is characterised by above-average growth in the leisure travel segment and by stiff competition from the rapidly expanding low-cost airlines.

The Executive Board also presented its plans for the new cost-efficient offer for long-haul connections as part of the Wings concept to the Supervisory Board. One option for realizing this concept could be a new platform based on the airline SunExpress Airlines (Antalya), which is a fifty-fifty joint venture between Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines. In this respect, talks with the Star Alliance partner are to continue. The idea is for the new platform to complement the Lufthansa Group’s product range with up to seven Airbus A330-300s and to commence operations in autumn 2015 with three aircraft in Munich, Düsseldorf or Cologne. The focus here will be on destinations that promise above-average growth in the leisure travel segment and that round out the Lufthansa Group airlines’ current route networks. In addition to the founding of this new long-haul airline, other intercontinental traffic approaches will be developed in order to once again profitably fly leisure travel-dominated routes using the Lufthansa brand in the future.

To offer this, up to 14 Airbus A340-300s from the long-haul fleet will be fitted with a cabin that is optimized for leisure travel. Commencing with the start of the 2015/2016 winter flight timetable, this A340-300 sub-fleet will fly at a much lower cost while nevertheless offering the high-quality travel experience of a Lufthansa flight, with high service standards and comfort levels. The as many as 14 aircraft will operate without a First Class and with 18 Business Class seats, 19 Premium Economy seats and 261 Economy seats, and will in particular serve new leisure travel destinations or markets from which Lufthansa would otherwise have to withdraw without the introduction of this less expensive offer.

“The combination of our core brands’ focus on quality and the premium sector, and the development of new platforms for the leisure travel sector, which is experiencing dynamic growth but is also price-sensitive, is our way of working towards a successful future for the Lufthansa Group airlines,” said Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG. This would strengthen the successful multi-hub system comprising the key hubs of Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Vienna and Brussels, he added. This strategy additionally gave the Company the scope to also grow in sectors of this kind, where the Lufthansa Group’s traditional quality brands were not able to participate in market developments, he said.

In addition to the growth concept for the Lufthansa Group airlines, the Supervisory Board is approving capital expenditure of €60 million by Lufthansa Technik AG in Frankfurt. The Group’s technical division intends to build a new wheel and brake workshop in Frankfurt’s eastern dock area (Osthafen). The building is expected to commence operations as early as at the start of 2017. These new operations will allow Lufthansa Technik, which is the world’s leading provider of aircraft-related technical services, to also achieve further growth in the important segment of wheel and brake maintenance. In so doing, Lufthansa Technik will safeguard the existing 130 jobs for qualified employees based in Frankfurt and will create the parameters for further growth. The building is to be fitted with cutting-edge building services so as to exceed the requirements of Germany’s Energy Conservation Regulations (EnEV) by 30 per cent.

In related news,  Lufthansa Group also approved the purchase of 15 Airbus A320neo (New Engine Option) family and ten Airbus A320ceo (Current Engine Option) aircraft at its meeting today. The new A320neo orders will be delivered to Lufthansa Group airline Swiss International Air Lines (Zurich) from 2019 onwards, where they are intended to replace older aircraft from the same family. The ten new A320ceo aircraft will be delivered to Eurowings in 2016 and 2017 and will replace older Bombardier CRJ900s.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. The aging and expensive 14 Lufthansa Airbus A340-300s will be assigned to the new leisure group starting with the 2015-2016 winter schedule. The 14 aircraft will operate without a First Class and with 18 Business Class seats, 19 Premium Economy seats and 261 Economy seats. Lufthansa’s Airbus A340-313 D-AIGT (msn 304) arrives at the Frankfurt hub.

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Lufthansa resumes normal operations after the pilot’s union Vereinigung Cockpit calls off its strike

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) issued this statement:

The pilots union Vereinigung Cockpit has cancelled the strike announcement for today (September 16).

Lufthansa pilots logo

Lufthansa has already returned to the regular flight schedule.

Previously the company published a special flight plan for all 40 long-haul flights from Frankfurt.

The union called off the strike after they received a new offer from company management.

Copyright Photo: Ole Simon/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-841 D-AIME (msn 061) departs from the Frankfurt hub.

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Lufthansa: Meet your cabin crew starting today from Munich on select flights

Lufthansa Oktoberfest crew

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) despite dealing with a series of strikes by its pilots, still knows how to party. The airline issued this statement for the upcoming Oktoberfest in Munich for select flights:

With just five days to go until the start of the Oktoberfest in Munich, the designated Lufthansa crew members dressed in traditional folk costume are ready for take-off. The inflight team of twelve women and two men will depart Monday evening (September 15) from Munich on flight LH 722 bound for Beijing. Other Lufthansa flights with the special “Oktoberfest crew” on board will depart for São Paulo on September 24 and for Mexico City on October 4.

Lufthansa crew wearing traditional Bavarian attire will, for the first time, also be taking off from Munich on selected European flights. To mark the beginning and the end of Munich’s Oktoberfest, a Lufthansa CityLine crew will also be swapping their uniforms for dirndls. These flights will depart from Munich on September 20 for Lyon and Copenhagen, and on September 21 for Zagreb and Bremen. On October 5, the traditionally dressed crew will fly from Munich to Zadar (Croatia) and Geneva.

The folk costume worn by Lufthansa’s customer service staff at Munich Airport has a new design this year. During the Oktoberfest, station staff can also wear the new folk costume instead of their Lufthansa uniforms.

Copyright Photo: Lufthansa.

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Lufthansa is hit by another pilot’s strike today, this time in Munich

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) is again dealing with another strike day today (September 10) by its pilots, represented by the Vereinigung Cockpit union. This time the target is the Munich hub. The airline issued this statement:

Strike by pilots union Vereinigung Cockpit on September 10 at Munich Airport

The pilots union Vereinigung Cockpit has announced a strike for flights to and from Lufthansa’s Munich hub scheduled for today, September 10, in the time from 10.00 to 18.00 CEST.

Lufthansa flight operations will be heavily affected by the strike, especially flights departing from and arriving in Munich. All Lufthansa flights to and from the Frankfurt hub will presumably operate as scheduled.

Please note also that all flights of our Lufthansa Group airlines; Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Germanwings and Swiss (operated by OS, SN, 4U, LX) as well as flights of Air Dolomiti will operate as scheduled.

Affected flights

Passengers are kindly requested to check the status of their flight prior to departure. Passengers whose flights are operating are kindly requested to come to the airport in good time.

Check cancelled flights under Cancelled flights

Train voucher

Passengers travelling within Germany whose flights have been cancelled due to the strike may alternatively travel by train with Deutsche Bahn.

To do this, please exchange your etix for a train ticket online or mobile under My bookings or at a Lufthansa check in machine.

If you do not have the time to exchange your ticket online or at the machine, we recommend you purchase a regular train ticket. Please contact your ticket issuing office after your travel for a refund of your unused ticket. You can receive current travel information under Deutsche Bahn or on your mobile phone via m.bahn.de.

Rebooking

In case your flight is not affected and you’re holding a Lufthansa/SWISS/Austrian Airlines/Brussels Airlines ticket for flights on September 10th, 2014 from/to/via Munich you can rebook your ticket once free of charge at My Bookings. The following conditions must be met:

Rebooking within the original fare.

- Tickets must be issued on/before Semptember 9th, 2014
– The new date of travel must be on/before December 10th, 2014
– Origin / Destination and compartment must remain the same
– All other fare conditions must be observed

Passengers, who are unable to use the self-service facilities, can contact our Service Center on 0800 850 60 70* or via one of our local phone numbers.

Lost baggage

In order to deliver your baggage please fill in our Online Baggage Form or please contact the Lufthansa baggage tracing counter as soon as you arrive at your destination. For status updates on your missing baggage please go to Lufthansa baggage tracing online.
Check here for further information on baggage liability.

Lufthansa regrets any inconvenience to Lufthansa passengers caused by the threatened strike measures by the pilots union VC and will do its utmost to minimize impacts on passengers. Passenger support and service has paramount priority.

In other news, Lufthansa is changing its takeoff procedures across Germany:

In the twelve months since August 2013, Lufthansa has been carrying out trials on the noise emissions produced by the 1,000 foot acceleration procedure. In the new procedure, the aircraft leaving the west runway at Frankfurt Airport reduced the altitude for acceleration and additional thrust from 1,500 feet (approx. 457 meters) to 1,000 feet (approx. 305 meters) where allowed by local restrictions on the departure flight path. During the world’s biggest examination of take-off noise, the measuring stations recorded over 70,000 Lufthansa take-offs. This represents more than half of all the airline’s departures in Frankfurt. The data were analyzed by Forum Flughafen and the local region, which could not identify any significant changes in noise emissions as a result of the modified take-off procedure. The measurements support the existing detailed calculations carried out as part of a scientific study by Lufthansa, TU Berlin and the German Aerospace Center. On this basis Lufthansa has now decided to introduce the modified take-off procedure nationwide as of today and so to implement this established global standard worldwide. Many other airlines have been using this take-off procedure for years, making it common practice already at most German and international airports, because the related fuel consumption and carbon emissions are much lower. The change in the acceleration altitude to 1,000 feet took place in accordance with the standards laid down by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). Lufthansa obtained permission to modify its procedure from the German Federal Aviation Authority and the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) some time ago.

What does 1000-foot acceleration mean?

After an aircraft takes off from the runway, it usually ascends at a constant speed with the flaps extended until it reaches a certain altitude. Modern aircraft generally do not use the maximum thrust available at this point, but rather a reduced level of take-off thrust. When the aircraft reaches an initial target altitude, the engines’ thrust switches to climb thrust. As the aircraft continues to take off, it has to accelerate so that the flaps can be retracted and it can climb to its cruising altitude at a higher speed. The altitude at which the speed increase begins is called the acceleration altitude. By changing these two altitudes, the wind resistance decreases when the flaps are retracted, thus lowering fuel consumption. Lufthansa believes that changing the procedure in Germany alone would save around 3,000 tonnes of fuel per year. This would mean around 10,000 tonnes fewer CO2 emissions. The benefit for the environment is much greater worldwide: approx. 6,000 tons less kerosene, or around 19,000 tons less CO2.

Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-114 D-AILU (msn) with the special Lulu Stork marking taxies at the Munich hub.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa’s flight operations return to normal

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) today (September 6) issued this statement:

Lufthansa’s flight operations have returned to normal today (Saturday, September 6) following the six-hour pilots’ strike on Friday evening, which mainly affected the airline’s short- and medium-haul flights to and from Frankfurt. Despite receiving short notice of the proposed strike action by the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) pilots’ union, all the flights envisaged in contingency plans went ahead as scheduled.

On Saturday morning, flights were back on schedule except on routes into and out of Italy: Owing to a strike called by Italian flight controllers between 10.30 and 14.30 hours today (Saturday), twelve flights to and from Italy have had to be cancelled.

As a result of the stoppage staged by the VC union, Lufthansa was forced to cancel 218 short- and medium-haul flights on Friday, which impacted the travel plans of some 26,000 passengers. However, Lufthansa was able to inform most of its passengers about the effects of the strike on the Thursday evening with more than 24,000 SMS alerts and 4,500 emails. Thanks to prompt re-booking, around 5,000 passengers were flown off from other Lufthansa Group hubs in Munich, Zurich, Vienna and Brussels.

