German budget airline Germanwings is set to revolutionise the European low-cost market. In the future it will offer the highest value airline product in this segment in Europe. On 1 July 2013, the “new Germanwings” will launch a completely new brand and product concept allowing all passengers to enjoy “à la carte flying”.
Passengers will then be able to create their own package and adapt it in detail to their individual needs, from low-cost flying without add-ons to a high-quality passenger experience with lots of amenities and extras. While offering Economy Class across the board, the “new Germanwings” will boast three fares with different service packages. “Best”, the highest quality product, will cover the needs of business passengers in particular but also appeal to leisure travellers, the “Smart” fare product will include certain add-on services with the customer being able to pick others as needed, while “Basic” will be the no-frills low-cost fare.
Christoph Franz, Chairman of the Executive Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG: “With the ‘new Germanwings’ we are going on the offensive in respect of point-to-point connections. We have developed a convincing array of products and have many years of experience in the low-cost and premium segments. We will combine elements of both in the ‘new Germanwings’ and set new standards in our home market of Europe. This will enable us to operate profitably away from our large hubs again while also exciting our passengers with a modern offering.”
The “new Germanwings”, into which Lufthansa’s decentralised European services away from its Frankfurt and Munich hubs and Germanwings will be amalgamated on 1 January 2013, has a smart, dynamic and innovative identity. The airline will launch its new products on the market on 1 July 2013. As of then, aircraft in the Lufthansa fleet earmarked for the “new Germanwings” will also be gradually converted and transferred.
“The fresh brand identity, individually configurable fare products and high quality as an airline within the Lufthansa Group will make Germanwings an attractive operator for both leisure and business travellers. Not only will this concept be warmly received, it will also enjoy great popularity amongst Lufthansa passengers flying in the future on our routes with Germanwings outside of Frankfurt and Munich”, says Carsten Spohr, member of the Executive Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG.
Along with the new brand and product concept, the Germanwings logo will also change. The core element will be a stylised “W” in blackberry and yellow colours, a succinct symbol chosen to convey the wings from the Germanwings brand. All of the airline’s aircraft will gradually be painted in the new livery following the launch of the new brand concept on 1 July 2013.
Even greater proximity to customers is an important component of the new Germanwings. The company is hoping to interact directly and spontaneously with customers by further developing mobile booking and information systems. All prices will be communicated fairly and without hidden costs, while a cheaper 0180 telephone number will replace the previous 0900 number.
True to the motto “Reasonably priced but not cheap”, the airline’s employees will focus all the more on meeting customer’s wishes to the fullest in the future. Passengers will be able to choose from three basic Economy Class modules for this – Best, Smart and Basic. The Best fare represents the best product currently available on inter-European low-cost routes and is setting standards in the industry. A seat in one of the three forward-most rows will be reserved for the passenger. There he will enjoy a very generous seat pitch of 32 inches (81.2 centimetres) and an empty middle seat beside him. Other components of the new Best fare include access to Lufthansa lounges, priority check-in and the use of the fast lane at security checks, more miles in the Miles & More programme, HON Circle miles, double the baggage allowance (two items weighing 23 kilograms each), à la carte catering on board, flexible rebooking and ticket cancellation.
The Best fare is as a first step available on all connections within Germany and in the core European markets for Germanwings, i.e. Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Russia, France and the UK.
The Smart fare of the new Germanwings is the new standard fare and corresponds to a conventional Economy product with exceptional quality. Rows towards the front of the aircraft will be reserved for passengers on this fare. They will enjoy the same generous 32-inch (81.2-centimetre) seat pitch as those on the Best fare. Smart includes catering in the form of a snack and non-alcoholic drinks as well as a 23-kilogram baggage allowance.
The lowest fare is the Basic fare, corresponding to a conventional low-cost product. Those who avail of this fare will opt to forego free catering and a baggage allowance, for example, and will be able to choose a seat from row eleven back.
What makes Germanwings special is that extras to the Smart and Basic fares can be added. Each passenger will be able to simply and flexibly build the product he wants from a menu of low-cost high-quality options.
Thomas Winkelmann, spokesperson for Germanwings management: “With Germanwings, we are setting new standards in the European airline industry. The new product offers customers the best features of low-cost carriers and traditional airlines.”
Up to 20 million passengers are to be transported on European direct services using approximately 90 aircraft.