Tag Archives: Europe

Lufthansa introduces its new fare concept for Europe

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) today issued its anticipated announcement on its on-going refinement of its travel options in Europe:

Lufthansa logo-2

Effective July 28, 2015, Lufthansa is introducing a new price concept for flights in Europe. The new Economy Class fare options “Light”, “Classic” and “Flex” shall apply from October 1, 2015, for domestic and European flights and will offer different services depending on the price. For example, within Economy Class, passengers can select services according to their individual wishes. The booked fare can be complemented with additional services by individually adding further options.

Jens Bischof, Member of the Lufthansa German Airlines Board and Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, said: “It is the wish of many customers to only pay for the services they actually make use of. With this new fare concept, we are doing just that. In the future, given this flexibility, every passenger will be able to individually create a tailor-made flight with the various service components that we are offering. The price options, Light, Classic and Flex, are more transparent and allow customers in Economy Class a selection of fare options within Europe.”

The new fare concept is being introduced during the course of the Lufthansa sales strategy realignment. The various fare options differentiate themselves in the areas of free luggage, seat reservations, as well as rebooking and cancellations options. The choice will now consist of a fully flexible Business Class fare and three new Economy Class fares.

In addition to the actual flight itself, all of the fare options include one piece of hand luggage, snacks and drinks on board, a reserved seat at check-in from 23 hours before take-off, as well as Award, Status and Select Miles. The fare options and services included are presented transparently. For bookings in Economy Class, all three fare options are always available. Thus, different option packages can be combined on an outward and return flight. Additional services, such as seats with more legroom or an upgrade to Business Class, can be booked separately at any time, even after ticket purchase.

The new Europe fares of Lufthansa at a glance (click to expand):

Lufthansa European Pricing Options

The new fares at a glance (click to expand):

Lufthansa new fares at a glance

Economy Light

The new Light fare will, from 1 October, be the most economical option for those traveling only with hand luggage and not in need of any ticket flexibility. Jens Bischof said: “To date, about a third of our passengers travelling within Europe only take hand luggage”. The Light fare can be booked from only 89 Euro for a return flight. No rebooking or refund is possible with this option. If desired, customers can additionally book a piece of luggage (from 15 Euro for the outbound and return flight respectively) or book a seat (from 10 Euro per flight) at any time between booking and start of the journey.

Economy Classic

The Classic fare includes the opportunity to check-in a piece of luggage of up to 23 kg. This option also offers a new, additional opportunity for many passengers to secure their desired seat, free-of-charge, at booking. Finally, the Classic fare is more flexible than the Light fare because it can be rebooked to another flight on the original connection for a fee. The Classic fare can be booked from 129 Euro for a return flight.

Economy Flex

The Flex fare is focused principally on passengers that require more flexibility in their travel planning. In addition to the free seat reservation, the Flex fare offers the opportunity to rebook the flight at no extra cost or change the itinerary. If the originally planned booking class is no longer available, it is possible that an extra payment is necessary. In this fare option, frequent fliers will get an additional 50 per cent of Premium Miles credited in the framework of a Miles & More promotion. The extra cost of the Flex fare as compared to the Classic fare is between 60 and 160 Euro, depending on route.

Business Class

Besides the three Economy fares, there continues to be a Business Class fare which includes all the usual services and conveniences of this travel class, such as access to the lounge, increased luggage allowance of 2 x 32 kg, seat reservation and an open seat next to it, and priority boarding. The novelty is the full flexibility in rebooking and cancellation. Thus, in the new price concept, all Business Class fares will be re-bookable without a fee and refundable free-of-charge. If the originally planned booking class is no longer available, an extra charge may be necessary under certain circumstances. The Business Class fare is the premium offer and especially suitable for business customers and discerning leisure travelers. The Business Class fare is available from only 399 Euro for a return flight.

Austrian (2015) logo

Lufthansa is introducing the new fare concept together with Austrian Airlines.

Swiss new logo

Swiss has already used the new concept since the end of June.