During the walkout, 750 passengers accepted the offer to exchange their flight ticket for a train ticket within Germany. As a precautionary measure, Lufthansa had hired 2,200 hotel rooms in the Rhine-Main area, but scarcely half were actually used. For passengers in transit without a visa to enter Germany, Lufthansa and the airport operator Fraport set up about 450 camp beds at the airport but only a dozen or so passengers made use of them. All the passengers held up in Frankfurt because of the strike were flown to their destination in the course of Saturday morning.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A340-642 D-AIHY (msn 987) of Lufthansa arrives at Los Angeles.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa is facing another strike by its pilots today

Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa) (Frankfurt) is facing another strike by its pilots today at the Frankfurt hub, represented by the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) union. The union is striking for five hours today starting at 2 pm (1400) local time.

The Lufthansa Group issued this statement today:

Following the announcement by the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union of a strike in Frankfurt today (September 5), Lufthansa was able to inform most of the affected passengers yesterday about the effects. Yesterday evening at 9.00 p.m., the special flight plan for this afternoon was published online at http://www.LH.com and 14,000 booked passengers were informed at the same time by text message. These passengers had previously registered their contact details so that Lufthansa could notify them of flight cancellations, rebookings and alternative travel options.

Today the staff at the station in Frankfurt are focusing on providing the best possible assistance for passengers. As a precaution, 2,200 hotel rooms have been reserved in the Rhine-Main area, and Lufthansa and Fraport have set up some 500 field beds for passengers in transit who are not allowed to enter Germany for visa reasons. From 2.00 p.m. onwards, the staff at the Frankfurt station will be providing passengers affected by the strike with refreshments, snacks and the opportunity to use telecommunications. Mobile information stands will also be set up and capacities increased at the ticket counters.

Kay Kratky, member of the Lufthansa German Airlines Board and responsible for operations and the Frankfurt hub, said: “We apologize for the inconveniences caused for our passengers by the strike of the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union. Because the strike was only announced after 5.00 p.m. yesterday, there was very little lead time. We have been working flat out since yesterday evening to give our customers all the available information and, whenever possible, to rebook them on other airlines or other means of transport. We have also increased capacities at our call centres as quickly as possible. At Frankfurt Airport we are mobilising all our capacities today in order to minimise the effects of the strike on our passengers. This is very difficult on a Friday afternoon at the end of the school holidays in three German states, as this is one of the busiest travel days of the year. But we will nonetheless do all we can to achieve this target for our passengers.”

Prior to the strike, Lufthansa had already presented an offer to the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union at the start of April regarding future early retirement from flight service and had therefore created a basis for further negotiations. This offer would provide all cockpit members with the option of retiring early from flight operations, including in the future.

In concrete terms, Lufthansa’s offer on transitional benefits provides for the following:

• For employees who have been working at Lufthansa since before January 1, 2014, Lufthansa will bear the costs of early retirement, including in the future. This means that employer-financed transitional benefits will be maintained for several decades.

• For employees who start or have started work at Lufthansa after January 1, 2014, it will still be possible to retire early from flight service. However, the costs of this will no longer be borne by Lufthansa, but rather by the employees. In the event of incapacity for flight service, a purely employer-financed insurance policy will still be included for all employees.

• The individual age for retiring from flight service will be raised, depending on the length of service, from 55 for more senior up to 60 for younger employees. The longer employees have already been in the company, the less affected they will be by the increase in the earliest possible individual retirement age. Employees who have been with the company for a very long time are not affected at all by the changes.

• Today, on average, cockpit crew leave Lufthansa German Airlines at the age of 59. In future, the average age for employer-financed retirement from flight service at Lufthansa German Airlines is intended to go up gradually over several years to 61. The average age of 61 reflects an overall trend in society towards a longer working life.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 D-AIZH (msn 4363) arrives at the Frankfurt hub.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa to bring the Airbus A380 to India

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) will introduce its Airbus A380s on October 26 when it adds the Super Jumbo on its Frankfurt-Delhi and Frankfurt-Mumbai routes according to Airline Route. One daily to each destination will be operated.

Update: Mumbai now cancelled per Airline Route. Delhi remains.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-841 D-AIMF 9msn 066) arrives back at the Frankfurt hub.

Lufthansa Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Lufthansa Group reinstates flights to Erbil, Iraq

Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines) (Frankfurt) has resumed flight operations to Erbil in northern Iraq. Austrian Airlines put its daily flight from Vienna back on the schedule yesterday (August 28). Flight OS 829 departed at 10:15 a.m. Lufthansa flies from Frankfurt to Erbil twice a week. The first scheduled flight is LH 696 on Saturday, August 30 (departure time 10:10 a.m.). Both airlines had most recently suspended their flights to Erbil on August 8.

According to the group, “The northern Iraqi city lies outside of the conflict zone controlled by IS. According to the most recent assessments, the security situation allows for safe flight operations to Erbil. The Lufthansa Group will continue to avoid Iraqi airspace in transit traffic, for instance to Asia and the Middle East. Furthermore, Lufthansa continues to carefully monitor the development of the security situation in Iraq and is in close regular contact with the respective international and national security authorities. The safety of passengers and crews is the highest priority for the airlines of the Lufthansa Group.”

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Lufthansa operates an Airbus A319 on the route. Airbus A319-114 D-AILR (msn 723) arrives in Zurich.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Austrian Airlines: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa is facing a strike by its pilots tomorrow

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) has issued this statement today:

Lufthansa regrets the announcement of strike action by the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union (VC) for tomorrow (Friday). This morning – and therefore just a few hours before the start of talks that had been agreed for today – the union announced that there would be a strike at Germanwings if agreement wasn’t reached today (Thursday) on the issue of transitional benefits for pilots.

In a letter on Monday, Lufthansa had proposed today’s talks in order to resume negotiations and had prepared a suggestion on what form further negotiations should take. As per Lufthansa’s invitation, the aim of these talks would primarily have been to specify an orderly process and a timetable for further negotiations.

Dr Bettina Volkens, Chief Officer Human Resources and Legal at Deutsche Lufthansa AG, says: ‘We are very disappointed that we cannot avert strike action. The impression given is that the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union had already decided to strike. It is unrealistic to expect to reach agreement on a new model for sustainable transitional benefits in the course of a single day. The fact that an ultimatum for concluding a wage agreement was issued on the morning of negotiations – even though we made it clear that the talks would initially have to be about what form the further negotiation process should take – is very unusual and incomprehensible.’

Lufthansa and Germanwings will now be primarily focusing on limiting the impact of the strike. The strike action announced for Friday will coincide with the end of school holidays in Thuringia and Saxony. Dr Bettina Volkens says: ‘We will do everything to provide the best-possible service to Germanwings passengers and, if possible, to get them to their destination in spite of the strike.’

Prior to the strike, Lufthansa had already made an offer to the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union at the start of April concerning future early retirement from flight service and had therefore created a basis for further negotiations. This offer would provide all cockpit staff with the option of early retirement from flight service, including in the future.

In concrete terms, Lufthansa’s offer on transitional benefits provides for the following:

• For employees who have been working at Lufthansa since before 1 January 2014, Lufthansa will bear the costs of early retirement, including in the future. This means that employer-financed transitional benefits will be maintained for several decades.

• For employees who start or have started work at Lufthansa after 1 January 2014, it will still be possible to retire early from flight service. However, the costs of this will no longer be borne by Lufthansa, but rather by the employees. In the event of incapacity for flight service, a purely employer-financed insurance policy will still be included for all employees.

• The individual age for retiring from flight service will be raised, depending on the length of service, from 55 for more senior up to 60 for younger employees. The longer employees have already been in the company, the less affected they will be by the increase in the earliest possible individual retirement age. Employees who have been with the company for a very long time are not affected at all by the changes.

• Today, on average, cockpit crew leave Lufthansa German Airlines at the age of 59. In future, the average age for employer-financed retirement from flight service at Lufthansa German Airlines is intended to go up gradually over several years to 61. The average age of 61 reflects an overall trend in society towards a longer working life.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-830 D-ABYP (msn 37839) with the special 1500th Boeing 747 markings departs from Washington (Reagan).

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa’s CEO Carsten Spohr outlines his plans for the new low-cost, long-haul subsidiary

Lufthansa‘s (Frankfurt) CEO Carsten Spohr has outlined his plans for a new unnamed low-fare long-range subsidiary to Reuters. The new subsidiary would initially operate either with seven Boeing 767-300s or Airbus A330s. If successful, he would quickly upgrade to newer Airbus A350s or Boeing 787s (Lufthansa does not have any 787s on order).

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

In other news, the Lufthansa Group has issued this statement concerning Erbil in northern Iraq:

Following a reassessment of the security situation in Iraq, the Lufthansa Group continues to suspend its flights to Erbil until further notice.

Affected by this decision are flights by Austrian Airlines, which usually offers daily services to the city in Iraq from Vienna, as well as flights by Lufthansa, which operates to Erbil from Frankfurt twice a week.

On the financial side, the Lufthansa Group reported a first half net loss of €79 million ($106 million), reduced from a net loss of €203 million in the same period a year ago.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-343 D-AIKN (msn 922) arrives in New York (JFK).

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa Group resumes flights to Erbil, otherwise will avoid Iraqi airspace

Lufthansa Group (Frankfurt) has issued this statement about flying over Iraq:

After renewed consultation with the relevant national security authorities, the Lufthansa Group has decided to resume flights to Erbil in northern Iraq (Kurdistan) from today (August 4). Erbil lies well outside the direct crisis zone in Iraq, and flights to and from the city will be routed to avoid overflying the zone. Lufthansa (Frankfurt) flies twice-weekly to Erbil, a further daily flight is operated by Austrian Airlines (Vienna).

For the time being, however, transit traffic to Asia and the Middle East, for example, will continue to detour Iraqi airspace. The Lufthansa Group is in close and regular contact with the relevant national security authorities, also in Iraq. Based on our own assessment, there is currently no danger in overflying Iraq. Nevertheless, the Lufthansa Group has decided to avoid the Iraqi airspace above the section controlled by Isis for the time being. In taking this step, the Lufthansa Group is taking into account the growing apprehension of customers and our own flight crews. The safety and well being of passengers is naturally our paramount priority. The changes in flight routes apply to all airlines in the Lufthansa Group. Aside from Lufthansa, those airlines include Lufthansa Cargo, Austrian Airlines and Swiss. The new flight routes will not significantly lengthen flight times.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-430 D-ABVS (msn 28286) of Lufthansa with the short-lived “Fanhansa” titles for the recent FIFA World Cup departs from Toronto (Pearson).

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Austrian: AG Slide Show

Some airlines including the Lufthansa Group, QANTAS and Royal Jordanian are temporarily avoiding Iraqi airspace

Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa) (Frankfurt) is not flying over Iraq through today. The Group issued this statement:

After renewed consultation, the Lufthansa Group has decided effective immediately not to fly over Iraq until and including Sunday. This includes flights to Erbil in northern Iraq for this time period. Normally, Lufthansa flies twice weekly to Erbil and Austrian Airlines operates a daily flight. The company is also in regular and close contact with the responsible security authorities in Iraq regarding flight safety. Based on our own evaluations there is currently no danger in flying over Iraq or for Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines flights to the north Iraq city of Erbil. Nevertheless and as a precautionary measure the Lufthansa Group has decided to avoid Iraqi air space effective immediately and including Sunday. The reason for this is that the background of the decision made by some aviation authorities is not clear yet and needs a comprehensive evaluation. With this step the company carries the growing uncertainty of customers and crew members that results from the different evaluations of aviation officials. Lufthansa regrets the resulting inconvenience for its customers. However, the safety and security of its passengers is the highest priority of the company. The changed flight routes apply to all group airlines. In addition to Lufthansa, this includes Lufthansa Cargo, Austrian Airlines and Swiss. By avoiding Iraqi air space flight times will not significantly increase.

