Lufthansa eyes budget, long haul flights in cooperation with Turkish Airlines
BERLIN - The Associated Press
Lufthansa, in cooperation with THY, may launch low-cost long haul flights as part of efforts to battle competition from Middle East carriers. AFP photoGermany’s Lufthansa says it plans to expand its budget airline operation to offer long-haul flights, possibly in cooperation with Turkish Airlines.
Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Germany’s biggest airline, has been trying to cut costs amid tough competition from European budget carriers and aggressively expanding government-owned Gulf airlines.
Carsten Spohr, who took the reins of Europe’s largest airline by revenue in May, needs to win back investors after a profit warning last month wiped $2 billion off the airline’s market value in a single day. It is expanding its European budget offshoot, and it also plans “to create a competitive new long-haul platform ... for the price-sensitive segment,” Spohr said in a press conference on July 9.
Lufthansa says it’s considering whether to do that alone or with a partner and is in advanced talks with Turkish Airlines.
Turkish Airlines, meanwhile, avoided making any concrete comment on the issue.
“The talks over the issues we previously announced are going on. But there is no issue between THY and Lufthansa that is at the decision-making stage,” Press Counselor Ali Genç told Anadolu Agency after Lufthansa's announcement.
Lufthansa has said that the new long-haul operation is expected to launch in winter 2015, with a fleet that will gradually be built up to nine Boeing 767 or Airbus A330 aircraft.
It says the that the new long-haul operation is expected to launch in winter 2015, with a fleet that will gradually be built up to nine Boeing 767 or Airbus A330 aircraft. Lufthansa will expand its low cost offerings under a “Wings” holding group.
The airline is already expanding its Germanwings brand to take on short-haul traffic within Europe and now plans to expand its Eurowings regional airline.