Category Archives: Eurowings

Eurowings repatriation flights: Behind the scenes

Eurowings issued this report:

Because of the current corona crisis, many holidaymakers are stranded abroad. Since March 14, 2020, Lufthansa Group airlines have flown more than 58,000 holiday makers back to their home countries of Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Belgium on some 300 special flights from around 65 airports on all five continents. Around 45 further flights are already in preparation. With over 100 flights, Eurowings alone has brought home around 20,000 passengers from holiday regions such as Palma de Mallorca, Morocco and Tenerife. Further Eurowings repatriation flights are already being planned for the coming days.

These rescue flights can be booked independently by individual travelers via the Eurowings website. Another part of the flights is carried out as charter flights. In this case, tourism companies or the German Foreign Office, when holidaymakers officially register there, commission the flights. Rescue flights can be well represented by Eurowings. In times of crisis, however, when a large number of such flights have to be organized, they represent a significantly higher effort that can only be mastered by cross-functional teams.

Depending on where, when and how many passengers need to be picked up, coordination within Eurowings is just as important as close cooperation with various ministries and governments. Special conditions or special permissions are often required for the execution of flights:

“For example, it may be that a flight connection can only be scheduled to take passengers from abroad back to Germany. The outbound flight from Germany must remain empty in several cases. If so, it is a ferry flight,” explains René Rybka, Head of Network at Eurowings. “Traffic rights sometimes even have to be negotiated at the highest levels of government.”

In various departments of Eurowings, colleagues work closely together under unfamiliar conditions to be able to carry out these repatriation flights. At Eurowings, colleagues from Network Planning, Sales, Revenue Management, Operations Control Center, Crew Control, Passenger Control Center, Flight Operations (cockpit and cabin), Ground Operations and Operations Support work together, sometimes around the clock, to plan, control and execute the rescue flights accordingly – and to be able to implement even challenging flights promptly thanks to the close cooperation.

Thomas Kleckler, who in his role as Deputy Head of the Operation Control Center at Eurowings is responsible for planning and controlling the rescue flights, praises the close, cross-departmental cooperation:

“I would like to express my sincere thanks to you all!  Thank you very much for proving once again that Eurowings can rely on your professionalism, flexibility and resilience in crises! Nobody knows how long this crisis will last and how long we will have to reduce our flight offerings in this way. I am sure: We are well prepared!”

As soon as such a rescue flight is requested by a tour operator, a cruise line or the Foreign Office, it must first be examined whether the flight can take place in principle. This decision depends largely on the conditions at the requested destinations, such as traffic rights and slots, entry and exit conditions, fuel availability or catering for passengers and crew. Depending on the number of passengers who want to fly back to Germany, the number of flight attendants whose deployment is handled by crew planning varies. The flight duty times of the crews must also be taken into account in the planning, as well as the legally prescribed rest periods at the destination. Flights are only carried out after consultation with the Security department of Eurowings.

Olessia Engelhardt, Senior Manager Network Development & Airport Relations at Eurowings, takes a look behind the scenes of her area of responsibility with regard to the rescue flights:

“Yesterday at 2.10 pm we received a call from the German Foreign Office asking if we could organize a flight from Agadir to Germany. Only two minutes later this request was passed on to the IOCC, which returned to the Foreign Office at 2.24 pm with a positive response including flight data – less than 15 minutes after the request was received! Shortly before 3 pm we received the confirmation of the flight order via the German Foreign Office and directly arranged for the crew and station colleagues in Agadir to be activated. The flight was immediately scheduled in the system and already at 15.32 pm the traffic rights were confirmed. Through this unprecedented collaboration, a flight was put in place in less than an hour and a half and we were able to allow 180 passengers to get home in time before Morocco closes its borders. The plane set off from Cologne/Bonn at 6.00 pm for Agadir, picked up the returnees on the spot, and landed safely again in Cologne/Bonn at 03.15 am.”