Meanwhile QANTAS Airways issued this statement about Iraqi airspace:

Qantas has closely monitored the issue of flight paths over conflict zones, particularly in light of the MH 17 tragedy, with safety our first priority.

We have no new information that alters our safety assessment of flying over Iraq, especially given the altitudes we maintain over this region.

However, given the various restrictions imposed by different governments in the past 24 hours, including by the United States’ FAA, QANTAS temporarily rerouted its flights within the Middle East to avoid Iraqi airspace. This change will apply until further information becomes available.

The flight path adjustment applies to services between Dubai and London, and is not expected to significantly increase flight times on this route.

We will continue to assess this situation and make any further amends we think are prudent.

In addition, Royal Jordanian suspended all flights to Baghdad for at least 24 hours on security grounds yesterday according to Reuters.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-343 D-AIKE (msn 636) departs from Toronto (Pearson).

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa lays out its strategy to allow the Lufthansa Group to grow in the future

Lufthansa (Lufthansa Group) (Frankfurt) has announced its on-going strategy for dealing with changing dynamic challenges in the marketplace. Key points include; Making Lufthansa a competitive five star airline (i.e. to compete against the Gulf carriers), Eurowings will operate up to 23 Airbus A320s with a new base at Basel, Germanwings‘ fleet will grow to 60 aircraft, a new lower cost long-haul option and how to reduce the cost of flying the Airbus A340s (above). Here is the full report:

Deutsche Lufthansa AG has set itself the objective of regaining its role as the benchmark of the aviation sector and, with it, the first choice for customers, employees, investors and partners.

The company has now unveiled an extensive range of actions to this end which will enable it to derive greater benefit from the continued growth of the global air transport market.

These include new platforms and products for both intercontinental and European air services, an intensified partnership with Air China, an even stronger focus on quality and innovation and a groupwide drive to create more efficient structures and processes.

“The global market for air transport continues to grow,” says Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board & CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG. “But in the dynamic and highly price-sensitive market segments, our current platforms only enable us to exploit the growth potential to a limited extent, in view of their sometimes over-rigid cost structures. That’s why we are now seeking to tap new growth areas, by creatively and innovatively refining our products and services in both the airline sector and – especially – related markets. By 2020 we aim to have raised our revenues from our new businesses, our new platforms and our service companies from the present 30% to 40% of our total revenue flow.”

“We don’t want to be driven by change in the aviation sector: we want to be among the drivers of it,” Spohr continues. “But doing so demands bold steps forward: our market is no place for half-measures. The Lufthansa Group has often set our industry’s standards in the past. And I see no reason why we shouldn’t do so in the future. After all, we have the best of foundations for achieving this: we are a widely diversified aviation group with strong brands; we have a very loyal customer base; and we can count on highly qualified employees who are the envy of our competitors.”

“Our current SCORE program has also equipped us with an ability to change,” Spohr points out. “And we now aim to use this to forge our corporate future.” The work here has involved defining seven ‘action areas’ – not only in the marketplace but also in terms of its internal structures and processes – which should enable the Group to make fuller and more fruitful use of its combined strengths and resources. Priority is also being given within these action areas to the Group’s new growth concepts and to the key issues of innovation and quality, though improving its competitive credentials also remains high on the agenda.

“The fundamental SCORE notion of continuously reducing our unit costs must remain equally valid when the program ends as scheduled in 2015,” Carsten Spohr emphasizes. “And to that end, we will be making this a permanent groupwide concern. We must constantly generate new ideas to improve our profitability, sharpen our competitive edge and keep us the first choice for our customers.”

New growth concepts

The Lufthansa Group will be establishing new platforms with competitive cost structures to ensure that it derives maximum benefit from the further growth of the aviation sector. Thus, the Group’s present multi-brand system with its multiple hubs of Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Vienna and Brussels will now be consistently complemented by the new “WINGS” multi-platform concept in all the Group’s European home markets. The new WINGS family, which will build on the success of the Germanwings concept, will be specifically aligned to the high-growth market for private air travel. The Group will use the new WINGS master brand to bundle the various platforms for its point-to-point air travel business; and it is considering extending the concept to intercontinental services, too.

Amalgamating the European members of the WINGS family – a move which will also include Germanwings – will permit an aligned management of all these operations. With Germanwings, Lufthansa will also complete the planned transfer of all of its routes not serving its Frankfurt or Munich hubs by next spring. The Germanwings fleet will also be further enlarged to up to 60 aircraft.

With Eurowings as its starting platform, the Lufthansa Group will develop a competitive European air travel product for continental travel. Since the competitive cost structures required cannot be achieved with the present fleet of Bombardier CRJ aircraft, these will be replaced with Airbus A320 equipment. Eurowings will operate up to 23 A320s, and its services are set to be launched in spring 2015. The first Eurowings base outside Germany will be in Basel, Switzerland, and will have a fleet of an additional two to four A320s. It should commence operations early next year.

The Lufthansa Group also plans to create a competitive new long-haul platform under the WINGS banner for the price-sensitive segment of private travel. Studies are currently being conducted into whether this should be done alone or with a further partner: for the latter option, talks are already at an advanced stage with Turkish Airlines. In an initial phase, the new intercontinental platform is expected to operate with a fleet that will gradually be built up to seven Boeing 767 or Airbus A330 aircraft, with operations likely to commence in winter 2015.

In a further move, Lufthansa is considering to what extent up to nine of its Airbus A340s could be operated at substantially lower unit costs, either on new routes or on routes currently threatened with closure. Negotiations are under way with all the internal and external stakeholders involved to achieve the cost reductions required.

Ultimately, the extent to which these new platforms and formats can be developed in the longer term will depend on their profitability and their market success.

Elsewhere, Lufthansa is working intensively to further develop its bilateral partnerships with other air carriers. In this connection it has just concluded a new agreement with Star Alliance partner Air China for closer collaboration on the MRO and passenger services fronts and, ultimately, a joint-venture arrangement. It is Lufthansa’s declared objective to offer its customers in the four biggest markets and economies outside its home markets the best product available, in collaboration with its local partners.
As a unique aviation group, the Lufthansa Group will also be devoting sizeable resources to further developing its various service companies. World market leaders Lufthansa Technik and LSG Sky Chefs are also benefiting from the expansions of numerous Lufthansa competitors, especially the Gulf-based carriers, and thus serve as a natural “hedge” in the global competitive landscape.

Lufthansa Technik and LSG Sky Chefs will be investing in expanding their business, with a focus on Asia and the Americas. LSG Sky Chefs also aims to increase its involvement in related markets beyond the aviation sector, such as the rail catering segment. Miles & More, too, offers significant further growth potential; and the Lufthansa Group’s customer loyalty program will now be refined to enhance its appeal to “less frequent flyers”, and also to offer more mileage earning and redemption options.

Quality and innovation

Quality and innovation are priority concerns on the overall agenda of the Lufthansa Group. And Executive Board Chairman & CEO Carsten Spohr will bear direct responsibility for the Group’s planned innovation and quality drive. Lufthansa intends to invest a total of EUR 500 million in innovations groupwide between now and 2020. The plans here should see a new “innovation hub” established this year in Berlin, closer to the start-up and digital technology scene; and an “innovation fund” will also be set up to expedite the development of promising new ideas from both within and outside the Group.

Lufthansa not only wants to become the first “five-star carrier” in the Western Hemisphere; it also aims to achieve quality leadership in all its various markets. The quality drive here will include bringing greater personalization to its products and services, with the aim of tripling the present revenues from its additional services between now and 2020.

Outlook

Despite the investments that the raft of actions announced will entail, the Lufthansa Group remains confident of its revised business projections for 2014 and 2015. The Executive Board expects to report an operating profit of around EUR 1 billion for the current year, or EUR 1.3 billion after adjustments for one-off effects.

A series of structural actions will need to be taken soon, however, if the financial goals for 2014 and 2015 are to be achieved. Thus, Lufthansa will reduce its 2014 available-seat-kilometer capacity growth by over 50% compared to original plans, and will be withdrawing five aircraft from its European network and three from its intercontinental routes in the 2014/15 winter timetable period.

Lufthansa Cargo’s capacity will also be reduced this winter through the withdrawal of two Boeing MD-11 freighters.

The Lufthansa Executive Board is confident that the raft of actions planned will go a long way towards securing the Lufthansa Group’s continued viability and further success.

Copyright Photo: Bernhard Ross/AirlinersGallery.com. What to do with the Airbus A340s? Lufthansa is considering its options with the now aging fleet of Airbus A340s. Airbus A340-311 D-AIGC (msn 027) taxies at the Frankfurt base in the Star Alliance motif.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa to fly the Boeing 747-800 Intercontinental on the Frankfurt-New York route

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) will assign the newer Boeing 747-800 Intercontinental on the Frankfurt-New York (JFK) route from July 15 through October 25. The 747-8I will replace an older 747-400 with daily service according to Airline Route.

Lufthansa received its first 747-830 (D-ABYA) on April 25, 2012 and introduced the new type on the Frankfurt-Washingon (Dulles) route on June 1, 2012 as we have previously reported.

Copyright Photo: Bernhard Ross/AirlinersGallery.com. Wearing the special Fanhansa titles in support for the current 2014 World Cup, Boeing 747-830 D-ABYO (msn 37841) awaits its next assignment at the Frankfurt hub.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa and Air China to strengthen their partnership

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) has issued this statement:

Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, and Song Zhiyong, President and Executive Director of Air China Limited (Beijing), signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to enhance the commercial partnership as part of a joint venture, during the Chancellor’s visit to China.

Both companies also signed a memorandum of understanding to expand collaboration in the area of maintenance, repair and overhaul services.

As members of the Star Alliance, Lufthansa and Air China have been connected for a number of years. The memorandum of understanding should pave the way for the creation of a commercial joint venture between the German airline and Air China.

This partnership will add to the existing joint ventures with United Airlines and with Air Canada between Europe and North America (since 1998) and with ANA (since 2012) on routes between Europe and Japan.

The agreement with Air China will allow the Lufthansa Group to provide its airlines with even better access to the world’s second largest aviation market after the USA.

The new partnership agreement should come into force as early as the start of the winter flight timetable in late October 2014.

Since 2007, Air China has been a member of the Star Alliance, the world’s largest airline alliance, and with almost 49 million passengers, as measured by intercontinental traffic, is China’s biggest airline.

Top Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Lufthansa’s Boeing 747-430 D-ABVW (msn 29493) climbs away from the runway at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport (YYZ).

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Air China: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-39L ER B-2043 (msn 41441) of Air China approaches the runway at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).

Lufthansa starts operations to Lublin, Poland, will add Marrakesh on October 2

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) is expanding its route network from its Frankfurt hub. On July 3 a Lufthansa aircraft took off from Frankfurt for its inaugural flight to Lublin in Poland. The trade and university city in eastern Poland is already the airline’s eighth destination in Poland. The Airbus A319 reached Lublin airport, which only opened in 2012, in just under two hours. This flight will operate twice a week on Thursdays and Sundays.

From this autumn, the culturally significant city of Marrakesh will be included by Lufthansa in Morocco on its flight plan. Starting on October 2, 2014, the airline will fly twice a week from Frankfurt to Marrakesh for the first time.

The cultural city lies inland, at the edge of the Atlas Mountains, and can now be reached conveniently and directly in just under four hours from Frankfurt on Thursdays and Sundays. Passengers will be able to travel to Marrakesh on the Airbus A320 in both Business Class and Economy Class.