Brussels Airlines logo

Brussels Airlines introduced a fare concept with various options in 2014. The fare concept for long-haul flight tickets remains unchanged.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Lufthansa’s Airbus A320-214 D-AIZX (msn 5741) departs from Toulouse.

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LOT Polish Airlines wants to double in size in the next 5 years

LOT Polish Airways (Warsaw) has big plans. The carrier wants to double in size in the next five years.

The airline last week announced it would add long-haul routes to Bangkok, Seoul and Tokyo. LOT will also launch more than a dozen European connections, thus expanding its hub and providing convenient transfer flights to passengers from such cities as Ljubljana, Zurich, Cluj-Napoca and Nice.

The first long-haul route to be launched will be Tokyo – it will also be the first direct connection from Poland and New Europe to Japan. The first flight is scheduled for  January 13, 2016 as previously report. The next connections – to Bangkok and Seoul – will start in autumn 2016.

The carrier is also starting routes between January and March 2016. LOT Polish will operate the Warsaw – Dusseldorf route starting on January 1, 2016 with two daily Embraer 175 flights.

Warsaw – Zurich will be started on January 1, 2016 with two daily Embraer 170 flights.

The following day the Warsaw – Barcelona route will commence with four weekly Embraer 195 flights.

Additionally the carrier will restart Warsaw – Cluj (January 2, 2016), Warsaw – Venice (January 23, 2016), Warsaw – Athens (March 2, 2016), Warsaw – Ljubljana (March 2, 2016), Warsaw – Beirut (March 30, 2016) and Warsaw – Nice (March 30, 2016).

The airline outlined its plans as it hosted the Star Alliance meeting:

In next five years LOT plans to be twice as big an airline as it is now. Wants to carry 10 million passengers a year, which is more than twice as much as now. LOT plans to have also almost twice as big a fleet as currently and 60% more operations. The company has presented its strategic objectives and development plans for 2016-2020. It has announced opening five new long-haul connections next year. Three new connections to Asia – Tokyo, Seoul and Bangkok and more than dozen European connections have just been announced. Other new routes will be known this autumn. This is the first such dynamic growth in the company’s history. LOT intends to compete for leadership in the region, becoming the largest network carrier in New Europe.

LOT wants to connect New Europe with the world and become the most international Polish brand. Instead of defending the position of an ethnic carrier in its market, LOT wants to start competing actively for market share in Europe.

We have all the assets to become a regional leader. We already have a strong position in relation to other network carriers in New Europe and access to the largest regional market, which will grow intensively. Our Warsaw hub is perfectly located, efficient and is the largest one in this part of Europe. We are successfully ending our restructuring process, historically we are already the main airline flying from this region to North America, and the 86-year history translates into a relatively high brand recognition. These are just a few arguments that back our position” – says Sebastian Mikosz, CEO of LOT Polish Airlines. Development is the company’s goal and task is to take advantage of the market potential and the projected growth. “This is a perfect moment for us. The population of the New Europe region is more than 175 million people. Its economic growth rate is more than four times higher than in the Euro zone countries. The number of passengers per one inhabitant is growing much faster than in countries of Old Europe, and at the time it is still five times lower than in the EUexplains Sebastian Mikosz.

LOT’s strategic objectives are based on five key elements. The first one are long-haul flights, which the company intends to develop consistently. Even now routes operated by the Dreamliner are the most profitable part of the business, and LOT is the only airline that flies, on a larger scale, convenient, on regular connections from New Europe to the USA, Canada, and China. “This will be a driving force of our growth, which will entail the rest of the network. In the long-haul flights area we have the lowest competition in the region. We have one of the youngest fleets in Europe and we are the only airline to operate all its long-haul connections with the most advanced aircraft in the world, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Not only Polish passengers appreciate this fact” – assures Sebastian Mikosz.

