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.