In times of the coronavirus crisis, it goes without saying that the protection of the crew against infection, who demonstrate their extraordinary commitment to our guests day after day in these difficult times, is a priority and Eurowings implements a wide range of measures to protect the safety of crews and passengers. For example, the middle seat on flights from Germany is left free where possible to increase the physical distance on board. In addition, all Eurowings flights at domestic airports will only be positioned at building positions wherever this is possible due to the existing airport infrastructure and official regulations. This is intended to avoid bus trips by passengers. Where this is not possible at short notice, twice as many buses as usual have already been used for a few days. Eurowings had already taken numerous measures to increase the distance between passengers along the entire travel chain, for example at check-in or when boarding and disembarking. The service on board has also been adapted to take account of the “physical distance”. All aircraft are equipped with disinfectants and gloves for the crews.

Eurowings aircraft photo gallery:

Eurowings reduces its schedule to about 10% of previous schedule

Eurowings has made this announcement:

Due to the ever-increasing spread of the coronavirus and the resulting drop in bookings as well as numerous entry restrictions, Eurowings recently had to drastically adjust its flight schedule. The flight program on offer has been temporarily reduced to around ten percent of the previous capacity. The flight cancellations will be gradually implemented in the booking systems and passengers will be informed about changes and rebooking possibilities.

A focus of the reduced flight schedule will continue to be the repatriation flights from the most important holiday regions, enabling Eurowings European citizens to return safely to their home countries. In recent weeks Eurowings has already flown home about 20,000 passengers on more than 100 flights.

In detail the reduced program looks like this:

Eurowings flights from Düsseldorf

From Düsseldorf, Eurowings operates up to nine flights a week to Hamburg and Berlin, up to six flights a week to Vienna, Zurich and London and up to two flights a week to Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona, Rome, Milan, Lisbon, and Thessaloniki.

Eurowings flights from Hamburg

From Hamburg, Eurowings operates up to nine flights a week to Stuttgart and Düsseldorf and up to six flights a week to Cologne/Bonn.

Eurowings flights from Cologne/Bonn

From Cologne/Bonn, Eurowings offers up to six weekly flights each to Hamburg and Munich as well as up to nine weekly connections to Berlin.

Eurowings flights from Stuttgart

From Stuttgart, Eurowings currently flies its passengers up to nine times a week to Hamburg and Berlin and up to twice a week to Zagreb.

During the Easter holidays there may be deviations from the basic flight program.

In other news, Eurowings and Lufthansa are introducing further measures to ensure physical distance between passengers during their journey.

From March 27, 2020, neighboring seats on board in Economy Class and Premium Economy will be blocked and remain free on all flights from Germany. This also applies to flights within Germany.

This regulation does not apply on flights to Germany, because the airlines top priority remains returning as many people as possible to their home country.

In addition, from now on all Eurowings and Lufthansa flights at domestic airports will only be handled at building positions wherever possible given the existing airport infrastructure and official regulations. This measure intends to help pas-sengers avoid having to take bus trips. Where this is not possible at short notice, twice as many buses will be operating, which has also been the case for the last few days.

Both measures will apply until April 19, 2020.

Eurowings and Lufthansa have already taken numerous measures to increase the distance between passengers along the entire travel chain, for example at check-in counters or when boarding and disembarking from the aircraft. The service on board has also been adapted regarding the current physical distancing measures.

Germanwings and Eurowings Europe take a temporary break

Due to all the entry bans and curfews, the two airlines Germanwings and Eurowings Europe, which fly on behalf of Eurowings, will temporarily leave their aircraft on the ground and take a break. The flight schedule of Eurowings Germany will also be significantly reduced – with exception of the return flights and the aforementioned fuselage program at major German stations. These measures are designed to reduce the financial consequences of the slump in demand. They complement the already planned savings in personnel, material costs and project budgets as well as other liquidity measures. Eurowings is currently engaged in constructive discussions with its operating partners and trade unions on short-time working.

