The communication of Lufthansa about the future of Eurowings’ long-haul fleet seemed somewhat fuzzy recently. After a dramatic press conference on 24 June in which Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr declared that Brussels Airlines would no longer be integrated into Eurowings, many thought that, due to financial problems, Eurowings would concentrate on its core business of short- and medium-haul flights operated with one single type of aircraft, the Airbus A320 family. Its long-haul programme would be integrated into the “network airlines”.
That was until 7 August, when the Lufthansa Group issued a press release saying that it would strengthen Eurowings’ long-haul fleet and expand the tourist-oriented long-haul programme from Frankfurt and Munich in summer 2020. Suddenly it appeared that, far from abandoning long-haul, Eurowings would, on the contrary, expand it. The “network airlines” would integrate Eurowings’ long-haul fleet, but only have the “commercial responsibility” for these operations.
Aviation24.be wanted more clarity about the situation and contacted Eurowings in Cologne, whose Head of Media Relations, Florian Gränzdörffer, provided the following answers:
- If I understand correctly, the Network airlines (with or without Brussels Airlines?) will have the “commercial responsibility” of Eurowings long-haul flights. What does that mean in plain language?
The changes in the Eurowings long-haul segment are essentially organisational – there will be no impact on the ongoing flight operations of Lufthansa and Eurowings and therefore no impact on our customers. In the coming months, we will transfer the commercial responsibility for Eurowings long-haul flights into the hands of Lufthansa Group Network Management. This change is happening “behind the scenes” and is not visible to our customers. For long-haul flights at the Frankfurt and Munich hubs, this change will be completed by the 2019/20 winter timetable, while long-haul flights in Düsseldorf will follow on 01.01.2020. This will have no effect on current business: all Eurowings long-haul flights already published will continue to be flown as before. All routes can still be booked with both Eurowings and Lufthansa.
Background: The Lufthansa Group wants to further expand its long-haul tourist routes. Lufthansa Group Airlines’ ambition is to play a leading and shaping role in Europe in the growing market for long-haul tourism. In this way, Lufthansa’s strengths will be combined with the strengths of more cost-effective flight operations such as Eurowings. We are doing this primarily in order to be able to offer our joint private travel customers in the tourism segment – including numerous families – attractive prices and to include further destinations in our portfolio.
Lufthansa will contribute the expertise of a global sales organization and established service processes on the ground to this new combination, while Eurowings will offer attractive prices and a fresh, modern and innovative in-flight product. In addition, the dense network of feeder services to Frankfurt, Munich and Düsseldorf will help to connect the long-haul aircraft in the best possible way.
- Is the entire Eurowings long-haul programme in Düsseldorf maintained?
Düsseldorf will continue to be the most important and largest Eurowings base in the future. Currently, both Brussels Airlines and Sunexpress Germany are operating intercontinental flights for Eurowings from Düsseldorf. With the start of the 19/20 winter flight schedule, Sunexpress Germany will relocate their A330 aircraft previously stationed in Düsseldorf to Munich and Frankfurt in order to operate and expand the Eurowings programme from there. Brussels Airlines’ long-haul services will remain in Düsseldorf.
- With which planes will these flights be made? And what will be their livery?
All Eurowings flights at the Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich locations are operated in Eurowings livery and with a Eurowings product onboard.
- What will be the future role of Brussels Airlines in Eurowings’ long-haul programme in Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich?
Brussels Airlines continues to operate intercontinental flights for Eurowings from Düsseldorf and will continue to play an important role in the growing segment of long-haul tourism routes within the LH Group.
Aviation24.be earlier provided details about the aircraft that Brussels Airlines will base at Düsseldorf to operate Eurowings long-haul flights: the two A340-300s (OO-SCX and OO-SCW) will be phased out, and four A330-300s will be permanently flying for Eurowings: OO-SFB, OO-SFL, OO-SFK and OO-SFL.
The seven SunExpress Germany A330-200s based at Frankfurt and Munich to operate Eurowings long-haul programme there are D-AXGA to D-AXGG.