The second element is the Warsaw hub. LOT will be a hub & spoke carrier, consistently developing its offer of quick and convenient connections via Warsaw. “We have already increased our transfer capabilities by 40%. Together with the Chopin Airport we have a potential to consolidate fragmented markets of New Europe and to provide it with a leading transfer hub for intercontinental connection” – assumes LOT’s CEO. Convenient geographical location is not the main advantage. The most important argument for passengers is the minimum connecting time – 35-45 minutes, which is one of the shortest in Europe. It is supported by modern, spacious terminal, proximity to major Warsaw business and office centres and to the city centre. All of this comes with the airport’s potential of servicing more than 20 million passengers per year (currently 10 million).

The third element is growth. In 2020 LOT wants to carry more than 10 million passengers a year, that is more than twice as many as today, to perform more than one hundred thousand operations per year (currently over 68,000) and to fly to around 75-80 destinations (currently 49). It intends to regain the lost market share in Poland approximately to the level of 30% and get close to 10% market share in New Europe. This should result in an increase in revenues to about PLN 9 billion (currently less than PLN 3.5 billion) with constantly improving margins, which already puts LOT above average among European network carriers.

“We need to focus on building the effect of scale. Insufficient scale of operations is currently LOT’s biggest problem. There is absolutely no reason why in five years’ time we should not become an airline of a size comparable to Austrian Airlines, Finnair, TAP or Air Lingus. We operate in a fast growing market and, without development, our market share will be rapidly declining. Without expanding the network we will be very susceptible to pressure from the competitionexplains LOT’s CEO. Apart from competition it is a question of company’s performance and its role in the industry. “Only with real potential to consolidate the regional market LOT may become an attractive partner for wider cooperation within alliances or joint ventures. Development is also crucial in the context of potential privatization, for which LOT is getting readysays Sebastian Mikosz.

The value chain is the fourth extremely important element. “In our industry customer satisfaction consists of many elements, which are being performed by our partners or sub-contractors and not the airline alone. The airport and relevant services are responsible for airport procedures, and the handling agent (also a separate entity) is responsible for check-in, collection of luggage and its transport to the aircraft and then to the conveyor belt. We want to cooperate and monitor the entire chain more closely. We expect that our suppliers will develop together with us and also raise the level of quality of their services. Only by doing so we can ensure LOT’s development in passenger services” – explains Ewa Kołowiecka, Chief Operations Officer.

The fifth key element is a committed team. “LOT also means a lot of people for whom this is not just a job but primarily a passion. But we have to continue changing as an organization – this process is already under way but we need a substantial transformation of our corporate culture. We are determined to build a coherent system of staff development to ensure that LOT will become a modern and dynamically growing airline” – adds Monika Kiełtyka-Michna, Member of the Management Board responsible for Corporate Matters.

Presenting its main strategic objectives, LOT also presented the network development plans. Carrier announced  opening five new long-haul connections in 2016. Three of them – Tokyo, Bangkok and Seoul have just been announced. Others will be announced this autumn. After opening five new destinations LOT will more than double its network of long-haul connections compared to the present one as soon as next year. As regards new European connections, three new short-haul routes have already appeared in the booking systems: Venice, Cluj-Napoca and Ljubljana. LOT is also coming back to some routes, which it had to suspend as part of the final pool of compensatory measures required by the European Commission in return for the state aid. These are Athens, Barcelona, Nice, Zurich and Beirut. Starting from January 2016 flights to Belgrade, Düsseldorf, Yerevan, Chisinau, Zagreb and Gdansk – Cracow, which were suspended since July of this year as part of the final pool of compensatory measures required by the European Commission, will be restored as well.

LOT emphasizes that it is able to implement the first phase of the development of the connections network entirely by using its present fleet. New fleet will be needed in subsequent phases. We want to have at least 70-80 new aircrafts by 2020. “Of course, further intensive development will require more resources. For this purpose the company must acquire an investor. This is the best time to do it. The financial situation is stable. LOT is on the final stretch to a successful closure of the restructuring process. For the first time in seven years, LOT ended the preceding year with a profit on core business, that is flying, amounting to more than 99 million zloty” – emphasizes Maciej Dziudzik, Member of the Management Board responsible for Financial Matters.