Copyright photo: Arnd Wolf/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-114 D-AILU (msn 744) taxies at the Munich hub in the special Lulu Stork markings.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

 

Lufthansa reports on the first year of the “new Germanwings”

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) has issued this information report on the first anniversary of the revamped Germanwings (2nd) (Cologne/Bonn):

For exactly one year now, the “new Germanwings” has enhanced the range of flights on offer for customers throughout Europe. On July 1, 2013, it launched an entirely new product and brand concept, and over the space of twelve months it has developed to become the third largest airline in Germany. Since July 2013, Germanwings has carried more than 16 million passengers. The number of routes on offer has also risen from 182 to 296 today. Germanwings now serves 130 destinations, most of which are in Europe.

Lufthansa amalgamated its domestic German and European flights that were not operated through its Frankfurt and Munich hubs in the “new Germanwings”. The handover of flight routes is now well advanced. In Cologne, Stuttgart and Hanover it has been completed, while in Hamburg and Berlin a few routes are still being transferred. Lufthansa began transferring routes to Germanwings in Düsseldorf in March 2014. Once the hand-over has been completed, Düsseldorf will be the largest Germanwings base.

Germanwings passengers rate the airline highly positively. In all the passenger surveys, they attest to the airline’s high-quality service, and the vast majority is extremely satisfied with the new offer. Customers thus reinforce Germanwings’ claim to be a low-cost-carrier offering flights at low prices and a high-quality service.

The expansion of Germanwings has also been successful from a commercial point of view: in comparison to last year, when the airline contributed €93 million to the Lufthansa Group’s earnings improvement year-on-year, the contribution is expected to increase again this year. For 2015, for the first time in many years, the Group expects to achieve a balanced result on its non-hub routes in Europe.

The airline, which is based at Cologne-Bonn Airport, has also significantly expanded its fleet. While just one year ago 38 jets bore the Germanwings livery, 71 aircraft can now be seen sporting the logo of the youngest airline in the Lufthansa Group. A further ten aircraft will join the fleet by the end of the year. The workforce has also increased from 1,600 to just over 2,000, the bulk of new staff recruitment being in flight operations. The number of flight personnel has thus risen from 1,174 to 1,614. Germanwings crews currently complete a total of 3,312 flights each week, compared with 1,891 a mere twelve months ago. Since its launch a year ago, Germanwings with its highly motivated team has already completed around 171,000 safe take-offs and landings. Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG: “We have been on the offensive with the ‘new Germanwings’ in terms of point-to-point flights on European and German domestic routes that are not operated through our major hubs. We have combined our many years of experience in the low-cost segment and our high quality standards to develop a convincing concept that has been extremely well received by customers. With the ‘new Germanwings’, we have taken an important step and are now closer to achieving our goal of flying profitably beyond the major hubs within the short-haul traffic segment.”

Thomas Winkelmann, spokesman for the Germanwings Executive Board: “Germanwings is without a doubt one of the most creative airlines in Europe. Twelve months ago we entered new territory with Germanwings’ new product and brand promise. Since then, we have been combining the various requirements of different customer groups in one airline. Today we know that this bold decision was the right one: everyone feels at home on board of Germanwings. This is undoubtedly because we refuse to compromise on two points: safety and the friendly and expert way in which we deal with our customers.”

A unique feature of Germanwings is ‘à la carte flying’. When booking their tickets, passengers have a choice of three products in different price segments with different comfort add-ons: ‘BEST’ represents the high-end offer that primarily covers the needs of business passengers but that also appeals to certain leisure travelers. The ‘SMART’ fare product includes certain extra services, and ‘BASIC’ is a no-frills, low-cost fare.

Copyright Photo: Javier Rodriguez/AirlinersGallery.com. The Germanwings fleet has expanded from 38 to 71 Airbus aircraft in the past year. Formerly with Lufthansa, Airbus A320-211 D-AIQS (msn 401) now flies for lower-cost Germanwings.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Germanwings (2nd): AG Slide Show

Boeing reaches a milestone with the 747, delivers the 1,500th 747 built to Lufthansa

 

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) has delivered the 1,500th 747 to come off the production line to Lufthansa (Frankfurt). The milestone airplane is a 747-8 Intercontinental, the 14th one that Lufthansa will incorporate into its long-haul fleet.

“Reaching this milestone delivery is a testament to the capabilities of the airplane and our commitment to continuous innovation,” said Eric Lindblad, 747 vice president and general manager, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The new 747-8 is delivering on its promise to our customers, and we continue to look at ways to make it even more efficient in the future.”

The 747 is the first widebody airplane in history to reach the 1,500 milestone. Its iconic shape makes it instantly recognizable, and passengers have consistently voted it their favorite airplane to fly.

At a delivery ceremony yesterday (June 28), a special logo commemorating the 1,500th airplane was revealed for the first time on the pictured 747-830 D-ABYP (msn 37839).

“Lufthansa is honored that the 1,500th 747 will fly with the Lufthansa livery,” said Nico Buchholz, executive vice president, Lufthansa Group Fleet Management. “Lufthansa is an important partner and a valued advisor in developing new commercial airplanes with exceptional economical and ecological performance such as the 747-8. The commemorative logo will be a reminder of our relationship with Boeing, now and into the future.”

Lufthansa is the launch customer of the 747-8 Intercontinental and took delivery of its first airplane in April 2012. The airline has 19 747-8 Intercontinentals on order.

The first Boeing 747-100 entered revenue service on January 22, 1970 with Pan Am on the New York–London route.

Lufthansa German Airlines on March 10, 1970 became the first European airline to take delivery of the Boeing 747-100. The first LH 747, 747-130 D-ABYA (msn 19746), was accepted on this historic day. The Jumbo was introduced into revenue service between Frankfurt and New York (JFK) on April 26, 1970. LH has operated a variant of the 747 for over 44 years.

Lufthansa also issued this statement:

Lufthansa’s 14th Boeing 747-8 landed in Frankfurt on Sunday, June 29, at 9.17 a.m. as scheduled. As well as being the 76th Jumbo that Lufthansa has received from the American manufacturer Boeing in Seattle since the 1970s, the aircraft also represents a veritable milestone in aviation history. This aircraft, whose tail number is D-ABYP (“Yankee Papa”), is the 1,500th Jumbo to be built in the world.

‘It’s an honor for Lufthansa that the anniversary Jumbo will fly in the colors of the Lufthansa crane,’ said Nico Buchholz, Head of Group Fleet Management at Deutsche Lufthansa AG. ‘For decades, Lufthansa has been one of the aircraft manufacturer’s closest advisers – a pioneer when it comes to developing new, environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient aircraft,’ added Buchholz at the handover in Seattle. Lufthansa is expecting to receive a total of 19 aircraft of this type, and will therefore be the world’s largest operator of 747-8s among passenger airlines.

The “Dash 8”, as it is also known, has plenty to offer. By using the latest Jumbo, Lufthansa is taking a further step towards having a “three-liter fleet” (per passenger and 100 kilometers). The aircraft is 15 percent more fuel-efficient than its predecessor model and, as a result, its CO2 emissions are around 15 percent lower. The noise footprint of the Boeing 747-8 is 30 percent smaller compared with the older Boeing 747-400. What started as the first training flight with the new Boeing 747 over the mountains east of Seattle in October 1969 went on to become an icon of the Lufthansa fleet, and, indeed, of commercial aviation as a whole.

On March 9, 1970, the then Lufthansa CEO Herbert Culmann took delivery of the first Lufthansa Boeing 747-130 in front of the factory in Everett. The aircraft’s production number was 12 and its Lufthansa registration was D-ABYA. Lufthansa thereby became the second international airline, after Pan Am, and the first European carrier to deploy the Jumbo on scheduled services. The aircraft was host to several major world premières in succession, including the first film shown on board a Jumbo jet. Only twenty months after the maiden flight of the Boeing 747-130, the fourth Lufthansa Jumbo took off on April 2, 1971 as a modified model. Boeing had equipped the 747-200 with larger fuel tanks and a higher take-off weight of 378 tons. This meant that the aircraft had a longer range. Originally intended as a military aircraft, the Jumbo’s career was not limited to carrying passengers. On April 10, 1972, Lufthansa received the world’s first “smiling” Boeing as the launch customer of the cargo version, the Boeing 747-230F. The nose of the aircraft could be opened horizontally, making it possible to load even bulk goods without any problem. On April 19, 1972, the world’s first cargo Jumbo took off, bearing the tail number D-ABYE. This quickly catapulted Lufthansa to number one in airfreight transport.

‘A step towards the 1990s’ is how Lufthansa CEO Heinz Ruhnau described the purchase agreement signed on June 23, 1986 for an initial order of six enhanced Boeing aircraft. Lufthansa had already been involved in the planning of the Boeing 747-100. However, as the first airline to order the “Dash 400” (Boeing 747-400), it now played a key part in the development of the new aircraft, providing many hundreds of suggestions for improvements and more than 20,000 engineer hours. With this aircraft, the modern, digitalized two-man cockpit that Jürgen Weber, the man responsible for aircraft development at Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg at the time and later Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Lufthansa AG, and Reinhard Abraham, the former Chief Technical Officer of the Lufthansa Group, had worked to achieve became a reality. Upwards-pointing winglets, new and more economical engines, new materials such as composite materials and aluminium alloys: all of these innovations helped to cut fuel consumption by 24 percent compared with the -200 series.

On 23 May 1989, Lufthansa received the first enhanced Super Jumbo with tail number D-ABVA. The aircraft could cover almost 13,000 kilometers in 16 hours and thus reach nearly every destination in the world. As the new millennium started, the idea was put forth to develop an enhanced version of the Boeing 747-400. And so not only was the Jumbo extended by 5.6 meters, it was also totally redeveloped, including a new wing design and new engines. On May 2, 2012, Lufthansa became the first passenger airline in the world to receive a Boeing 747-8.

Copyright Photo: Bernie Leighton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-830 D-ABYP with the special “1500th” emblem prepares to depart from Paine Field near Everett yesterday (June 28) on its delivery flight to Frankfurt.

Boeing 747 Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa lowers its profit forecast for 2014

Lufthansa (Lufthansa Group) (Frankfurt) has adjusted its earnings forecast. The company issue this revised forecast:

Deutsche Lufthansa AG is adjusting its earnings forecast as a result of the revenue development in the passenger and cargo businesses, which is below expectations: the company’s Executive Board is now projecting an operating profit for the current financial year of approximately EUR 1 billion ($1.35 billion)(approximately EUR 1.3 billion after adjustment for one-off effects). Previously the company had been forecasting an operating profit for 2014 of EUR 1.3 to 1.5 billion (EUR 1.7 to 1.9 billion after adjustment for one-off effects).

“The revenue risks mentioned when we presented the quarterly figures in early May have unfortunately materialized”, said Simone Menne, Chief Officer Finances and Aviation Services at Deutsche Lufthansa AG. The Group had already warned against increasing risks to the earnings forecast in the first quarterly reports. Above all it is the Group’s American and European business that has suffered from increasing excess capacity, which leads to falling prices on these routes. “We will therefore noticeably reduce our capacities during the winter timetable period”, emphasized Menne. Strong capacity growth by state-owned Gulf carriers was a major concern, she added. They are advancing ever further into the European market, also by means of investments in European airlines, she explained

The strike by the “Vereinigung Cockpit” pilots’ union in early April, had a negative results impact of EUR 60 million ($81.2 million). Only recently has booking activity returned to normal. Additionally, impairments on receivables denominated in Venezuelan Bolivar have burdened the result of the current year by EUR 60 million so far.

