Late last week I shared the news that Lufthansa would be cutting first class on some planes/routes starting in 2014. I cited a report from Bloomberg with the data but didn’t have the original source material to work from. Thanks to HS I have finally seen the slides from Lufthansa’s media/investor presentation where that was discussed. There are some interesting bits in the slides, more than just the cuts in the first class cabin. Here are three bits I think are most significant relative to Lufthansa’s operations.
There are a lot of moving parts in Lufthansa’s plans going forward. The last section here is the one which has my attention. More new First class, new Business class and the introduction of Premium Economy will all be interesting to watch. And the goal of becoming a 5 Star Airline from SkyTrax is quite the reach. It is based on customer ratings so it is possible, I suppose, but that is not an easy ranking to score. Their plans to upgrade the IFE and wifi on all long-haul planes and to also install wifi on the short-haul A321s should certainly help.
Fleet simplification is commonly touted as a means to lower costs. Lufthansa is clearly pursuing that approach in a big way. Also interesting is that they’re dumping almost all of their smaller planes and they’re doing it aggressively (by airline standards at least). Aiming for the smallest plane in the fleet to be a 90-seat option in just two years is a bold move. And they aren’t even cheating by shifting the smaller planes to Germanwings for the non-hub operations. Those are staying in the A320 family.
Finally, here’s what the schedule looks like for the shift in 3-cabin to 2-cabin configurations over the next 18 months. The 340-300s go first with the 747-400s to follow.
As an added bonus, the slide deck includes a section on Germanwings, too. One of the slides in that section was about booking channels. US carriers are trying mighty hard to wean buyers from the GDS model to save a lot of money on ticket costs. It seems that Germanwings mostly already has.
They expect to trim that last 12% off by 2015, going fully to a direct sales model or the lower-cost intermediaries. And when there is a fee involved the customer pays it, not the airline.
Nothing especially groundbreaking here, but I found the data to be interesting. Maybe you did, too.
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