More details have emerged on the low-cost division that may be established by Lufthansa, under which as many as 90 aircraft could be operated. As previously reported, Lufthansa is considering the possibility of shifting a significant number of flights to a new low-cost division, which has the working name Direct4U, as it seeks to cut years of losses on European routes.
The unit would combine short-haul flights not based at Lufthansa’s two main hubs with exisiting low-cost subsidiary Germanwings, according to CEO Christoph Franz, a move that would cut expenses while maintaining service standards and prices. The aim is to return to profit the shorter trips that do not feed passengers onto money-making intercontinental routes.
Air France has also said it will simplify its European routes and IAG has created Iberia Express. “Short-haul wasn’t contributing even in the good times and high fuel prices have sharpened airlines’ attention to that,” one industry analyst at London-based Espirito Santo comments.
[pictured: Lufthansa A380 cockpit close-up]