Lufthansa Group steps up push into SE Asia

From left: Stefan Molnar and Matthias Burkard

Having reported its “best financial result in history” for 2017, Lufthansa Group now has sights on growing its presence in Thailand, Vietnam and the Mekong region through introducing new products, routes and digitalisation initiatives.

At its recent AGM, Lufthansa said group revenue rose by 12.4 per cent to 35.6 billion euros (US$41.6 billion) in 2017 and shareholders profit saw 60 per cent higher dividend.

From left: Stefan Molnar and Matthias Burkard

After the brand relaunch in February this year, Lufthansa Group’s modernisation journey continues with three core strategic pillars – the Network Airlines, the Eurowings Group and Aviation Services – continuing to invest in digitalisation with a focus on cost savings and efficiencies.

Recognising the importance of personalisation and digitalisation, the carrier will partner Siam Commercial Bank to launch a project in the next few weeks, said Stefan Molnar, general manager Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam and the Mekong Region. No further details on the project were provided at press time.

Austrian Airlines has also successfully upgraded all its 11 longhaul aircraft early this year with Premium Economy seats. This new seat class is already available on the Bangkok-Vienna route, offering travellers with improved seats, two pieces of check-in luggage and meal inclusions. Bangkok is the only South-east Asian destination that Austrian Airlines serves.

Lufthansa also launched its Dream Collection on Business Class from and to Bangkok. In addition to a new pillowcase and a large, warm blanket, the Dream Collection delivers a mattress topper and a new sleeping shirt from Van Laack.

The group will also introduce operational updates for winter 2018/2019. While Eurowings recently launched its latest longhaul flight from Munich to Bangkok twice a week this summer, during the winter season Eurowings will consolidate its longhaul operations focusing on flights out of Düsseldorf instead of various outbound German cities. With this change, Eurowings will serve Bangkok four times per week from Düsseldorf to provide an additional 25 per cent of frequency compared to now collectively.

Edelweiss, sister company of Swiss International Air Lines, will also commence its Zurich-Ho Chi Minh City route from November 15, adding to the existing route between Zurich and Phuket for the winter.

Overall, Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian Airlines, Eurowings, Edelweiss) offers 29 weekly flights from Thailand to Europe; and 31 weekly flights from Thailand and Vietnam to Europe in the winter schedule this year.

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