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Lufthansa Group’s New Long-Haul Subsidiary, Eurowings Discover Adds New Flights to Salt Lake City, Kilimanjaro
On Thursday, the Lufthansa Group announced the summer 2022 schedule for its new leisure-based long-haul subsidiary, Eurowings Discover, including the launch of two new destinations in the Lufthansa Group network and five other new routes. Specifically, the long-haul airline will launch flights to Kilimanjaro, Tanzania and Salt Lake City.
Eurowings Discover will fly from Frankfurt to Kilimanjaro from May 2022 two times a week, while flights from Frankfurt to Salt Lake City start from June 2022 three times a week. Schedules for the routes are currently unknown and will be filed on May 26.
Kilimanjaro will receive its second European carrier, with KLM flights to Amsterdam being the only other flights. However, passengers from Europe can connect to the airport servicing the tallest mountain in Africa via African and Middle Eastern carriers like Ethiopian Airlines and Qatar Airways.
Additionally, one of the gateways to the Mountain West, Salt Lake City, sees its first non-Skyteam international carrier add service. Pre-COVID-19, the airport’s only international service was Delta Airlines’ flights to Amsterdam, London Heathrow and Paris and KLM’s seasonal flights to Amsterdam.
Also, two more routes will be launched from Frankfurt. Eurowings Discover will take over a former mainline Lufthansa route, with three weekly flights to Panama City, starting in March 2022. The low-cost long-haul carrier intends to launch three weekly flights to Fort Myers, Florida, during the same timeframe. Its predecessor which flew leisure long-haul flights, Eurowings, operated flights from Dusseldorf and Munich to Fort Myers.
Furthermore, the long-haul carrier plans to develop a base in Munich. The airline will service two of the largest beach destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean, Cancun and Punta Cana. These flights are a resumption of routes from Lufthansa’s low-cost long-haul predecessor, Eurowings, which last operated these flights from Munich to Cancun once weekly in 2018 and Punta Cana twice weekly in 2019. Currently, Lufthansa offers supplementary service to these destinations via its hub in Frankfurt.
Additionally, the airline will launch flights from Munich to Las Vegas in March 2020, on top of pre-existing planned service from Frankfurt. The route from Munich to Las Vegas is a continuation of plans from as early as 2019 to launch the flight in 2020, delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. All flights out of Munich will operate two times a week.
These routes will be operated using the airline’s Airbus A330-300, which will feature three classes. It is unknown what the seating configuration will be on the aircraft, though its predecessor Eurowings sported a three-class configuration, with 21 seats of business class, 46 seats of premium economy and 243 seats of economy class.
All of the aforementioned routes have no nonstop competition, including against other long-haul carriers in Germany, such as Condor, which also focuses on leisure long-haul travel.
What is Eurowings Discover?
Eurowings Discover is the Lufthansa Group’s latest attempt at a leisure-based long-haul subsidiary, replacing its previous strategy. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lufthansa Group’s leisure long-haul flights were operated by Lufthansa subsidiary Lufthansa Cityline via its Jump program, which repurposed aging Airbus A340-300s into higher density configurations for leisure long-haul travel. Additionally, Brussels Airlines and Sunexpress Deutschland operated Airbus A330s under the brand of Eurowings to provide further low-cost long-haul options in Germany.
However, in July, the Lufthansa Group revealed plans to launch a new leisure long-haul subsidiary under the temporary name of Ocean. Initial plans showcased a total of 11 aircraft operating from Frankfurt and Munich. Currently, according to planespotters.net, the airline has nine Airbus A330-300 aircraft in its fleet, a mix of several former Eurowings aircraft and two Edelweiss Air aircraft. The Lufthansa Group is in the process of creating an Air Operating Certificate – AOC – for the airline, though there is no timeline on the arrival of the certificate.
The newly-formed airline aims to be similar to the Lufthansa Group’s Swiss leisure subsidiary, Edelweiss Air, which provides a high-quality level product, on-par with its full-service carrier Swiss.
According to theaeronetwork, current expectations point towards the first flights for the brand commencing on August 1, from Frankfurt to Windhoek, Namibia. The next day, Eurowings Discover would launch flights from Frankfurt to Punta Cana. Additionally, flights to Las Vegas commence on September 31 and flights to Mauritius commence on October 1. Caribbean destinations like Bridgetown, Barbados; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Varadero, Cuba start sometime in the winter. Finally, flights to Anchorage will commence in the summer.
Signs of Optimisim
The Lufthansa Group’s confidence in starting a set of new routes shows optimism for the summer of 2022 for a potential rebound of leisure long-haul travel for Europe. After news of relaxed restrictions for inbound vaccinated tourists heading to the European Union in the summer of 2021, the Lufthansa Group wants to take advantage of a smaller booking window for long-haul summer 2021 travel and pivot it towards a pent-up of leisure traffic in 2022.
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