With their official announcement at this year’s ITB event in Berlin on March 3, Lufthansa has formally launched the long haul component for Eurowings.
Eurowings is Lufthansa’s Low Cost Carrier (LCC) solution that is designed to attract holiday and casual travels with a quality product at deeply discounted fares serving unique destinations around the world. Formally introduced in October of 2014, Eurowings will also ultimately take over the role that Germanwings serves for LH in Europe and will compete directly with other LCC carriers such as Ryanair, Norwegian, Easyjet, and others.
Eurowings’ long haul operation will be based in Cologne/Bonn, Germany with an initial fleet of 2 Airbus A330 aircraft that will be operated by Sun Express, a partnership between Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa. According to comments made at today’s press conference by Lufthansa’s head of passenger services, Karl Ulrich Garnadt, this fleet will be expanded to include 7 A330 aircraft by the Winter 2016/17 timetable. According to his comments, the rate of expansion will depend on Eurowings’ success.
As part of the announcement, Eurowings unveiled several new destinations that it will serve including the UAE, Thailand, Cuba and the Dominican Republic.
Eurowings also announced a limited-time offer of discounted fares that will be in effect through March. Fares between Cologne and Dubai will begin at only €99, Thailand for €199, and Cuba or the Dominican Republic (Punta Cana) for only €229. After March, passengers can expect fares to go up €20 to €50, depending on the destination and fare class.
Speaking of fare classes, Eurowings also unveiled their 3-tiered fare structure that is based on the Germanwings concept of BASIC, SMART, and BEST.
Predictably, the BASIC fare class will be the lowest cost option but will also come with the fewest options. BASIC fares will have a baggage allowance but any other amenities such as inflight meals, etc. would come at an additional cost. No mileage would be earned towards Miles & More account balances.
SMART fares, available for approximately €50 more, will include a baggage allowance, inflight dining and the ability to earn miles in Miles & More.
BEST fares will include a ‘Premium Economy’ seat identical to what is being being rolled out by Lufthansa in their mainline fleet. These fares will include a higher baggage allowance, priority security and boarding, lounge access, enhanced dining and the ability to earn a higher amount of miles towards Miles & More balances as compared to the SMART fare.
All passengers will have access to Inflight Entertainment (IFE) systems at their seat. However, BEST fare passengers will be given access to the entire library while SMART and BASIC passengers will need to pay for access to certain parts of the IFE offering. Passengers can also make use of Lufthansa’s broadband system which allows for the use of personal smartphone, tablet and other wifi enabled hardware to access the IFE system.
And in closing, a big HAT TIP to FlyerTalk’s Oliver2002 who was in attendance at the Eurowings press conference at the ITB show in Berlin and provided me with some of the details from the event.