Lufthansa will significantly enhance passengers’ travel experience this year with a range of initiatives. The various innovations are based on customer feedback: modern cabin design in the entire fleet, new service concepts on board, an innovative pricing concept and a substantial expansion of the long-haul network to include new dream destinations will make Lufthansa even more attractive for business and leisure travelers.
At the Lufthansa press conference at the ITB in Berlin, Jens Bischof, Member of the Lufthansa German Airlines Board Product, Marketing & Sales and Chief Commercial Officer, said: “In 2015, our customers will experience the best Lufthansa there has ever been. Over the past few years, we have invested billions in completions, quality and services on behalf of our passengers, who will now benefit from this investment.” As an airline, we are once again where Lufthansa belongs – namely in the leading group of international premium airlines. Our guests can be sure that “Made in Germany” as a seal of quality applies to all Lufthansa flights. We are on the right track to becoming the first, Western 5-star airline, and day for day we offer the quality that other airlines can only speak of.”
All aircraft to have state-of-the-art seats in every travel class
From the third quarter of this year, all Lufthansa long-haul aircraft will be upgraded with the latest cabins and state-of-the-art seats in every travel class. In addition, the powerful FlyNet broadband internet service will be available on board all long-haul flights. This will bring the largest and most comprehensive retrofit programme in the company’s history to a successful close. Since 2011, Lufthansa has invested an average of around EUR 1m per day in refitting its cabins. The total amount invested comes to approximately EUR 1.5bn. Around 39,000 seats have been either replaced, modified or, in the case of new aircraft, fitted on Lufthansa’s long-haul aircraft: 600 seats in First Class, 7,000 seats in Business Class and more than 27,600 seats in Economy Class. Around 3,600 seats are being newly fitted on Lufthansa’s 106 long-haul aircraft for the new Premium Economy Class, which has already become a top-seller. The new Premium Economy Class is currently available on 30 long-haul aircraft. From the end of this year at the latest, passengers will be able to travel in Premium Economy on all intercontinental flights. FlyNet is also being installed as part of the cabin conversion, and will be available on all long-haul flights in future. The FlyNet service provides broadband internet access via an on-board Wi-Fi network. In addition, there is on-board access to the FlyNet online portal, which has the latest news and the Sport24 live TV channel, which broadcasts major sporting events live. Passengers wishing to work or to surf the internet above the clouds, for example, can now go online while on the move with FlyNet. Jens Bischof adds: “We are very close to completing our retrofit programme. Our guests are already enjoying the modern cabin interiors with our latest seats in every travel class on most of our long-haul flights, and the feedback is extremely positive. As far as customers are concerned, Lufthansa is back at the top.”
Service in Business Class similar to a high-class restaurant
In addition to the new cabins, flight attendants in Business Class will be providing their passengers with even more personalized care in future and tailoring their service to the individual needs and expectations of guests. This will include the introduction of an innovative “Business Class Restaurant Service” on long-haul flights this summer, which will see the in-flight service being modeled on the culinary experience provided by a high-class restaurant: Tables will be set individually, and meals and drinks will no longer be served from the trolley, but will instead be brought directly from the galley to passengers individually. Each flight attendant will have a set number of passengers for whom they will act as a personal host and point of contact. There will be additional cabin crew in Business Class on long-haul flights to enable this. “The service provided will have a more personal touch as a result of this new concept, and will be even more in tune with the individual rhythm of each passenger,” explains Jens Bischof. “In doing so, we’re not just ahead of the rest again when it comes to cabin interiors, but are also setting new standards in in-flight service.
Three new fare options in Economy Class: Light, Classic and Flex
The new pricing concept for German and European routes is also more closely tailored to the individual needs of passengers. It will still be possible for customers to book a flight in Business Class, but in future, they will have more options. And in Economy Class, passengers will always be able to choose from three different fare options. This means that they will be able to decide for themselves which services they would like to use and pay for. The three new fare options – Light, Classic and Flex – will be introduced in Economy Class for flights within Europe from autumn 2015. Tickets will be available for purchase from the summer. The new Light fare will be the best-value option for passengers who are only travelling with hand baggage and who do not wish to check in any luggage, nor make use of any of the rebooking and refund options. The Classic fare allows passengers to take one piece of luggage free of charge, as well as giving them the opportunity to reserve their preferred seat as soon as they make their booking. If necessary, the Classic fare can be rebooked for a fee. The Flex fare offers the most attractive overall package with many services included, as well as the possibility to rebook at no charge and, if necessary, to obtain a refund for a fee. In addition, travelers who have booked the Flex fare will be able to take an earlier flight on the day of their booking in future, without being required to pay a surcharge for what may be a more expensive booking category. Finally, Business Class will still be available to business and leisure travelers on all flights and will include the familiar benefits, such as lounge access, a greater free baggage allowance, an unoccupied neighboring seat for more privacy and extra air miles. The three new Economy Class fares, which will always be available, will have their services and features displayed clearly and transparently for travel agencies and passengers, making it quicker and easier to compare fares at a glance. It will also be possible to combine the different fare options when booking outward and return flights. All Lufthansa passengers will still receive a free drink and snack service on board with all fare options. They will also be able to take hand luggage on board, select their seat when checking in less than 23 hours before departure and earn miles with Miles & More, as these will remain set features of a Lufthansa flight with no extra charge. As is already the case, ticket prices will depend on the route and the level of availability, and the differences between them will be even more pronounced as a result of the new fare options outlined. Details of the new fare options for Economy Class on German and European flights will be outlined when tickets go on sale in the summer.
Five new destinations for tourists
No fewer than five new long-haul destinations will be added to Lufthansa’s flight timetable in the coming autumn. The 15 additional flights per week to the “dream” destinations Tampa, Cancún, Panama, Malé and Mauritius will make Lufthansa’s route network even more attractive, particularly for holidaymakers and leisure travelers. Guests will be able to enjoy the flights in Business, Premium Economy or Economy Class.
With its newest destination in Central America, Lufthansa is expanding the scope of its partnership with the Panamanian airline and Star Alliance member Copa Airlines. Lufthansa customers will be able to comfortably reach more than 50 further destinations in Central and South America as well as the Caribbean with this partner airline.
Jens Bischof says: “The addition of attractive new destinations to our route network combined with our quality and service offensive will not just impress our passengers, but also excite them. For our customers, 2015 marks the beginning of a new calendar – the best Lufthansa of all time.”