Austrian Airlines announced that it is set to return to two destinations next year.
Beginning with the Summer 2018 schedule, passengers will once again be able to fly Austrian from Vienna to Tokyo, Japan (Narita) and to Cape Town, South Africa. In their comments, Austrian suggests that market dynamics have once again made it lucrative to serve these long haul destinations. It also doesn’t hurt that they’ll be adding another Boeing 777 aircraft to the fleet next spring. At that point they’ll have 6 777 aircraft that can be deployed on their long haul routes.
Flights to Tokyo will begin first with 5 flights per week starting on May 15, 2018. Cape Town will be launched later in the year with 2 flights per week beginning on October 27, 2018.
In ceremonies held during the Paris Airshow at Le Bourget, Lufthansa and Austrian walked away with impressive awards from SKYTRAX, affirming their dominant position in European aviation.
Austrian was awarded ‘Best Airline Staff Service In Europe’ that includes staff and crew both on the ground and in the air. This marks the 4th consecutive year that ‘OS’ has been given that honor. Some might consider this kind of streak a dynasty.
Austrian’s COO Andreas Otto and Lufthansa boss Carsten Spohr join in receiving Austrian’s award.
Lufthansa walked onto the stage to accept several awards. The most meaningful being recognized as the ‘Best Airline In Europe’. In addition to this award, Lufthansa also received hardware for being the ‘Best Airline In Western Europe’ and for ‘Best First Class Dining’.
Lufthansa’s Carsten Spohr is on hand to receive LH’s awards……
18 million people from 160 countries took part in the annual Skytrax balloting. SKYTRAX has been rating and awarding Airline performance since 1999.
Over the last few days, German media has been reporting a new concept being considered by Lufthansa to further enhance cost savings when it comes to flight operations out of the hubs in Europe.
Lufthansa’s Harry Hohmeister has unveiled plans that will create a potentially new ‘Flexible Routing’ fare that will allow Lufthansa to change already issued tickets for passengers willing to be more flexible in their trip routing.
The reasoning behind this concept will allow Lufthansa to self-direct passenger flow through hubs based on demand and pricing. For example, Frankfurt Airport charges Lufthansa up to 20% more for handling long haul LH flights and passengers than Munich, Zurich, or Vienna charge. Having passengers reroute through lower cost hubs obviously would net a positive impact on LH’s bottom line. In their planning, LH would be able to determine in advance if other hubs and flights have capacity to handle last minute changes. If not, the flex fare passenger would fly their original ticket.
An example could look like:
A passenger books a flight from Chicago to Berlin. The original booking would have the passenger transit through Frankfurt enroute to Berlin. Under a flex routing fare, Lufthansa could re-ticket the passenger a few days before the flight to have them fly Chicago – Munich – Berlin, Chicago – Vienna – Berlin, or Chicago – Zurich – Berlin and thus avoid the extra costs associated with routing a passenger through the more pricey Frankfurt.
Passengers flying under a flex routing fare would be informed days or weeks ahead of their trip, letting them know if their original routing has changed.
Please understand that only a ‘flex routing’ fare class would subject a passenger to a last minute rerouting. Passengers flying on traditional fare classes would not be subject to these kind of changes.
Lufthansa has already sent a ‘shot across the bow’ to Frankfurt by announcing a transfer of 5 A380 aircraft to Munich, thus already reducing capacity at Frankfurt and potentially preparing for the roll out of the new flex-routing fares and increasing capacity in Munich.
In his comments, Hohmeister indicated that passengers agreeing to a flex routing fare would be well rewarded for their willingness to be flexible.
Plans are in place to unveil the new program for Lufthansa and Austrian operated flights at the beginning of 2018.
Lufthansa Group Airlines has launched a group wide Business Class fare sale for travel to the USA from Zurich, Vienna, and Rome.
Fares are amazing. You can fly to the East Coast for only $1600. The same goes for most midwest destinations as well. Surprisingly, you can fly from Vienna or Rome to the West Coast for only $1400!!!
The fare is valid for travel on all LH Group airlines (yes, including Brussels), as well as on United and Air Canada. The fare seems to cover travel dates until year end. I did notice however there are a few pockets where the fares are valid for travel on Thursdays-Sundays, mostly on Vienna flights to the East Coast.
The fares book into deep discount ‘P’ class and require either a 6 night stay, or just a Saturday night stay, making this a very attractive deal. I’m not sure when the sale will end, it may be a very temporary 24 hour ‘Flash’ offer.
As we get closer to the introduction of the 777X to the Lufthansa fleet, rumors are starting to fly around regarding what the cabin might look like, especially Business Class.
Buzz has been building, and it looks as though a familiar name will be behind the new Lufthansa seat.
Germany’s Recaro, which has been used by Lufthansa on a regular basis, appears to be the manufacturer of the new seat. Specifically, it looks as though Recaro’s CL6710 model will be adapted to fit Lufthansa’s needs. This new seat will debut in 2018, and could likely be what is installed on Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian, and Brussels aircraft. Lufthansa Group made the announcement a while back that identical next generation Business Class seats will be installed on long-haul aircraft group wide.
Recaro advertises the seat as the next generation in Business Class comfort, providing passengers increased comfort and amenities as compared to current iterations of Business Class seats. One major feature will be the ability for a passenger to use their smart phone to control all aspects of the seat. Hopefully, an electronics ban at that point won’t include even the modest cell phone!
Here are a few images as provided by Recaro showing off the new seat. The seat will actually debut with TAP at some point next year.
I’m excited about the prospect that the 777x might be a 1 – 2 – 1 layout in Business Class (at least based on this seat design), which would be fantastic!