Eurowings aircraft photo gallery:

Lufthansa and Eurowings introduce further physical distancing measures

Lufthansa has made this announcement:

  • Neighbouring seat blocked on all flights from Germany 
  • Arrivals and departures only at gate positions in Germany where possible 
  • New measures coordinated between German Federal Minister of Transport Andreas Scheuer and Carsten Spohr, CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG

Lufthansa and Eurowings are introducing further measures to ensure physical distance between passengers during their journey. From tomorrow, March 27, 2020, neighboring seats on board in Economy Class and Premium Economy will be blocked and remain free on all flights from Germany. This also applies to flights within Germany.

This regulation does not apply on flights to Germany, because the airlines top priority remains returning as many people as possible to their home country.

In addition, from now on all Lufthansa and Eurowings flights at domestic airports will only be handled at building positions wherever possible given the existing airport infrastructure and official regulations. This measure intends to help pas-sengers avoid having to take bus trips. Where this is not possible at short notice, twice as many buses will be operating, which has also been the case for the last few days.

Both measures will apply until April 19, 2020.

Lufthansa and Eurowings have already taken numerous measures to increase the distance between passengers along the entire travel chain, for example at check-in counters or when boarding and disembarking from the aircraft. The service on board has also been adapted regarding the current physical distancing measures.

Eurowings aircraft photo gallery:

Eurowings makes BASIC fare even more attractive

Eurowings has made this announcement:

For most of our BASIC customers, a reasonable price is the most important criterion when booking a flight. For this reason, Eurowings is offering a revised BASIC fare for short- and medium-haul flights for price-sensitive customers from March 2020, in which individual service components will be redesigned. This will make the BASIC “entry-level” fare even more competitive in terms of price. As a particularly favorable fare, it will stand out more strongly than before from the SMART fare. As an introduction from March 3 to March 15, Eurowings is launching a price campaign, during which BASIC fare flights will be offered 20 percent cheaper.

In the new BASIC fare, customers can take a large piece of luggage (55x40x23 cm) on board as before. The second piece of luggage is no longer automatically included in the new BASIC fare. Existing bookings are not affected by the new hand baggage policy. BASIC customers will be able to flexibly add the second piece of luggage online if required. Another new feature is that BASIC customers will also be able to flexibly book priority boarding in future. Regular surveys show that this service is highly appreciated by customers.

With the new BASIC fare, customers will only pay for those service components that they explicitly request and can thus fly at highly attractive conditions. Each additional service can be booked flexibly. What’s more: our statistics show hand baggage is one of the main drivers of delays, such as when individual pieces of hand baggage have to be loaded after boarding. The newly designed BASIC fare with reduced hand baggage makes a decisive contribution to further minimizing these delay drivers – and all Eurowings customers benefit from this. Thanks to optimized hand baggage processes, among other things, Eurowings was among the ten most punctual airlines in Europe in 2019. Passengers greatly appreciate this, which is reflected in current customer satisfaction figures at record levels at Eurowings.

Eurowings will also optimize its check-in processes at airports in the future: from March 2020 Eurowings will ask its BASIC customers to check in for their flights exclusively online. This will lead to significantly reduced queues at the airports, which in turn will save our customers valuable time. BASIC passengers who would like to continue checking-in at the airport can of course book this option flexibly in advance as an additional service. With online check-in and the associated storage of contact data, Eurowings can, for example, inform and support its customers quickly, clearly and comprehensively by SMS and e-mail in the event of flight irregularities. Eurowings customers who have booked the SMART or BIZclass fare can still check-in at the airport free of charge. The hand baggage rules also remain unchanged for them.

The BASIC fare is the “entry” fare at Eurowings. In addition to the BASIC fare, customers can also choose between the SMART and the BIZclass fare. These fares are specifically tailored to personal customer needs and offer the greatest possible flexibility: the SMART fare already offers numerous included services – such as a desired seat, priority boarding and two pieces of hand luggage on board. In addition, further additional services, such as the Flex option (rebooking until the web check-in is closed) can be added.

In other news, Eurowings has started punctually into the year 2020. With an on-time performance of 93 percent in January 2020, Eurowings was the most punctual airline in a comparison of European competitors, with a clear lead over competitors of comparable size such as Ryanair, Easyjet and Wizz Air. This is confirmed by data from the independent British data provider Official Airline Guide (OAG).

