CEO: Lufthansa Group seeks more efficiencies

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Published: June 9, 2012

Lufthansa (LH) Group is implementing several measures to improve the group’s efficiency, including streamlining its fleet and better integrating its business units.

Speaking to ATW June 1 during the inaugural Boeing 747-8I Frankfurt-Washington Dulles flight, LH chairman and CEO Christoph Franz said LH wants to “retain our position as the aviation powerhouse of Europe.” One measure includes better integration of its business units, he said.

LH will also streamline its fleet, which Franz said has been too complex in the past.

“We operated several different aircraft types from several different bases and different LH Group airlines,” Franz said. “In the future, traffic that bypasses our Frankfurt and Munich hubs will be operated by an all [Airbus] A320 fleet. This gives us more productivity and reduces maintenance costs.”

LH CityLine and Eurowings will focus on serving hubs from regional airports. “From Stuttgart for example, it makes no sense to operate a big Germanwings [4U] and Lufthansa operation. That’s why Germanwings will be the main carrier there,” Franz said, pointing out the mainline LH learned a lot from its low-cost carrier subsidiary 4U in terms of efficiency and increasing online bookings.

Franz said he is expecting a further consolidation of European airlines. “That means, big carriers will grow further, [including] Lufthansa. But we always have to ask ourselves if we can finance it [further takeovers] and where will the growth [will be going],” he said.

Franz said the aviation market remains challenging. “In our business, it depends a lot on reacting quickly when plans have to change,” for example, when LH had to reduce its planned growth for this year to zero (ATW Daily News, March 16). “This is a massive intervention for a big organization like LH Group.”

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