The new Eurowings looks all set for a successful launch of its attractively-priced long-haul services. Three months ahead of its first such flights – to the Caribbean, Thailand and Dubai – Lufthansa’s new budget-fare subsidiary reports promising booking levels. Eurowings is offering a number of specially low fares to launch its new services, such as Cologne/Bonn to Dubai for as little as EUR 99.99.
“As the customer demand confirms, what we’re offering here is a highly attractive long-haul air travel product,” says Karl Ulrich Garnadt, Member of the Executive Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG and CEO of Lufthansa German Airlines. “Our strategy of offering our further Eurowings brand, which is aimed particularly at price-sensitive leisure travellers, clearly meets a market need. And our decision to commence these operations in Cologne and the North Rhine Westphalia region has proved a prudent one, too.”
Further initial long-haul destinations include Bangkok and Phuket in Thailand and several points in the Caribbean such as Varadero in Cuba and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.
The new intercontinental services will be operated with Airbus A330-200 equipment. The first two aircraft are already being prepared to enter revenue service at the beginning of November. The Eurowings long-haul fleet will then gradually be expanded to seven Airbus A330s.
The new Eurowings is adopting the business and marketing concept that has already proved successful with its sister carrier Germanwings, which has firmly positioned itself as an innovative quality low-cost airline. While Germanwings is focused on the German air travel market, Eurowings will now expand the concept throughout Europe, and will further extend it to intercontinental city and vacation destinations.
Eurowings will be opening its first operating base outside Germany in Austria. In collaboration with fellow Lufthansa Group carrier Austrian Airlines, Eurowings will offer European services from and to Vienna using Airbus A320 equipment – one aircraft from the 2015/16 winter schedules, and a second from March 2016. Both aircraft will be operated by Austrian Airlines.
The new Eurowings Europe GmbH was founded in Austria on Monday 10 August. The company will serve as the starting point for further growth, which will see the establishment of several more operating bases throughout the European continent. Eurowings Europe is currently setting up its flight operations, which includes creating its own cockpit and cabin crew corps.
The new Eurowings cockpit crew positions are initially being advertised internally within Lufthansa, to give priority to existing pilots from the Lufthansa Group and those who have completed their flight training in Bremen and are awaiting suitable vacancies. The pilot recruitment process should then be extended to outside applicants in the second half of August. The cabin crew recruitment process will begin in the second half of September.
The remuneration systems at Eurowings Europe will be aligned to those already in place at other airlines within the Lufthansa Group. But they will also pay due regard to the particular conditions and challenges of the low-cost airline sector, particularly in terms of productivity levels and seasonal demand fluctuations.
The new remuneration packages will also feature attractive occupational pension benefits. As well as offering an employer’s retirement savings contribution amounting to 2% of the employee’s basic salary, Eurowings will increase this contribution to 2.5% for any employee who undertakes to make their own employee’s savings contribution of 1.0%.