Given these economic developments the Executive Board no longer believes that the earnings target for 2015 of EUR 2.65 billion ($3.58 billion) set as part of the Score program can be achieved. The company nonetheless intends to substantially increase its operating profit compared with the current year. The basis for this will be laid with the noticeable reduction of capacities during the winter timetable period. Additionally, in order to boost the competitiveness of the Lufthansa Group, structural measures will be implemented at a higher pace. The details will be presented by Carsten Spohr, Chairman and CEO of the Executive Board in July. The Executive Board sets a new target of approximately EUR 2 billion on an operating profit level for 2015, provided that conditions remain stable. Menne emphasized: “The current development underlines the importance of Score for the group. We are achieving a sustainable reduction of our unit costs and now aim to stabilize the revenue trends, in order to counteract an ever intensifying competitive situation”, said Simone Menne.

Copyright Photo: Javier Rodriguez/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 D-AIUD (msn 6033) is the only A320 painted by Lufthansa in the special “Fanhansa” colors for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

 

Lufthansa to operate seasonal Munich-Gran Canaria flights

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) will launch a new route between its Munich hub and the Canary Island of Gran Canaria on October 26, 2014. An Airbus A321 with 200 seats and two classes will fly to the airport of Las Palmas, the largest city in the Canary Islands.

Lufthansa will fly to Gran Canaria between October 26, 2014 and April 12, 2015 on Sundays at 9.00 a.m.

Gran Canaria has a mild climate in winter, making a beach holiday possible at any time of the year. The island, which is volcanic in origin, is unique because of its extremely diverse landscape and is popular among hikers.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A321-131 D-AIRR (msn 567) taxies at Palma de Mallorca.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa to resume Munich-Miami service on December 2

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) will resume the Munich-Miami winter seasonal route on December 2 and will be operated until April 30, 2015. The restored route will be operated with Airbus A330-300 aircraft per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-343X D-AIKC (msn 579) touches down at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

 

Lufthansa launches the first Fanhansa aircraft – Airbus A321 D-AIDG

Lufthansa A321-200 D-AIDG (14-Fanhansa)(Nose) MUC (Lufthansa)(LR)

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) has unveiled its first “Fanhansa” – titled aircraft for the upcoming World Cup in Brazil. The pictured Airbus A321-231 D-AIDG (msn 4672) was rolled out at Munich on Friday May 16 and is now in service in the LH European network. The airline issued this statement:

The first aircraft with the new “Fanhansa” livery taxied out to the runway on schedule at 11.20 on May 16. The Airbus A321-200, named after the town of Göttingen in Lower Saxony, flew from Munich to Hamburg as flight number LH 2066 on the same day. Overnight the “Delta Golf” – from its registration number D-AIDG – was embellished with special foil by five Lufthansa Technik employees in 40 hours of work. The Fanhansa lettering on this Airbus medium-haul aircraft is 7.65 meters long.

Lufthansa is celebrating a special premiere with Fanhansa. For the first time since beginning flight operations nearly 60 years ago, part of the fleet is to change the name on the aircraft fuselage. To mark the football World Cup, a total of eight Lufthansa aircraft will swap their familiar livery for the new Fanhansa logo. The Airbus A321-200 will be followed by two additional short-haul aircraft and a total of five long-haul aircraft with the Fanhansa lettering, including the Boeing 747-8, the world’s longest civilian aircraft. After departing from Munich at 11.20 a.m., the Airbus was scheduled to land at Hamburg Airport between 12.35 p.m. and 1.20 p.m., and arrive at London-Heathrow between 5.00 p.m. and 6.05 p.m. The return to Munich is scheduled for 8.55 p.m.

With Fanhansa, Lufthansa will be flying not just the German national team to Brazil, as partner of the German Football Association, but also thousands of football fans, media representatives and officials. During the many surprise Fanhansa promotions that will be happening on board Lufthansa scheduled flights and at check-in counters and gates in German airports, participants will be able to qualify immediately for a ticket to Brazil on board a Fanhansa plane.

Copyright Photo: Lufthansa. The first “Fanhansa” aircraft at Munich.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa to rename 8 aircraft “Fanhansa” for the 2014 FIFA World Cup

Fanhansa 747 (Nose)(Lufthansa)(LR)

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) will temporarily rename 8 aircraft with “Fanhansa” titles for the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

The first aircraft to have these unique titles is expected to be an Airbus A321, due to be unveiled on May 16.

The company issued this statement (translated from German):

In the summer of 2014, the biggest football event in the world keeps all fans in suspense. Part of the Lufthansa fleet will be temporarily unceremoniously renamed “Fanhansa”.

Fanhansa – this is not only a commitment to be a big fan of the German football team itself. This is also a clear message to all soccer fans: No matter what game it is, Fanhansa inspires the fans and brings them to the big soccer events around the world.

As a partner of the German Football Association, Lufthansa flies the national team and numerous media representatives and many thousands of football fans to Brazil. Of course, when you board a “Fanhansa” flight, expect to see numerous surprises.

Copyright Photo: Lufthansa.

Lufthansa Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Video:

Lufthansa Group reports a lower first quarter operating loss of $341 million

Deutsche Lufthansa AG (Lufthansa Group) (Lufthansa) (Frankfurt) achieved a further increase in its operating result for the first quarter of 2014, thanks to continued progress with its Score results-enhancement program. In what is traditionally the weakest quarter of the year, the company posted an operating result of EUR -245 million ($341 million), a EUR 114 million ($158.7 million) or 31.8% improvement on the same period last year. Adjusted for non-recurring items, such as the cost for the accelerated installation of new Lufthansa Business Class seats, which accounted for some EUR 55 million in this period alone, the first-quarter operating result was improved by EUR 105 million to EUR -190 million ($264.5 million). The improved quarterly operating result can be largely attributed to an increase in profits at Lufthansa Technik and the positive impact of the revised depreciation policy for aircraft and spare engines which was adopted at the beginning of the year. In addition, the Lufthansa Group also improved its cost structures in the passenger segment.

Adjusted to eliminate fuel-price and currency factors, first-quarter unit costs for the passenger business segment were a 3.7% improvement on their prior-year level. The Group has set itself the goal of reducing such costs by 4% for 2014 as a whole by implementing various Score-related actions. Total revenue for the quarter amounted to EUR 6.5 billion, a 2.5% decline on the prior-year period. Lower traffic revenues were generated for the period, not least as a result of adverse currency movements. The revenue result was achieved with a 1.2% reduction in total flights operated, owing mainly to fleet modernizations and the use of larger aircraft. The net result for the period amounted to EUR -252 million, a substantial EUR 206 million or 45.0% improvement on the first quarter of 2013.

“This is a sound first-quarter performance and a slight improvement in our results for the period in a difficult market environment,” says Simone Menne, CFO and Member of the Executive Board at Deutsche Lufthansa AG. “We have improved our cost structures, and have taken various actions to enhance the quality of our revenues. And we will continue with our consistent efforts to further raise our efficiency.”

The Lufthansa Group has further confirmed its previous expectation of posting an operating profit of between EUR 1.3 and 1.5 billion for 2014 as a whole. The Group also remains confident of reporting a 2014 operating result adjusted for non-recurring items of between EUR 1.7 and 1.9 billion. The projections remain unchanged despite the Verdi strikes at German airports in March and the three-day strike at Lufthansa, Germanwings and Lufthansa Cargo by the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union in April, which reduced Group earnings by over EUR 70 million.

“Our advance passenger bookings saw sizeable declines during the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ strike,” Menne continues. “And, with the competition we face on our European network and the strong pricing pressures on our North American routes, we haven’t yet been able to raise them again. So, despite the currently tense market environment, we are doing our utmost to recoup these earnings losses in our ongoing business.” Some assistance should be provided here by the fall in fuel prices: full-year estimates for this cost item are now lower following the first-quarter results than they were in March.

The Group’s Passenger Airlines business segment reported an operating result for the quarter of EUR -332 million, a EUR 31 million improvement on the same period last year. The progress here was partially due to the revised Group depreciation policy, whose lower costs added EUR 86 million to the quarterly result. At the same time, the decline in revenue per available seat-kilometre was offset by cost economies, which were reflected in a clear reduction in cost per available seat-kilometre. Among the Group’s member airlines, Lufthansa and Germanwings posted a quarterly operating result of EUR -286 million (a EUR 6 million year-on-year improvement), Swiss International Air Lines (Zurich) achieved an operating profit of EUR 6 million (up EUR 22 million) and Austrian Airlines (Vienna) posted an operating result of EUR -54 million (a EUR 2 million improvement on the prior-year period).

Lufthansa Technik made the most positive contribution to the Lufthansa Group’s first-quarter results, with an operating profit for the period of EUR 97 million, a EUR 16 million improvement on January-to-March 2013. The Group’s IT Services segment raised its first-quarter operating result by EUR 2 million to EUR 5 million. LSG SkyChefs reported a first-quarter operating result of EUR -4 million, a EUR 7 million year-on-year decline which was in part attributable to adverse currency movements. And with rigorous cost discipline in a still-tough market environment, Lufthansa Cargo achieved a solid operating profit of EUR 21 million, which compares to EUR 28 million for the prior-year period.

The first quarter of 2014 in figures

Total revenue for the first three months of 2014 amounted to EUR 6.5 billion, a 2.5% decline on the same period last year. Total operating income also declined 2.5%, to EUR 7.0 billion. At the same time, total first-quarter operating expenditure was reduced 6.0% to EUR 7.2 billion. Fuel costs for the quarter declined by EUR 157 million or 9.4% to EUR 1.5 billion. The figure includes a EUR 20 million loss from fuel price hedging activities. Fees and charges were 0.8% below their prior-year level, owing in particular to the lower flight volumes.

The Lufthansa Group achieved an operating result of EUR -245 million for the first quarter of 2014, a period that is traditionally the weakest of the year. The net result for the quarter amounted to EUR -252 million, a substantial EUR 206 million improvement on the first three months of 2013. First-quarter earnings per share rose from the EUR -1.00 of 2013 to EUR -0.55.

The Lufthansa Group increased its investments in modernizing and maintaining its aircraft fleet to EUR 755 million in the first-quarter period. All in all, the Group invested EUR 859 million, some EUR 141 million more than in the same period last year. Cash flow from operating activities totalled EUR 855 million, while free cash flow (operating cash flow less net capital expenditure) amounted to EUR 195 million. Net debt stood at EUR 1.6 billion, down EUR 61 million year-on-year. The balance sheet equity ratio as calculated in accordance with the new IAS 19 capitalization principles amounted to 17.9%, up 2.5 percentage points from the first quarter of 2013.

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A340-642X D-AIHV (msn 897) of Lufthansa completes its final approach to the runway at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Germanwings: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. The Lufthansa Group continues to shift more non-hub European flying to the lower-cost Germanwings. Airbus A319-132 D-AGWU (msn 5457) lands at EuroAirport.

 

 

Boeing delivers the 75th Boeing 747 to Lufthansa

747-8I DLH #1498-RC034

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) and Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) celebrated the delivery of the German airline’s 75th 747 on Wednesday (April 30).

Lufthansa is the launch customer for the 747-8 Intercontinental jetliner and took delivery of the first one in April 2012. The airplane delivered Wednesday is Lufthansa’s 13th 747-8 Intercontinental, namely 747-830 D-ABYO (msn 37841). The airline currently flies the 747 to 22 destinations in 10 countries. Over the years, Lufthansa has ordered a total of 81 747s.

