Lufthansa launches re-branded Germanwings to vie with no-frills rivals
Europe's largest carrier Lufthansa, unveiled its rebranded budget airline Germanwings on Monday. Its effort in cutting costs and winning back passengers from competition led to the launching.
Germanwings was said to be attempting to reposition itself as an inexpensive airline for travellers. It was planned to take over most of Lufthansa's short-haul airlifts in Europe. Through frills like champagne and wider leg-room, Germanwings hoped to succeed.
In January, Lufthansa closed its short-haul firm. Rivals like EasyJet, Air Berlin and Ryanair made Lufthansa's profits decline due to pressure in budget.
Germanwings' restoration was anticipated to bring more earnings. A boost from Euro 1.5 billion or US$1.95 billion to Euro 2.3 billion after three years was expected.
Because of Germanwings' 20%-30% lower cost, Lufthansa decided to transfer 800 of its cabin crew and 30 planes to the newly-launched unit.
"If at some point that is no longer the case, and even if that were only true for some routes, then we have to withdraw possibly from such routes or even from operational bases. We don't want that of course and we have to prevent that," Carsten Spohr, a Lufthansa board member, told newspaper Stuttgarter Zeitung.