Thanks to an attractive schedule and high customer service standards LOT wants to make travel for a wide range of customers, even those most demanding ones, as pleasant as possible. With a rich range of classes, fares, products and additional services we want to enable passengers to freely compose their travel of the individually chosen elements. “On one hand, we are already constantly improving our complex offer for demanding business passengers, while, on the other hand, we are creating new travel opportunities for persons for whom low price is crucial. We are changing and improving our quality throughout the process of the so-called customer journey. We want to accompany our passengers and be the host of their journey right from the thought about it, then by seeking an attractive offer, sales and distribution, services before the flight, on-board product and services after the flight. We intend, for example, to further develop mobile applications and our own on-line sales channels to make it easier for customers to use our services, to introduce tools that allow for personalized offers and promotions, and to systematically monitor the level of customer satisfaction. At the turn of the year we plan to refresh the interior of Boeing 737 and to gradually introduce in all Boeing planes, including Dreamliners, elements of new design and new colour scheme for each class of travel. As a result, the aircraft interiors will look more modern and friendly. New colours and markings will significantly improve travel, helping passengers find their way at the airport, go through it and take a comfortable seat on the plane. We want to be a consciously chosen carrier of the region – summarizes Marcin Celejewski, Member of the Management Board responsible for Trade Issues.

Presenting its strategic objectives and development plans, LOT presented its re-defined mission: “We are proud to connect New Europe with the World. We take care of our passengers, being full of positive energy, mindful of Polish tradition and hospitality. Thanks to the passion and professionalism of the whole team we are developing, creating a profitable airline. Together we are building the most international Polish brand.”

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. The Embraer E-Jets will lead the expansion on the European routes. LOT Polish Airlines Embraer ERJ 190-200LR (ERJ 195) SP-LNA (msn 19000415)  departs from London (Heathrow).

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EasyJet adds routes from London Gatwick and Stansted, presents its “Vision for European Aviation”

EasyJet UK) (easyJet.com) (London-Luton) has announced two new routes from its London Gatwick and Stansted bases for the summer of 2015.

A new twice-weekly route between Stansted and Monastir, Tunisia will begin on June 2 on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

The new twice-weekly routes from London Gatwick are to Preveza, Greece, beginning on May 17, and Pula, Croatia, beginning on June 23.

Sophie Dekkers, easyJet’s UK director, told Telegraph Travel that the increased connections were because “Greece in particular continues to prove a popular destination” and that easyJet is to be the only airline offering direct scheduled flights from the UK to Preveza, a relatively unvisited area of northwestern Greece.

In other news, easyJet on February 26 launched its Vision for European Aviation calling on the EU, Governments and regulators to improve competitiveness in European aviation.

The airline continued;

easyJet (UK) 2015 logo

The European Commission is currently working on a new Aviation Package and easyJet believes that this is the time to address some long-standing issues such as the reform of airport charges and Single European Skies.

Passengers have hugely benefited from the liberalisation of the airline sector which led to increased competition. Airlines have reduced their fares by 1-2% per year on average over the last 20 years but these reductions have not been mirrored across other aviation sectors in Europe such as airports and air space management. ‎

There is no effective control of charges and services at many monopoly airports across Europe, with consumers paying more than they should. For those specific airports, easyJet believe that tougher regulation and a revised Airport Charges Directive is needed.‎

New research by Frontier Economics published today shows that tougher regulation of charges at 15 of Europe’s largest monopoly airports would save passengers €1.48 billion, increasing total one-way passenger trips by 12.2 million, which in turn would increase consumer and tourism spending, and boost trade. In total, the overall impact of better airports regulation would be an increase of GDP in the EEA area of €37bn (+0.23%) or around 470,000 jobs.

Just four key changes would provide these benefits:

• the move from dual till to single till regulation – when all revenues, both aeronautical and commercial, are taken into account when setting charges
• the reduction of airports’ return on capital by just 0.5%
• an increase in airports’ operating efficiency by 10% – reflecting the higher efficiency gains made by airlines, and
• the removal of the subsidy of transfer passengers – the charges for whom are often half that of origin and destination passengers.

easyJet CEO Carolyn McCall outlined easyJet’s views in meetings with new European Transport Commissioner, Violeta Bulc, a range of MEPs with an interest in transport and in a speech to the European Aviation Club.