Lufthansa’s first 747 – a 747-100 – was delivered in 1970. The airline was also the first to order the 747-200 Freighter.

The 747-8 has accumulated 120 orders for passenger and cargo versions, 68 of which have been delivered.

Top Copyright Photo: Boeing. This poor-quality publicity photo shows D-ABYO departing from Paine Field.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. It all started with the Boeing 747-130. The pictured Boeing 747-130 D-ABYA (msn 19746) at New York (JFK) was delivered new to LH as the first 747 on March 10, 1970.

Lufthansa Group’s fuel consumption drops, transfers more Dusseldorf routes to Germanwings

Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa) (Frankfurt) has issued this statement concerning fuel consumption:

In 2013 the passenger airlines in the Lufthansa Group beat the four-liter mark for the first time, with an average consumption of just 3.91 liters of kerosene per passenger per 100 kilometers. This is an improvement of 3.8 per cent over 2012. In short, the aviation group achieved over twice the annual efficiency target increase of 1.5 per cent set for the airline industry.

The second piece of good news: Absolute fuel consumption of the Lufthansa Group fell for the second time in a row since 2012, by 1.3 percent year on year, despite a production increase of 2.3 percent. In absolute terms, the Group’s fuel use decreased 114,152 tons compared to 2012 and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions fell by more than 359,587 tons, a benefit for the environment. This is roughly equivalent to the CO2 volume emitted annually by oil-fired heating systems in about 50,000 homes.

The Lufthansa Group is working continuously and systematically to improve the environmental impact of its international services. A department set up in 2013 specifically to improve fuel efficiency is currently examining almost 1,000 individual steps for realising further potential savings. They include programs to achieve lasting weight reductions on board, testing and implementing new flight methods and developing intelligent software tools.

The most powerful lever for increasing efficiency is investing in technological progress, i.e. in the latest and most efficient aircraft. With its current fleet renewal program, the biggest in the history of the Lufthansa Group, the company is making good progress in this direction. As of December 31, 2013, the Group had a total of 261 aircraft on its order list for delivery by 2025 – this represents capital expenditure of EUR 32 billion at list prices. It will also make life much easier for those living near major air traffic hubs. For example, the 100 aircraft from the A320neo family ordered by the Lufthansa Group are fitted with highly efficient, quieter engines and reduce the noise footprint of take-off and landing by around 50 per cent.

In other news, the Lufthansa Group is transferring additional routes from Dusseldorf to Germanwings (2nd) (Cologne/Bonn) in the fall. Route transfers according to Airline Route from DUS:

Dusseldorf – Paris (CDG) (effective September 18)

Dusseldorf – Vienna (October 8)

Dusseldorf – London (Heathrow) (October 26)

Dusseldorf – Malaga (October 26)

Dusseldorf – Moscow (Vnukovo) (October 26)

Dusseldorf – Naples (October 26)

Dusseldorf – Nice (October 26)

Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl/AirlinersGallery.com. Additional aircraft are being transferred to lower-cost Germanwings. Formerly operated by mainline Lufthansa, Germanwing’s Airbus A320-211 D-AIQK (msn 218) lands at Zurich.

Germanwings: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa’s pilots start their three-day strike virtually grounding most of the airline

Lufthansa‘ (Frankfurt) pilots started their three-day strike today (April 2). The strike has virtually grounded the German airline except for a few short-haul and long-haul international flights.

Lufthansa has cancelled 3,800 flights until late Friday.

According to Reuters, the pilots want Lufthansa to reinstate a retirement plan that allowed them to receive 60 percent of their pay and benefits when they leave the airline before the retirement date.

Lufthansa’s pilots were forced to retire at 60, leaving a gap of five years before the legal retirement age of 65. The retirement age for pilots was raised to 65 in Europe in 2011 according to Reuters. Lufthansa says it is no longer necessary.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

The airline issued this statement:

As a result of strike actions of the German pilots’ union “Vereinigung Cockpit” (VC) at Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo and Germanwings from Wednesday, April 2, 2014, to Friday, April 4, 2014, Lufthansa has reduced its schedule significantly.
Flights of the Lufthansa Group Airlines Eurowings, Lufthansa CityLine, Air Dolomiti, Swiss, Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines are excepted from the strikes and schedule adjustments.

Previously on March 31 the airline issued this statement:

Due to the strike announced by the pilot’s union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC), Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo and Germanwings have canceled about 3,800 flights on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. During the three day walkout of the cockpit crew only about 500 Lufthansa short and long haul flights will be operated.

Flight cancellations on such a massive scale will affect a total of 425,000 passengers. Lufthansa will inform all passengers who have registered their contact details in their booking or in their Miles & More profile about flight changes via text message and email. Most of the remaining domestic and European flights will be flown by the daughter companies Eurowings and Lufthansa Cityline, whose pilots are not participating in the walkout.

In addition to Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo will also be affected. For the three strike days 23 of 31 planned cargo flights from Frankfurt have been already canceled.

The pilots of Swiss International Air Lines, Austrian Airlines, Eurowings, Lufthansa CityLine and Air Dolomiti as well as the pilots of Brussels Airlines will not participate in the strike. Where possible, these companies will use larger planes on routes from and to Germany in order to bring as many rebooked Lufthansa passengers as possible to their destinations.

Additionally, Lufthansa will re-book affected passengers on other airlines and in cooperation with German Railways (Deutsche Bahn) will provide train tickets on domestic routes.

Copyright Photo: Pascal Simon/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-430 D-ABVH (msn 25045) with the special “50 Years of Innovation – Boeing and Lufthansa” emblem, arrives at the Frankfurt base.

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Lufthansa’s pilots to strike on April 2-4, Lufthansa calls on the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union to resume talks

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) is facing another strike by its pilots, represented by the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union (VC), from April 2 through 4 next week. The labor dispute involves pay and retirement issues.

Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE

 

Lufthansa has called for renewed talks to end the dispute and has issued this statement:

Lufthansa logo-2

Lufthansa has called on the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union (VC) to resume joint talks as soon as possible. “We still have four and a half days to avoid further disruptions for our customers, which would occur with the strike that has been announced,” said Dr Bettina Volkens, Chief Officer Human Resources and Legal, Deutsche Lufthansa AG. “We are willing to continue the discussions at any time and have laid the groundwork for negotiations with the new offer for the wage settlement and the offer concerning early retirement from flight service. With the goodwill of everyone involved, we should be able to avoid a strike,” Ms Volkens continued.

VC has announced a three-day strike for employees of Lufthansa German Airlines, Lufthansa Cargo and Germanwings at every German airport from April 2-4.

Although Lufthansa continues to hope for a negotiated solution, it is working flat out to keep the effects of a strike on its customers to a minimum. “We greatly regret the fact that this strike from April 2-4 may prevent us from bringing our passengers to their destination or back home on time. We will do everything to take care of those affected as well as we possibly can. Wherever possible, we will offer alternative travel options with. At the same time, we are still working to solve the collective bargaining dispute,” Ms Volkens said.

Lufthansa will, in any event, inform its customers in good time about the details of flight cancellations, rebooking options and alternative travel arrangements at LH.com. The Company will also send information about changes to flights by email and text message to customers who have provided their contact details.

Lufthansa made VC an improved offer for the wage settlement. It provides for a sustainable pay increase of 5.2 per cent for the period from May 1, 2012 to December 31, 2015 as well as a one-off payment for all pilots at Lufthansa German Airlines, Lufthansa Cargo and Germanwings. A pay freeze is planned for the first six months of this period. There is to be a one-off payment of €2,000 for the period from November 1, 2012 to December 31, 2013. This corresponds to 1.2 per cent of the pilots’ total remuneration. For the period from January  1, 2014 to December 31, 2015, salaries are ultimately to rise in two stages by a total of 5.2 per cent: by 3 per cent retroactively as of January  1, 2014, and by another 2.1 per cent as of July 1, 2014. The original plan of linking salary increases to the Company’s performance has been dropped. Lufthansa has therefore accepted key demands made by VC. This offer means that the pilots would make a contribution to ensuring the Group’s future viability comparable with that of other groups of employees.

Lufthansa also offered to ensure that pilots can continue to retire early in future. The offer safeguards the positions of all employees who joined Lufthansa before January 1, 2014. As before, these employees can receive up to 60 per cent of their last gross salary until they reach the earliest possible statutory retirement age of 63. From 2017, the earliest possible age at which pilots can retire from flight service at Lufthansa German Airlines will be raised, depending on the length of service, from 55 for more senior to up to 60 for younger employees. Employees who have been with the Company for thirty years or more are not affected at all by the changes. Pilots at Lufthansa Cargo and Germanwings can already leave flight service only when they reach 60 years of age, and then make use of transitional benefits.

The previous wage agreement also stipulated that Lufthansa German Airlines cockpit staff had to reach an average age of 58 for early retirement. Lufthansa’s offer now raises the agreed average early retirement age within three years from 58 to 61 years, starting in 2016. The effective average age for taking early retirement in 2013 was already 58.9 years. This also reflects the general societal trend towards longer working lives.

For pilots who start or have started work at Lufthansa after January 1, 2014, it will still be possible to retire early from flight service. The matter of financing these benefits is the subject of future talks with VC.

For all employees, the offer still includes employer-financed insurance against incapacity for flight service.

Read the 2013 Lufthansa Group Annual Report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-114 D-AILU (msn 744) “Lulu Stork” taxies at Zurich.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa Group reports annual income of $435.7 million

Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa) (Frankfurt) reported 2013 annual net income of €313 million ($435.7 million), down 75 percent from the €1.22 billion profit reported in the same period a year ago. Here is the full report:

Deutsche Lufthansa AG has achieved the targeted improvement in earnings well. Adjusted for non-recurring effects, the operating profit rose year on year by 62 per cent to EUR 1.042bn (previous year: EUR 643m). The reported operating profit came to EUR 697m, having totalled EUR 839m the previous year. A comparison of the reported results is of little informational value, however. The previous year’s reported result was largely boosted by non-recurring income from transferring operations at Austrian Airlines, while the result for 2013 was depressed by restructuring and project costs for the installation of the new Lufthansa Business Class seats.

Lufthansa Group revenue was stable at EUR 30.0bn (previous year: EUR 30.1bn). At EUR 313 m, net profit for the year, which last year also included a profit of EUR 631 m from the sale of shares in Amadeus IT Holding, S.A., was lower, as expected (previous year: EUR 1.2 bn).

Christoph Franz, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, said: “We have strengthened the earnings power of the Lufthansa Group again last year. This is driven by the earnings performance in the passenger business, where all Airlines rose significantly. This performance trend is sustainable. It is based on a continuous improvement in the cost structure and on the billions invested in new products and services. Customer feedback here is extremely positive. This performance in our core business segment has prompted us to propose to the Annual General Meeting that a dividend of EUR 0.45 per share be paid.”

Lufthansa and Germanwings boost earnings power and increase profit

Lufthansa and Germanwings increased their operating profit last year to EUR 265m – an increase of EUR 240m and thus the most visible earnings improvement in the Group. Adjusted for restructuring costs, the increase even came to EUR 340m. The persistent implementation of Score projects at Lufthansa, including the transfer of European direct traffic outside the hubs in Frankfurt and Munich to Germanwings, had a positive effect on earnings. The new aircraft, which continually join the fleet, are being fitted with the latest cabin products across all travel classes, which has already led to greater customer satisfaction and has also had an impact on the bottom line. These state-of-the-art aircraft are also considerably quieter and more fuel-efficient, and stand out for their lower operating costs. In 2013 alone the Group ordered 167 new aircraft worth EUR 23bn. While the revenue per available seat-kilometre (RASK) fell slightly due to currency movements and also because of disproportionate growth in Economy Class, costs per available seat-kilometre (CASK) were reduced even faster, and so the overall result improved considerably.

