In recognition and appreciation of the effort its employees have put in during the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic, Lufthansa subsidiary Eurowings has decided to give its employees a distinctive Christmas gift. Calling it probably the biggest Christmas gift in history, the low-cost airline has surprised its 2,300 employees with a specially painted 40 meters long (131 feet), 12 meters high (39 feet) Airbus A320 with the words ” Fuelled By The World’s Greatest Team.” The words are written on both sides of the aircraft’s fuselage, with one side in English and the other in German.
The 7.7-year-old Airbus A320-200 registration number D-AIZS and its new distinctive livery indicate that management in Düsseldorf is delighted with the team effort its employees have put in during what is arguably the worst time in aviation history.
In a statement seen by Simple Flying Eurowings, CEO Jens Bischof praised the airlines’ staff by saying:
“Hardly any other industry has been hit as hard by the pandemic as aviation and tourism. Whether flight attendants, pilots, or staff on the ground – they have all been unable to do their jobs as usual for months. The fact that Eurowings guests were able to take off at all this year is owed to the passionate commitment and high flexibility of all our employees. A remarkable team spirit drives us at Eurowings repeatedly and makes us stand up for each other in difficult times. That is why we are saying thank you in an extraordinary way in a likewise extraordinary year: with a team airplane for the entire staff.”
The plane will move between Eurowings hubs
The specially painted Eurowings Airbus will receive a bilingual varnish during a regular maintenance service ahead of returning to operations in the first quarter of 2021. To allow all Eurowings staff to see the plane, it will move on a rolling basis between Eurowings hubs at the following airports:
- Düsseldorf International Airport (DUS)
- Cologne Bonn Airport (CGN)
- Hamburg Airport (HAM)
- Stuttgart Airport (STR)
- Palma de Mallorca Airport (PMI)
- Vienna International Airport (VIE)
- Salzburg Airport (SCZ)
- Prishtina International Airport (PRN)
The tour operator segment will recover first
In other Eurowings, related news, aviation news website Corporate Travel Community reports that Eurowings CEO Jens Bischof sees clear signs of a market recovery starting in 2021. The 55-year-old airline executive says that the recovery will be especially evident in the tour operator segment. Mr. Bischof said that Eurowings is currently operating 20 aircraft out of its fleet of 100 planes but aims to increase this to 50 aircraft by Easter 2021.
“If the positive booking trend continues for 2021, we could fly with 80 to 90 aircraft again,” Mr. Bischof concluded.
Countries begin to ban flights from the UK
What could be a setback to many airlines’ hope of a spring 2021 recovery is news breaking in Europe about countries banning flights arriving from the United Kingdom. Yesterday the British government announced that London and the Southeast were moving into Tier 4. This basically means that unless you are providing a vital service, you need to stay at home. More worrying, however, and the reason why European countries are begging to ban flights from the UK is news that a new strain of the deadly disease has been discovered and that it was proving to be up to 70% more transmissible.
The Netherlands and Belgium have banned flights, with Italy expected to make a similar announcement soon.
Have you ever flown with Eurowings? If so, please tell us how they compare to other low-cost European carriers in the comments.