The Lufthansa Group will lease up to 40 Airbus A320 aircraft from competitor Air Berlin beginning next summer.
Air Berlin, Germany’s second-largest carrier behind Lufthansa, said that the lease deal would allow it to downsize by 1,200 employees. The carrier plans to reduce its flying on short and mid-length leisure routes, but said it would expand long-haul offerings, “particularly to the United States.”
— eNews Direct (@eNewsDirect) September 29, 2016
Lufthansa said it would deploy 35 of the aircraft to its discount carrier Eurowings, with the remainder to fly under the Austrian Airlines livery. The move will burnish Lufthansa’s effort to hold off Eurowings’ low-cost competitors Ryanair and EasyJet within the intra-Europe market. The announcement came just a day after the Lufthansa board approved an option to acquire the remaining 55% of shares of Brussels Airlines. The airline company has previously said that it is considering folding Brussels into Eurowings.
Some Air Berlin flyers are uneasy that the carrier will honor its tickets in wake of the restructuring:
— TRANSSIB PETERSBURG (@peterzburg) September 28, 2016
In August, Air Berlin announced plans to expand service to the U.S. by more than 40% next summer.
Source: Travel Weekly