The passenger business overall performed well in 2013, contributing EUR 495m (previous year: EUR 556m, including one-off effects) to the Group’s operating result. Swiss accounted for a substantial share of EUR 226m, a year-on-year increase of EUR 22m. Austrian Airlines generated a profit in 2013 without tailwind from special items for the first time since joining the Lufthansa Group. The company’s profit of EUR 25m for the financial year is EUR 178m lower than in the previous year. However, the previous year’s positive result was solely due to non-recurring effects in connection with the transfer of flight operations to Tyrolean Airways. 

Lufthansa Technik and LSG Sky Chefs report record profits

All of the Group’s business segments were profitable in 2013. Lufthansa Technik and LSG Sky Chefs generated operating results of EUR 404m (previous year: EUR 328m) and EUR 105m (previous year: EUR 101m) respectively, which were both the highest earnings in their corporate history. The IT Services segment also increased its operating profit from EUR 20m in 2012 to EUR 36m – a rise of 80 per cent.

Effective cost management secured a positive result for Lufthansa Cargo, despite weak market demand and persistently high price pressure in the freight market. Revenue declined by nine per cent, but the company kept its operating margin stable. The Logistics segment generated an operating profit of EUR 77m (previous year: EUR 105m).

Group pursues restructuring undiminished and anticipates a further increase in the operating profit to between EUR 1.3bn and EUR 1.5bn in 2014 

“Score is on track. We have achieved our profit and restructuring targets for 2013. And we have created the conditions that will enable us to keep increasing our profits in the years ahead. We are working on further measures to improve earnings, which will enable us to cope with greater headwinds, too,” said Simone Menne, Member of the Executive Board and CFO at Deutsche Lufthansa AG.

The Group amended its depreciation policy, which will have an effect on the operating result from 2014 onwards. As many of its competitors have already done, the Company extended the depreciation period for its aircraft from 12 to 20 years, and reduced their residual book value from 15 to 5 per cent of the purchase price. This alteration corrects the effective useful life and the depreciation of the aircraft and ensures that they are presented correctly in the balance sheet. In the new financial year, the operating result is to rise by EUR 340m due to the change in depreciation policy, in 2015; it will increase by EUR 350m.

This change to the method of depreciating aircraft has no material effect on the Group’s economic strength. Its effects are felt solely at an accounting level. “Score therefore still aims to boost the operating profit sustainably by EUR 1.5bn compared with 2011,” said Menne. Applied to the earnings target, this meant that the Group now needed to increase its operating profit to EUR 2.65bn by 2015, she added. The change would also lead to a review of the Group’s dividend policy, since this was also dependent on the operating result. Simone Menne said: “We will review our dividend policy this year. However, it is clear that we will continue to let shareholders participate reasonably on our profits.”

The Group expects a positive business performance in the current year, too. As in 2013, the higher results should come largely from the passenger business. The Group’s adjusted operating result should therefore increase again by around 40 per cent and would come to between EUR 1.7bn and EUR 1.9bn for 2014. The reported operating result of the Lufthansa Group, including restructuring and project costs, should reach EUR 1.3bn to EUR 1.5bn at the end of the year. Christoph Franz said: “I am convinced that the Lufthansa Group and its staff will continue to successfully hold their own in an industry which will continue to change rapidly and consolidate further. The company has already become noticeably more dynamic and is creating value – for customers, employees and shareholders in equal measure. The Lufthansa Group and its companies are well prepared for the challenges ahead.”

2013 in figures

Revenue in 2013 remained stable at EUR 30.0bn, a fall of 0.4 per cent compared with the previous year. Overall, the Group’s operating income declined slightly to EUR 32.2bn in the reporting period, a fall of 2.4 per cent. Traffic revenue declined by 0.9 per cent to EUR 24.6bn. There was no change in operating expenses last year, which came to EUR 31.4bn (-0.1 per cent). Fuel costs fell by EUR 334m to EUR 7.1bn, a decline of 4.5 per cent. Included in this amount is a contribution of EUR -125m from price hedging. Fees and charges fell by 0.3 per cent on the previous year, in particular due to a lower number of flights.

In 2013, the Lufthansa Group generated an operating result of EUR 697m. To facilitate comparison, the operating result originally reported for the previous year was adjusted by EUR 315m following the amendments to accounting standard IAS 19. Following this adjustment, the result for 2012 came to EUR 839m.

The net result for the period fell by EUR 915m to EUR 313m. Earnings per share sank to EUR 0.68.

The Lufthansa Group invested EUR 2.5bn in the reporting period, EUR 156m more than in the previous year. Of the total, EUR 2.1bn went on modernising and maintaining the fleet. Cash flow from operating activities came to EUR 3.3bn and free cash flow (cash flow from operating activities less net capital expenditure) to EUR 1.3bn. For 2013, the Group had a by EUR 256m reduced net debt of EUR 1.7bn. Following the application of new accounting standards (IAS 19), the equity ratio went up 4.1 percentage points to 21.0 per cent.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-830 D-ABYJ (msn 37834) taxies at Los Angeles International Airport.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

A pilot view’s of a Lufthansa Airbus A380 approaching and landing at San Francisco

Although this video has been out for a while, I came across this great “inside look” video of an Airbus A380 of Lufthansa approaching and landing at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) from the cockpit perspective of the flight crew. If you are not a pilot, I think you will enjoy the professionalism of the crew as they give us an inside glimpse of their highly precise world. Thank you Lufthansa.

Top Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Video: PilotsEye TV:

 

Lufthansa asks the European Commission to block any Alitalia-Etihad Airways alliance

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) has called on the European Commission to block any alliance and buy-in between Alitalia (2nd) (Rome) and Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi). Etihad, which already has alliances with Aer Lingus, Airberlin and Air Serbia in Europe, is reportedly close to a deal with Alitalia according to Reuters. Lufthansa has lobbied against state-owned Gulf airlines (especially Emirates Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways) from expanding in Europe because of their unfair state aid.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-830 D-ABYH (msn 37832) climbs majestically from the runway at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Boeing launches the 777X today with orders from Lufthansa, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways and Emirates

Boeing 777-9X (Boeing)(LR)

Boeing (Chicago) today formally launched the 777X program at the 2013 Dubai Airshow with a record-breaking number of customer orders and commitments for the newest member of its twin-aisle product family. Agreements for 259 airplanes from four customers across Europe and the Middle East provide a strong foundation to support development and production of the airplane.

Representing the largest product launch in commercial jetliner history by dollar value, 777X orders and commitments include Lufthansa with 34 airplanes; Etihad Airways with 25; Qatar Airways with 50 and Emirates with 150 airplanes. The combined value of the agreements is more than $95 billion at list prices.

The 777X builds on the passenger-preferred and market-leading 777, which today commands 55 percent of market share in its category in terms of backlog, and 71 percent of the in-service fleet worldwide. The 777X family includes the 777-8X and the 777-9X, both designed to respond to market needs and customer preferences.

The 777X builds on the best-in-class dispatch reliability from today’s 777, as well as offering more market coverage and revenue capability that surpasses the competition. The 777-8X competes directly with the A350-1000, while the 777-9X is in a class by itself.

Opening new growth opportunities for airlines, the 777-9X offers seating for more than 400 passengers, depending on an airline’s configuration choices. With a range of more than 8,200 nautical miles (15,185 km), the airplane will have the lowest operating cost per seat of any commercial airplane.

The second member of the family, the 777-8X, will be the most flexible jet in the world. The airplane will seat 350 passengers and offer an incredible range capability of more than 9,300 nautical miles (17,220 km). In addition, the airplane will have unmatched takeoff and payload capability compared to the competition.

The 777X introduces the latest technologies in multiple places, including the most advanced commercial engine ever – the GE9X by GE Aviation – and an all-new high-efficiency composite wing that has a longer span than today’s 777. The airplane’s folding, raked wingtip and optimized span deliver greater efficiency, significant fuel savings and complete airport gate compatibility.

Like the 787 Dreamliner which was launched as the 7E7, the 777X will be formally named at a later date. Design of the 777X is underway and suppliers will be named in the coming months. Production is set to begin in 2017, with first delivery targeted for 2020.

Boeing 777X Comparsion Chart

According to Reuters, Boeing will firm up the configuration of the aircraft in 2015 and plans to have a detailed design by 2016.

Production will begin in 2017, with the first test flight scheduled for 2019 and first delivery in 2020.

The Launch Customers:

Emirates 777X (Boeing)(LR)

Etihad 777X (Boeing)(LR)

Lufthansa 777X (Boeing)(LR)

Qatar 777X (Boeing)(LR)

Videos:

Lufthansa to start Munich-Mexico City service

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) will launch a new route linking its Munich hub and Mexico City in April. The new route will be operated five days a week with Airbus A340-600s.

In other news, Lufthansa has stopped its humorous Swedish ad campaign for contestants to change their name to the gender-confusing “Klaus-Heidi” in return for a new life in popular destination of Berlin. 38 Swedes signed up in the contest for the false name change promotion before the airline decided to stop the ad campaign according to this report by RT.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Lufthansa has had a long tradition of naming its aircraft after cities. In this report by Lufthansa, the airline explains how it choses the aircraft names:

Lufthansa has been carrying the names of German cities around the world for over 50 years

An Lufthansa Airbus A319 is about to begin its life as a “flying ambassador” under the name of “Herborn.” On October 29, 2013, the jet with the registration D-AIBH was officially named “Herborn” at Frankfurt Airport by Ursula Benner, wife of the mayor. In accordance with the convention for Lufthansa aircraft naming ceremonies, Herborn’s Mayor Hans Benner then revealed the name on the fuselage and signed the naming certificate together with Karl Ulrich Garnadt, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of Lufthansa Cargo AG.

Lufthansa naming conventions as a sign of our time

The “Herborn” brings the total number of aircraft named after German cities and states to over 300. This naming convention has a long tradition at Lufthansa. The first Lufthansa aircraft was named in 1960 (see inset). The idea was to express the company’s solidarity with its German homeland – not just with the major hubs and cities but also with the regions where a large portion of Lufthansa passengers and employees come from.

But 50 years later, the airline operates a much larger network. The increasing number of passengers from all over the world share a key Lufthansa characteristic – internationality. This is why the Airbus A380 will also bear the names of major international cities such as Beijing, Zurich and Johannesburg.

The size of the waiting list is a clear sign that there is still great interest in aircraft naming – even after 50 years. Lufthansa currently holds applications from 245 interested cities and the demand has led to extended waiting times of between 10 and 15 years. The name of your city on the body of a Lufthansa aircraft is still a desirable symbol.

The choice of partner cities – not an easy decision

When choosing names, Lufthansa is guided by the historical, social and economic relevance of the place. Cities may be considered if they have a special connection with aviation or with Lufthansa.

Size, on the other hand, is unimportant. Nevertheless, when choosing names, Lufthansa generally tries to match the population of the place to the size of the aircraft. A Boeing 747-8 carries the name “Brandenburg,” for example, and an Airbus A321 carries the name “Stade” all over the world.

So what happens when an aircraft is taken out of service? The towns and cities in question can relax, because aircraft naming has become an enduring tradition at Lufthansa. In other words, once a town has been accepted into the inner circle and had an aircraft named after it, the name is transferred to a new aircraft when the old one is taken out of the Lufthansa fleet. The motto is “Once Lufthansa, always Lufthansa.”

