Eurowings ending all long haul routes

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Eurowings is suspending all long-haul routes.

Luthansa has announced a significant strategy u-turn at its poorly performing low-cost offshoot Eurowings, which is to suspend long haul flying.

Previous plans to merge Brussels Airlines into Eurowings have also been dumped.  Brussels Airlines will now instead align itself more with Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and the other network carriers the group owns.

The transition of long haul routes from Eurowings to its parent carriers will start in Frankfurt and Munich this winter.  It isn’t yet clear how far the rebranding will go – Eurowings uses the same Business Class seat at Lufthansa so it may be a relatively cheap process:

Eurowings long haul fleet transferring to Lufthansa

Lufthansa is the second large airline group in Europe, after Air France, to announce that it is dropping low cost long haul.  Unlike BA’s sister airline LEVEL, which operates as an entirely independent airline within IAG, Eurowings seconded some pilots and crew from Lufthansa which led to substantially higher costs.

LEVEL has also benefited from operating at airports where it does not compete with other IAG airlines, whereas Eurowings cannibalised existing routes from Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines.  I would not be surprised to see LEVEL succeed where Eurowings and Joon (the Air France venture) have failed, although whether we ever see it expand into the UK market is a different matter.  Launching LEVEL at Gatwick would hit Norwegian, but would also cannibalise BA – it would make more sense to launch out of, say, Amsterdam instead.

Of course, even Norwegian is struggling financially to keep its low cost long haul operation afloat.  With oil prices continuing to rise, we may soon find out whether there is any sort of business case for such services across the full economic cycle.

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Comments

  1. Shoestring says:

    Eurostar has introduced strict new rules which bar passengers from bringing more than one bottle of wine on board – and ban spirits altogether.

    This is despite alcohol being served at Eurostar stations and on board trains, and the firm’s website encouraging passengers to “bring back … a bottle or two from a chateauhopping trip”.

    • Shoestring says:

      Our rules about alcohol
      To make sure everyone’s safe, happy and healthy, we’ve got some rules around how much alcohol you can travel with.
      Just to let you know, Eurostar reserves the right to confiscate and destroy any alcohol carried in excess of these limits, without any liability to you….
      4 bottles or cans of beer or 1 bottle of wine per person. No spirits are permitted

      • Peter K says:

        Hardly restrictive for what is only a pretty short journey. I imagine it allows them to take action against those most likely to create antisocial behaviour.

        • Shoestring says:

          rules out bringing back a cheap case of wine, though

          • Perhaps the restriction only concerns the hand luggage and the alcohol for consumption onboard. While having a six-pack case wrapped in your jumpers deep in a suitcase is fine?

            PS but in general Eurostar is a very strange company with lots of in-built contradictions and double standards, so I’m not surprised

          • Lady London says:

            Eurostat is fundamantally a French company.

            But this latest restriction tales takes thé biscuit.

            Remember every piece of luggage you take on board has to go through the x-ray machines before you board the train with it.

            No chance to bring back some décent Armagnac or Cognac either.

            What are they thinking??!!

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