Being reported by Reuters today, Lufthansa will finally consolidate Regional and European operations into a new Low Cost Carrier (LCC) next year. The decision was made in a Supervisory Board meeting held Wednesday in Germany. The move is designed to create a better competitive environment for itself as it faces competition from LCC airlines such as EasyJet and Ryanair.

The plan calls for the new airline to operate all flights (currently through Lufthansa Regional and Eurowings) within Germany and Europe that do not serve Frankfurt and Munich. In addition, Lufthansa’s existing LCC, Germanwings, will be merged into the new airline. This consolidation should lead to operational efficiencies since Lufthansa will only be dealing with one LCC within the airline group.

I really do like this move as it finally takes the various components of Lufthansa’s Regional, Eurowings and Germanwings operations and combines it into one division and more importantly under one brand.

A name has not yet been selected, but an announcement is expected to take place in the coming months. The “new” LCC will operate approximately 90 aircraft and expects to carry 18 million passengers annually.

‘Direct-4-You’ has been used internally as a “code name” for the project primarily because Germanwings’ IATA airline code is 4U. The name has actually grown on me and actually does make marketing sense. But we’ll see what the folks in Frankfurt decide….

The plan calls for the newly organized LCC to begin operations on January 1, 2013.

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