The history of the “Berlin,” 1960 to present.

The tradition of aircraft naming began on September 16, 1960 with the naming of the “Berlin” by the then mayor, Willy Brandt, who was later to become Chancellor of Germany. Five years after the refounding of the airline with its “crane” symbol, a Lufthansa aircraft began taking the name of a German city to all parts of the world. Over the next fifty years, the name “Berlin” would be passed on to five modern wide-bodied aircraft. At the present time an Airbus A380 bears the name of the German capital. The Lufthansa flagship was named at Berlin Tegel Airport by the mayor, Klaus Wowereit, in 2012. The “Berlin” now flies under the call sign “Mike India” along the east and west coasts of North America and to major cities in the Far East.

Top Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Lufthansa). Airbus A340-642 D-AIHE (msn 540) arrives at the Frankfurt hub.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa donates its Vickers Viscount 814 D-ANAF to the Museum of Technology in Speyer, Germany, will modify 157 Airbus A320 family aircraft

Lufthansa Viscount 800 D-ANAF (55)(Grd) FRA (Lufthansa)(LR)

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) has issued this statement:

Representatives of Lufthansa Technik and Lufthansa Technical Training officially handed over a Vickers Viscount 814 to the Museum of Technology in Speyer in southwest Germany. Lufthansa operated the aircraft on scheduled routes from 1962 to 1969, and in 1972 converted it into a technical training aircraft. To date, more than 2,000 young people in the Lufthansa Group have undergone basic training on this Vickers Viscount as an aircraft mechanic or electrician.

In cooperation with the workshop team at the Museum of Technology in Speyer, Lufthansa Technik trainers and apprentices have now restored the Viscount 814 with the registration D-ANAF for exhibition purposes. Before being transported to Speyer, the plane had to be dismantled. It was then re-assembled at the museum and repainted in its original livery with its 1960s registration. The Lufthansa Technik apprentices completed the work in a total of 2,096 man-hours, and visitors to the museum can now admire the results.

In the 1960s, the Vickers Viscount 814 was the workhorse on European routes and was one of the most popular propeller aircraft ever deployed on short and medium-haul routes. Since 1958, Lufthansa has operated a total of eleven of these aircraft on its domestic German and European scheduled services.

A close friendship has developed between the Museum of Technology in Speyer and Lufthansa Technik, which is an honorary member of the Museum Association. For many years, both companies have collaborated successfully on joint projects. Back in 2003, Lufthansa handed over a retired Boeing 747-200 with the registration D-ABYM to the museum for the symbolic price of one euro. There was an outburst of applause as “Yankee Mike” (the phonetic designation used by pilots for the last two letters “YM” in the aircraft registration) taxied to its final parking position. And now the Vickers Viscount 814 has also found a new home.

While the Lufthansa Group is currently investing 36 billion euros in new, even more environmentally friendly aircraft as part of the largest fleet renovation process in the company’s history, the Vickers Viscount represents a “historic fleet renewal” at Speyer’s Museum of Technology.

In other news, Lufthansa has announced it will add vortex generators to reduce noise for its 157 Airbus family aircraft. The company issued this statement:

Lufthansa is an active proponent of noise abatement and is investing in the nationwide modification of 157 aircraft from its Airbus A320 family. These planes connect Lufthansa’s hubs in Frankfurt and Munich with the destinations in its closely meshed European route network.

The manufacturer, Airbus, has even developed vortex generators especially for the A320 family. These are based on the findings of research carried out by Lufthansa and the German Aerospace Center. Flyover measurements showed that the vortex generators eliminate two unpleasant tones and therefore reduce the total noise generated by the approaching plane by up to two decibels. They can be fitted both to aircraft already in service as well as to the new Airbus A319, A320 and A321 models, which are still to be delivered.

“By fitting these vortex generators to our Airbus short and medium-haul fleet, we are continuing to invest in active noise protection”, says Kay Kratky, Member of the Lufthansa German Airlines Board, Operation & Hub Frankfurt. “In addition to the extensive modernisation of our fleet over the next few years, this is one of several steps that we are taking to reduce noise. It shows our commitment to working towards a balance between the interests of aviation and local residents, especially at our hubs.”

The tons that the vortex generators will eliminate are created on the underside of the wing by the pressure equalisation vents for the fuel tanks. Airflows passing over them in flight have an effect like blowing across the mouth of a bottle. The new components create a vortex in front of these vents and so prevent the noise. The modification of the existing fleet is to start in early 2014. All new deliveries of the A320 and A321 for Lufthansa will be fitted as standard with the vortex generators in future.

Top Copyright Photo: Lufthansa.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Have you seen the “new look” AirlinersGallery.com photo library website?

Bottom Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-114 D-AILF (msn 636) (Star Alliance) arrives in Zurich.

Lufthansa’ CEO states it may consider a possible SAS purchase

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS (Stockholm) may have a new owner. Lufthansa‘s (Frankfurt) CEO Christoph Franz stated yesterday that his Lufthansa Group “could consider” a bid for the ailing carrier.

Read the full report from France 24: CLICK HERE

Lufthansa is also carefully evaluating its relationships with the very successful and aggressive Gulf carriers. So far, the Lufthansa Group has decided to serve those markets on its own but it will not rule out a possible future alliance with the Gulf carriers like Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways.

Read the full story from Reuters: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. SAS is one of the limited number of Boeing 737-600 operators. Boeing 737-683 LN-RPS (msn 28298) departs from the runway at Amsterdam International Airport Schiphol.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa orders 34 Boeing 777-9Xs and 25 Airbus A350-900s

Lufthansa logo-1

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) as expected, placed orders for 34 Boeing 777-9Xs and 25 Airbus A350-900s. The group issued issued this statement:

Lufthansa 777-900 (88)(Flt)(Boeing)(LR)

Following a recommendation by the Deutsche Lufthansa AG Executive Board headed by Dr Christoph Franz, the Supervisory Board approved the purchase of 59 ultra-modern aircraft for the Group at its meeting. 34 Boeing 777-9Xs (above) and 25 Airbus A350-900s (below) will be added to the Lufthansa Group’s wide-body fleet. The first of these new aircraft will be delivered as early as 2016. Older Boeing 747-400s and Airbus A340-300s will be phased out by 2025. The new airplanes will primarily serve to replace existing aircraft at Lufthansa.

Lufthansa A350-900 (88)(Flt)(Airbus)(LR)

The investment amount for the Lufthansa Group’s latest order totals EUR 14 billion at list prices and is the largest single private-sector investment in the history of German industry. “This investment will safeguard about 13,000 jobs at Lufthansa alone as well as thousands of jobs at our partners in aviation and other suppliers”, said Christoph Franz, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of the Lufthansa Group, explaining the macroeconomic significance of the investment at a press conference in Frankfurt.

This investment in new technology, efficiency and customer comfort is a continuation of the ongoing fleet modernization that is taking place at the Group’s airlines. Lufthansa operates a wide-body fleet of around 107 aircraft, among them ten ultra-modern Airbus A380s and nine Boeing 747-8s as well as the Airbus A330-300 (18 aircraft). The fleet also includes Airbus A340s (48) and Boeing 747-400s (22). In addition to these, the Group subsidiary Swiss has 31 wide-body airplanes, while Austrian Airlines’ wide-body fleet consists of 12 aircraft.

The aim is to reduce the number of different models and fleet complexity in the Passenger Airline Group segment and also replace existing aircraft with state-of-the-art airplanes. In March, the Group approved the purchase of around 100 short and medium-haul aircraft. This order included six new Boeing 777-300 ERs for Swiss, which are also intended to replace older Airbus A340-300s at the airline.

The new aircraft will be operated by ultra-modern, powerful, low-noise engines – the Airbus A350 by the Rolls-Royce ‘Trent XWB 84′ engine and the Boeing 777-9X by General Electric’s ‘GE-9X’ model. The noise footprint of the new models will be at least 30 per cent lower than today’s aircraft.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa is close to announcing a new order with both Airbus and Boeing

Lufthansa logo-1

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) according to this report by Reuters, is close to announcing a new order for the proposed 406-seat Boeing 777-9X, which Boeing intends to formally launch this year. Lufthansa would be a launch customer like it was with the Boeing 747-800 Intercontinental.

The 777-9X will have new engines and wings and is expected to start flying passengers around the end of this decade.

Lufthansa, which is already a large Airbus operator, is also expected to order between 20 and 25 of the new 314-seat Airbus A350-900. The A350 will enter service in the second half of 2014.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa’s transfer of Austrian Airlines employees to cheaper Tyrolean Airways deemed illegal by a Vienna court

Lufthansa Group (Frankfurt) in 2012 orchestrated the transfer of around 2,000 staff members of its Austrian Airlines (Vienna) subsidiary to the cheaper Tyrolean Airways (Innsbruck) subsidiary to reduce overall costs. A Vienna court ruled yesterday (September 2) that the move was illegal and the employees were still employed by Austrian Airlines.

Austrian Airlines stated it would appeal the verdict of the Vienna Labor and Social Affairs Court. The transfer was the heart of the loss-making airline’s restructuring plan and its attempt to return to profitability along with the Lufthansa Group.

Currently Tyrolean Airways is operating all Austrian Airlines-branded aircraft (except one Boeing 777) as Austrian Airlines flights. The one Triple Seven is keeping the Austrian Airlines AOC alive.

Read the full report from Euronews: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Austrian Airlines-branded Boeing 777-2Z9 ER OE-LPA (msn 28698) pictured departing from Tokyo (Narita) is actually being operated Tyrolean Airways-employed crews on the Tyrolean AOC until the Vienna court deemed the crews to be considered Austrian Airlines employees again! What will now happen to the Tyrolean crews who were operating alongside Austrian crews?

Austrian Airlines: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa to deploy the Boeing 747-800 on the Frankfurt-Mexico City on September 2

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) will introduce the relatively new Boeing 747-800 on the Frankfurt-Mexico City route on September 2, 2013 according to Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-830 D-ABYA (msn 37827) climbs away from the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa Group’s 2Q net profit falls 42% to $337 million

Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa) (Frankfurt) reported its second quarter net profit dropped over 42 percent to $337 million due restructuring costs due to cost-cutting measures. The group  believes it is on track and will raise profitability for the rest of 2013.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Lufthansa’s Airbus A320-214 D-AIZQ (msn 5497) with Sharklets departs from the Frankfurt hub.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Boeing celebrates the delivery of the 50th 747-800 Intercontinental

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Boeing (Chicago) yesterday (May 29) celebrated the 50th delivery of a 747-800. Lufthansa (Frankfurt), the launch customer of the passenger version, took delivery of the milestone aircraft almost one year after the first revenue flight of the 747-800 Intercontinental. It is the airline’s seventh 747-8 and its 82nd 747.

Boeing delivered the first 747-800 Intercontinental to Lufthansa in April 2012. The airplane entered service on June 1, 2012 with a flight from Frankfurt, Germany to Washington (Dulles), D.C. Cargolux Airlines took delivery of the first 747-800 Freighter in October 2011. To date, 35 Freighters and 15 Intercontinentals, including eight of the Boeing Business Jet version, have been delivered.

Top Copyright Photo: Boeing. Pictured at a soggy Paine Field, Boeing 747-830 D-ABYI (msn 37833) was handed over to the carrier on May 29.

Bottom Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. Another view of D-ABYI arriving at Paine Field on May 18.

Lufthansa 747-800 D-ABYI (88)(Apr) PAE (JGW)(LRW)

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

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