Lufthansa has its intentions set on adding a new leisure platform to its operations. The fleet of the new unit, which is called “Ocean” in the application for its certificate, is thought to be comprised of eleven jets. It is targeted to commence service in 2022. Most likely, it will operate some of Eurowings’ long-haul routes.
Lufthansa is preparing to launch a new leisure branch with the working title Ocean. The intention is for the new platform to cater to the long-haul tourist destination segment, simplifying the parent carrier’s operations in that market. The German flag-carrier is in the process of securing an air operator certificate (AOC) for the new entity.
Stay informed: Sign up for our daily aviation news digest.
The new branch of the carrier is to be based on the business model from Edelweiss, the low-cost leisure branch of SWISS Airlines and also part of the Lufthansa Group. The new subsidiary is expected to launch flights in 2022, which is pretty good timing in view of the crisis rebound.
Ocean will initially have 11 aircraft. Four will be based at Frankfurt, three out of Munich, and four more at Dusseldorf Airport. There is, as of yet, no information as to what types of aircraft the new platform will operate.
Could take over some Eurowings flights
The new entity could end up operating many routes that are now in the hands of Lufthansa’s other low-cost subsidiaries such as Eurowings. The Dusseldorf-based carrier currently (that is, travel restrictions aside) flies to 210 destinations in Europe and across the globe.
However, it was also intended the carrier should expand transatlantically this year. Routes were planned to Las Vegas and Orlando from Munich, and Anchorage and Phoenix from Frankfurt. The Las Vegas, Orlando, and Phoenix flights were to commence in April and the one to Anchorage in June.
“Fragmented” leisure segment
According to FlightGlobal, Lufthansa describes its current set-up for tourist destinations as “fragmented.” At the moment, it holds four different AOCs for such operations out of its hubs at Frankfurt and Munich, and from Dusseldorf. Except for Eurowings, the group’s leisure segment has been operated by Brussels Airlines, Lufthansa CityLine, and SunExpress, a 50-50 venture between Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines.
Lufthansa has also made use of Brussels Airlines to operate some of Eurowings’ routes on its behalf. However, after a review conducted last year, Lufthansa took operations back, and the Belgian carrier was told to focus on operations from its home-base.
Jump previously failed to take off
This is not the first time Lufthansa attempts to consolidate its motley leisure segment. In 2014, the carrier decided to launch a new mainline platform called “Jump.” The Frankfurt-based unit operated some of the airline’s A340s under the AOC of CityLine. The aircraft were reconfigured for more economy seats at the expense of premium products.
Meanwhile, Lufthansa later abandoned the Jump set-up due to a new agreement with the main carrier’s unions. Perhaps this new venture is another attempt at circumventing that arrangement. Although, it is perhaps understandable that Lufthansa feels the need to tidy up its current leisure segment structure.