Especially at its home airports Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Cologne and Stuttgart, Eurowings was significantly more reliable than its competitors. The second largest German airline would have been even more punctual if there had been no limitations due to weather and air traffic control problems. However, thanks to changes in processes of Eurowings’ “Scope” optimization program, Eurowings was able to significantly soften the impact of external factors and thus avoid consequential delays for its passengers.

The airline thereby confirms a trend that has been continuing for months and has now put Eurowings at the top of the European competition. The very good performance is attributable to numerous measures with which Eurowings has been ensuring the best possible punctuality and stability in flight operations since the end of 2018. Passengers greatly appreciate this, which is reflected in record levels of customer satisfaction at Eurowings.

Eurowings aircraft photo gallery:

German cabin crew union (UFO) to strike Germanwings

Germanwings’ cabin crew union (UFO) will strike the carrier from Monday to Wednesday next week.

Germanwings operates its aircraft for Eurowings.

Eurowings issued this statement:

The UFO organization has called the cabin crew of Germanwings flight operations to a three-day strike from December 30, 2019, 00:00 hours, to Wednesday, January 1, 2020, 24:00 hours. This strike is unfounded and incomprehensible to us.

Eurowings wants to minimize the impact of the strike on its passengers and is preparing a special flight schedule for the strike period, which will be published on Saturday afternoon. It should be noted that only 30 of the approximately 140 Eurowings aircrafts are operated by Germanwings.

Germanwings aircraft photo gallery:

Eurowings wins HLX Touristik as new partner for Eurowings Holidays

Eurowings has made this announcement:

With HLX Touristik GmbH, Eurowings has gained a new partner for its tour operator brand ‘Eurowings Holidays’, founded in 2017: With immediate effect, Eurowings cooperates with HLX, a travel provider specializing in the packaging of flight and hotel offers with guaranteed best prices. Eurowings customers can book high-quality low-cost package tours via the ‘Eurowings Holidays’ portal at holidays.eurowings.com. HLX is one of the leading providers in this segment and has been successfully operating holiday portals for Lufthansa and Swiss for several years.

Eurowings Digital Managing Director Oliver Schmitt comments: “As Germany’s largest holiday airline, we are significantly expanding the range of ‘Eurowings Holidays’ together with HLX. With Eurowings you can not only fly cheaply, but also book complete trips with many additional services, such as rental cars, insurance and local activities – with just a few clicks, simply and conveniently from one source.

Eurowings (Europe) Airbus A320-214 WL OE-IQD (msn 7056) (Eurowings Holidays) AYT (Ton Jochems). Image: 943735.

Above Copyright Photo: Eurowings (Europe) Airbus A320-214 WL OE-IQD (msn 7056) (Eurowings Holidays) AYT (Ton Jochems). Image: 943735.

The change to HLX is associated with a significant expansion of the range of low-cost package tours and additional services. Thus, the hotel offer which is availabe on the reservation portal holidays.eurowings.com grows on over 45.000 hotels. New are also the “Nobag” tariffs which are very popular particularly in combination with city trips.

Karl Heinz Kögel, Managing Director of HLX Touristik: “We look forward much to the partnership with Eurowings. Together we offer customers professionally organized, high-quality package tours with individual design options and a best-price guarantee. Many of these are exclusive to ‘Eurowings Holidays’.”

The ‘Eurowings Holidays’ portfolio includes short and city trips to vibrant metropolises as well as long-haul trips to the world’s most beautiful holiday destinations. In addition to an expanded hotel portfolio, customers will also benefit in future from top offers with best price guarantees and a fresh brand presence with an optimized user experience. They also have the option of booking individual trips with or without free baggage allowance.

Members of the Eurowings Boomerang Club receive one flight mile for every euro they spend. When booking a package tour with a Eurowings flight, Boomerang Club members additionally receive 250 (domestic German), 500 (continental) and 750 miles (intercontinental) per route, depending on the destination. At the start of the cooperation, there will be a special campaign: when booking between 6 and 16 January 2020, customers will receive an immediate discount of up to 220 euros on the travel price.

