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Eurowings ending all long haul routes as its low-cost strategy turns to dust

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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. Gringo says:

    FYI anyone who tried replacing their Platinum card online with metal and got a message that they weren’t able to – I’ve just tried again and it worked fine now.

    • Gringo says:

      Under Account Management –> Order a Replacement Card there was now an option to “Replace Metal Card”

  2. OT: currently sat in the Aspire Lounge in Luton, and overheard the staff talking about a re-furb which they were meant to be having in November has now been delayed until January.

  3. Jimmy says:

    Quick Q regarding Amex – If I get referred for the Green Charge Card, but already have a platinum, will the platinum be downgraded or will it be treated as a new card account?

  4. Planning a flight – 2 adults 2 kids for summer holidays

    I can buy a cash ticket from BA for total £1180

    Or Avios using 50,000 Avios + £650 taxes + use up 2 x 2-4-1 vouchers (both expiring in the next couple months)

    Thoughts?

    • Grant says:

      If you’ve got a very healthy Avios balance and no other use for the 2-4-1s then it might be worth doing, but you are not getting much value from your Avois or the vouchers.

      • Lady London says:

        If you have loads of Avios yes. It’s borderline in value. But this is all your family in school holidays which often takes a bit of work to get. Plus remember Avios bookings are more flexible if you need to change plans.

        On balance if you’re full of Avios and these are J tickets I think I might do the Avios booking.

        • Shoestring says:

          yep but I’m a bit confused – is it 4x £1180 vs using 2x 2-4-1s? (@ 50K Avios + £650 each ie 2x = 4 tickets?)

          If the latter, then points seems the better option

    • BigSi says:

      Don’t do it!

    • Jonathan says:

      I’d probably take 1p/Avios and using shortly expiring 241’s but I’m sat on 600k Avios and accumulating quicker than using as majority of trips are to USA & invariably a better deal to go ex EU/INV for cash & maintain status. Also let my last 2 241’s lapse. I’d certainly cash all my Avios in for £5k if that was an option.

      If I had kids & needed to travel shorthaul in school holidays then I’d probably value them more as this seems to be the sweet spot for outsized redemption value.

      As always, horses for courses.

    • Where are you going? £1180 sounds like a bargain for 4 of you but £650 taxes doesn’t sound like a RFS route.

      • Given what Nick stated it is somewhere in zone 4 in economy on a peak date. If he has time to play with and the kids are young enough to be enthused by Nessie there might be a case for spending avios one way to INV for an overnight if the same money (or close) got him Club exINV and returning to LHR (which I’m just assuming is his starting point). If the kids are young enough they might enjoy a cruise on the Loch a visit to the visito⁹r centre and the castle.

    • Shoestring says:

      @nick – depends how big your Avios stash is, how much you can use them in future & how easy you find it to acquire them. Plus of course how desperate your cashflow situation is: if every month is a struggle, use the points for sure.

      the cash tickets look cheap plus you’d earn more Avios – cheap-ER even if you can easily use the Avios in future and like many here will find it increasingly harder to accumulate 50K Avios now Amex has gone hostile

      don’t worry about 2-4-1 vouchers expiring, plenty here let that happen if they can’t find a good use

      • Another option is buy 2 tickets for cash and use one voucher and avios for the other 2.

  5. Chris says:

    O/T – stupidly managed to miss payment on my gold Amex (credit), was due on Saturday paid on Monday. Should I expect a late payment charge and mark on my credit file? First time I’ve missed one. Thanks in advance.

    • Whizz68 says:

      Try contacting Amex Customer services, they may be able to help you, and waive any charges.

    • I was a couple of days late a few months back and haven’t heard anything from them, haven’t been charged.

    • Charlieface says:

      BTDT. Payed 2 days late and received interest charge but no late payment fee. They waive interest once in 12 months

  6. re: Open Jaw redemptions on a 2-4-1 voucher

    Can someone please remind me –
    Would LHR to TLV
    and
    DME (Moscow) to LHR work?

  7. Craig says:

    OT – Does anyone know how long it takes for an AMEX ICC card to arrive following application? Is it a few days, the same as a normal AMEX application?

    Thanks

  8. Gringo says:

    Amex Rewards CC – can anyone confirm whether this card receives the same offers as Plat/Gold cards? Thanks

    • RakishDriver says:

      Not in my experience, but then I’ve only had it for one statement – however, none of the travel/hotel offers that I got on plat, appeared on ARCC

      • Gringo says:

        Thanks Rakish. Would be good to get input from others as well. Anyone else?

  9. OT – I am trying to book an AA flight using my Avios but when I search on BA website it shows no availability whereas on the AA website it says there is. Do they not have the same availability?

    • If this is sAAver availability for a DIRECT flight then yes.

      AA now has ‘married segment availability’ for some connecting redemptions which means BA can’t book them because the IT doesn’t handle it. By this, I mean AA may offer New York – Boston – London but NOT Boston – London on its own.

    • Stu N says:

      You need to be able to see sAAver miles availability on AA.com. for a flight to be bookable via BA.com. If AA are only showing the much more expensive AAnytime availability then you can’t book via partner programs. Qantas award searcher is also pretty simple to use and shows any AA availability that has been made available to partners.

      If you can see sAAver availability for the flights on AA.com and ideally if Qantas shows them too, you should be able to book via BA. If the website doesn’t let you, it would be worth trying over the phone.

      • Thank you. Thats why I cant see it on BA then they are all AAnytime so ill have to book cash.

        Thanks again

  10. Michael says:

    Whats the benefits of using amex travel?

    • RakishDriver says:

      I’d only ever bother looking to book via amex travel only when my amex card has the discount offer. Saved £400 last time (main card and supp). Other than that, unless your lucky, prices not as competitive compared to booking direct. Also, I think some of the fares are of a particular class that makes them inflexible. Extensive comments (article?) on this site.

      • Shoestring says:

        plus it’s T-330 not T-355 so the cheaper tickets can disappear if you’re looking at school hols

        • I’ve always managed to get real bargains out of AMEX travel deals (on occasions when my school actually released their term dates before the deal ran out!). I am usually quite happy to travel to anywhere that piques my interest and has cheap, convenient flights that fit my term dates. I’d imagine it’s very different if you have a specific, popular destination in mind and are restricted to term dates because of kids!

    • RakishDriver says:

      Nothing to do with flexibility, rather not getting full miles depending on ticket class – https://www.headforpoints.com/2014/04/09/take-care-amex-travel-selling-non-earning-airline-tickets/

      • Michael says:

        Thanks for this – I have a gold card so will be 3x earning I believe. i’m going to book some Qatar Airways tickets and post the points to BA.

        • Shoestring says:

          you get the point that RD’s article link was making though? ie lower (unpublished/ unknown) fare class ticket on Qatar might mean fewer Avios to BAEC

          probably not much of a problem if you are getting £200 off £600

    • I’ve managed a good saving on a VS flight rather than booking direct (no Amex offers available either).

  11. 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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