In the speech Carolyn McCall called on Europe to put passengers at the heart of decision making;

“The EU plays a crucial role in supporting European aviation and easyJet is a shining example of that – without the liberalisation of European skies we would not exist in our current form.‎

“Europe is currently debating which policy framework to put in place, at a national and EU level, to promote the competitiveness of EU aviation.

“In order to get the best outcome for consumers, we believe that this framework should be based on fair competition, freedom of choice, and with passengers at the heart of policy making. We are calling on EU policy makers to revise the Airport Charges Directive and to rethink how we deliver Single European Skies.

“If we just tackled these two issues, they would improve the efficiency of our industry, drive down fares for consumers and create billions of Euros of GDP, equivalent to hundreds of thousands of jobs.”‎

EasyJet’s Vision for Europe‎

EasyJet’s Vision for Europe outlines the passenger journey, from booking, to the airport, to in-flight and arrival which explains at each step of the way our views on the right policy framework that can make travel easier and more affordable for all of our passengers. In addition to airport charges the document highlights four other key issues which if properly addressed would bring benefits to airlines and their passengers.

Single European Sky

EasyJet proposes a rethink based on three principles:

1) A pragmatic approach to address the deep rooted underlying concerns of key stakeholders. For example, there will be no compulsory redundancies amongst air traffic controllers. Airspace sovereignty is guaranteed and Member States can ensure they have control over their airspace
2) Governance is shared, so airspace users have an equal seat at the table.
3) SES should be on an opt-in basis, but with EU funding only available for those who opt in‎.

Social dimension‎

At easyJet we aim to be a good corporate citizen and to operate a model of responsible profitability – that means that we employ people on local contracts and in line with local conditions and legislation, according to where they are based. We also work with trade unions right across Europe.

The current framework enables easyJet to do the right thing but this should be enforced equally and fairly across countries.

Ground handling services

There is not enough competition on ground handling services which means passengers still pay too much and do not receive the right level of service.

Slot trading

It is critical that airlines are allowed to trade slots to ensure they are used as efficiently as possible.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-111 G-EZDK (msn 3555) arrives in Hamburg dressed in the “new look” 2015 livery.

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Great ATC videos from NATS: A typical air traffic day over the United Kingdom, Europe and the North Atlantic

From NATS:

Following the success of our two data visualisations – Europe 24 and North Atlantic Skies – we’ve taken a lot of time to think about where to go next – it’s been a typical case of ‘difficult second album syndrome’.

Other videos by UK 24: A day over the UK: This data visualisation shows the air traffic coming into, going out of and flying across the UK on a typical Summer day. It has been created using real data comprising 7,000 flights from a day in June as recorded by our radars and air traffic management systems.

Europe 24: This data visualization of Air Traffic in Europe was created from real flight data. It shows the air traffic which flies on a typical summer day and highlights the intensity of the operation in Europe – an operation which runs 24x7x365.

North Atlantic Skies:

Every day, between two and three thousand aircraft fly across the North Atlantic between Canada, the United States and Europe. Airspace across the North Atlantic is divided into six Oceanic Control Areas (or OCAs). These OCAs are controlled by Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) working at different locations in different Countries.

NATS, working with the IAA (Irish Aviation Authority), is responsible for providing the air traffic control service to the Shanwick OCA. The IAA service is provided from Shannon in Ireland, and the NATS service provided from Prestwick in Scotland (hence ‘Shanwick’).

The Shanwick OCA is the busiest of all North Atlantic Airspace regions. It is often referred to as ‘the gateway to Europe’ and around 80% of all North Atlantic Air Traffic passes through it, demonstrating the strategic importance of our Prestwick Centre and UK airspace.
This visualization shows Transatlantic traffic over a 24 hour period taken from a day in August last year and shows 2,524 flights crossing the North Atlantic, of which 1,273 pass through the Shanwick OCA. At its busiest traffic can peak at 1,500 flights a day in the Summer.