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Eurowings ending all long haul flights 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.

Comments (169)

  • NICK says:

    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?

  • 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

  • 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?

  • Ben says:

    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?

    • Rob says:

      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.

      • Ben says:

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

        Thanks again

  • 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

        • Cat says:

          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://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

    • Graham Walsh says:

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

  • 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

          • Alex Sm says:

            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??!!

  • marcw says:

    I´ve just received an e-mail to register to Accelerate. I tried ages ago (beginning of may, but failed). Now it says:
    • Sign up for Accelerate by 17 August
    • Get up to 93,800 bonus points with personalised offers from 1 July to 31 October
    • Redeem rewards for the moments that matter

  • James says:

    Hello, does anybody reading this have the international platinum card? Can you refer people, and if so then to what?