Eurowings aircraft photo gallery:

Lufthansa Group confirms its long-haul destinations from Düsseldorf for the summer 2020 schedule

Lufthansa Group made this announcement:

  • North America focus with destinations New York, Miami and Fort Myers 
  • From May 2020 daily service to New York-Newark (EWR)
  • Three times a week to Punta Cana (Dominican Republic)
  • Flights now bookable with Lufthansa and Eurowings

The Lufthansa Group will continue to offer attractive long-haul destinations from Düsseldorf in the summer of 2020. The two New York airports Newark (EWR) and John-F.-Kennedy (JFK) as well as Fort Myers (RSW) and Miami (MIA) in Florida offer travellers a strong North American program. In addition, Lufthansa Group continues to connect Düsseldorf with the Caribbean destination of Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. The flights from the largest airport in North Rhine-Westphalia can now be booked via lufthansa.com and eurowings.com.

The flights are operated in cooperation with Eurowings, which uses a fleet of Airbus A330 aircraft with 283 seats. A business class product is also on board on all intercontinental routes from the NRW state capital: Passengers benefit, among other things, from a comfort seat which, at the push of a button, automatically transforms into a two-metre-long bed with a horizontal lying surface (“full flat”). Premium Economy and Economy Class are also available for bookings. The intercontinental destinations from Düsseldorf complement the growing range of flights to attractive long-haul tourist destinations with which Lufthansa, together with Eurowings, is also present at the hubs of Frankfurt and Munich. All North American flights from Düsseldorf will be offered with a Lufthansa codeshare.

Destinations from Düsseldorf in detail

From NRW’s largest airport, Lufthansa flies six times a week to New York/Newark (EWR) – from 4 May 2020 to 23 October 2020 even daily. The flight starts at 11.35 a.m. in Düsseldorf and arrives at its destination at 1.55 p.m. local time. The return flight takes off from Newark at 4.35 p.m. and arrives in Düsseldorf at 6.05 a.m. the next day.

In the summer flight schedule 2020 Lufthansa will serve New York Airport John F. Kennedy (JFK) three times a week from 27 April – on Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays. In the period between 1 June and 13 September, Lufthansa will increase the frequency to six departures per week – then a connection to JFK will be offered every day except Tuesdays. Departure from Düsseldorf is at 1.10 p.m., landing at 3.30 p.m. local time in JFK. Return is at 5.15 p.m. local time, arrival in Düsseldorf takes place at 07.00 a.m. the next day.

Lufthansa flies to Miami (MIA) three times a week – Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. In the period from 3 June to 5 September, another flight on Sunday will supplement the service to Miami. Departure from Düsseldorf is at 12.25 p.m., landing in Miami at 4.40 p.m. local time. Return is at 6.25 p.m. local time, arrival in Düsseldorf is at 9.30 a.m. the next day.

Lufthansa will serve Fort Myers (RSW) three times a week in the 2020 summer timetable – Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Departures from Düsseldorf on Tuesdays and Thursdays are at 12.10 p.m. and landings at 4.30 p.m. The return flight takes off from Fort Myers at 6.15 p.m. and arrives in Düsseldorf at 9.25 a.m. the next day. On Saturdays the plane takes off at 1.15 p.m. and lands in Florida at 5.35 p.m. Return is at 7.20 p.m. – arrival in Düsseldorf is then at 10.30 a.m.

Lufthansa connects the Caribbean destination of Punta Cana (PUJ) three times a week – Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Departure from Düsseldorf on Wednesdays and Sundays is at 1.20 p.m., landing is at 5.25 p.m. local time in Punta Cana. Return is at 6.55 p.m. local time, arrival in Düsseldorf takes place at 10.15 a.m. the next day. On Fridays the plane takes off at 1.50 p.m. and lands at 5.55 p.m.in Punta Cana. It returns at 7.25 p.m. – arrival in Düsseldorf is then at 10.45 a.m.

Eurowings aircraft photo gallery: