German airline, Lufthansa Group’s (Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, and Swiss International Air Lines) decision to add a fee of EUR 16 to every GDS booking starting September 1, 2015, has created ripples in the travel and tourism industry globally. The airlines will not add the ‘Distribution Cost Charge’ (DCC) to tickets purchased through their own websites or at its service centres and ticket counters at airports. This new cost was announced recently by the airline. Lufthansa, according to reports, has said the GDS has limited booking functionality and that “innovative ancillary services
and enhanced price options require suitable sales technology”.
According to a statement by Amadeus, “Travellers are looking for consistency, transparency and choice across all channels, and we as an industry can deliver that best by connecting and integrating all players. Lufthansa Group have chosen a different direction by introducing charges that will penalise travellers based on the shopping channel they use. Travellers will either pay more for the same service, or, in the case that travel agencies are forced to accept this new commercial strategy by modifying the way they access content just for Lufthansa, there will be extra IT costs that may ultimately be
passed on to the traveller, putting the travel agent, and/or the end consumer, at a disadvantage. Also, this new model will make comparison and transparency more difficult because travellers will now be forced to go to multiple channels to search
for the best fares. Ultimately, the industry overall stands to lose from this distribution model.”
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The airlines of the Lufthansa Group – Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Swiss – has announced that it will increase profitability by redirecting their commercial strategy. As of 1 September 2015, the Lufthansa Group airlines will, therefore, include a surcharge, the Distribution Cost Charge (DCC) of €16 for every ticket issued by a booking channel using GDS. The new charge will not be added to flight tickets purchased using own booking channels. This predominately includes the airlines’ websites (www.LH.com, http://www.swiss.com, http://www.austrian.com, http://www.brusselsairlines.com), as well as, the service centre and ticket counter at the airports. Travel agencies will also be able to book tickets without the DCC, using the online portal at http://www.LHGroup-agent.com.
Corporate customers will be able to book their individually negotiated contract rates excluding the DCC at http://www.LH.com. The display of the ticket will show the final fare.
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Lufthansa is now offering guests the facility to use their watch as a boarding card and essential flight information displayed on the device, with an app developed for the Apple Watch. It is aimed at providing passengers with essential flight information, which they can access 24 hours before their flight during various stages of their journey, as per a release. The new app on the Apple Watch connects to the Lufthansa app on iPhones and iPads via Bluetooth. Following the sales launch, it can be downloaded for free from the App Store at any time.
Jens Bischof, Member of the Lufthansa German Airlines Board Product, Marketing & Sales and Chief Commercial Officer, said, “The importance of mobile applications is continuing to grow rapidly. As a leading airline, we want to continuously expand our prime position – not just on board our flights and on the ground, but also in the area of mobile applications and digital services. Our goal is to provide our customers with information and services in real time at all virtual touch points, thereby make their travel experience more comfortable. With this new app, our passengers will always be able to see the most important details about their flight, without having to take their smartphone out of their bag.”
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Lufthansa Passenger Airlines has introduced the Premium Economy Class on its Delhi-Frankfurt route. The first flight with Premium Economy offering took off from the Indira Gandhi International Airport at 0235 hours on April 23, 2015. Delhi has become the second destination in India for Lufthansa to welcome the Premium Economy offering, after the first one was launched at the end of 2014 on the Frankfurt-Bengaluru route operated by a Boeing B747-8 aircraft, as per a release.
The Premium Economy Class comes with on-board as well as on-ground benefits, including 50 per cent extra legroom space, as compared to the Economy Class.
Wolfgang Will, Director – South Asia, Lufthansa Passenger Airlines, said, “We are very pleased to announce the introduction of Premium Economy Class on the Delhi-Frankfurt route onboard the A380. Delhi is the second destination in India to have this offering and we expect it to be available on all long-haul routes in India in 2015. The roll-out of the new travel class in Delhi, after Bengaluru, clearly demonstrates the importance of the Indian market for Lufthansa and underlines our commitment to provide our customers with consistent and the best Lufthansa experience worldwide. The Premium Economy offering will be ideal for leisure travellers with higher budget and for business travellers with constrained budgets.”
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Deutsche Lufthansa AG achieved its operating-result objective for 2014. The EUR 954 million operating profit reported for the year was a EUR 255 million or 37% improvement on the prior-year result. Following a revision of its original projections owing to negative yield trends and the extraordinary impact of strike action, the company had projected an operating profit for the year of EUR 1 billion in June 2014, provided no additional costs were incurred through further industrial action.
Total Lufthansa Group revenue for the year remained broadly unchanged at around EUR 30 billion, despite the substantial yield declines in the passenger transport segment. Results were boosted by a EUR 364 million decline in fuel costs (deriving largely from fuel price reductions) and a EUR 351 million benefit from the changes that were made to the Lufthansa Group’s aircraft and spare powerplant depreciation policy in 2014.
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CHENNAI: A Frankfurt bound Lufthansa flight with 180 passengers on board was grounded here today due to a technical snag, airport authorities said.
The flight was grounded just before take off when the snag was detected.
Passengers were accomodated in hotels and the flight is likely to resume its onward journey later in the day, they said.