|Founded||1997 (as an in-house subsidiary of Eurowings)
2002 (separate company)
|Operating bases||Cologne Bonn Airport
Berlin Tegel Airport
|Frequent-flyer program||Boomerang Club/Miles&More|
|Fleet size||34 (+2 Orders)|
|Parent company||Deutsche Lufthansa AG|
|Key people||Thomas Winkelmann (CEO)
Dr. Axel Schmidt
Germanwings GmbH is a low-cost airline based in Cologne, Germany, and is wholly owned by Lufthansa. Cologne Bonn Airport, Stuttgart Airport and to a lesser extent Hamburg Airport and Berlin Tegel Airport are the important hubs in the airline's network of approximately 86 destinations. Further Germanwings bases are at Hannover-Langenhagen Airport and Dortmund Airport.
In January 2013 Lufthansa will combine short-haul operations outside its main Frankfurt and Munich hubs with Germanwings and it is predicted they will carry 18 million passengers annually.
In 1997, Eurowings set up a low-cost department, which became a separate company under the name Germanwings on 27 October 2002. On 7 December 2005, the airline signed an agreement to purchase 18 Airbus A319 aircraft (with a further 12 options), with deliveries scheduled from July 2006 until 2008.
In 2008 initial plans were made to merge Germanwings, Eurowings and TUIfly into one airline to compete with Air Berlin/LTU in the German market and with EasyJet and Ryanair on international routes, but these plans were never realized. Instead, Germanwings became a wholly owned Lufthansa subsidiary on 1 January 2009.
In 2012 Lufthansa announced that it plans to transfer point-to-point shorthaul flights operating from cities other than Frankfurt and Munich from Lufthansa to Germanwings.
The key trends for Germanwings are shown below. Germanwings has been wholly owned by Lufthansa since 1 January 2009, so formal reporting is now within the Group Accounts (as at year ending 31 December):
|Profits (EBITDA) (m)||39||63||9||15|
|Number of employees (at year end)||1,046||1,111||1,272||1,274|
|Number of passengers (m)||7.6||7.2||7.7||7.5|
|Passenger load factor (%)||n/a||n/a||77.2||78.2|
|Number of aircraft (at year end)||25||26||30||30|
As of February 2013, the Germanwings fleet consists of the following aircraft with an average age of 7 years.
The airliners are equipped with either 144 or 150 seats in an all-economy class layout. Some aircraft have had special liveries applied in order to promote German cites (e.g. the Bearbus paint scheme inspired by the coat of arms of Berlin), or as advertisements (e.g. a pink livery for T-Mobile).
As part of the 2013 restructuring and relaunch of Germanwings, alongside the 33 aircraft currently operated, around 30 Lufthansa aircraft will be transferred to Germanwings. Additionally, the 23 aircraft currently operated by Eurowings covering Lufthansa flights not flying out of the Frankfurt and Munich hubs will also be incorporated into Germanwings. Overall, new Germanwings will eventually operate around 90 aircraft.
Even though operating as a no-frills airline, Germanwings allows for guaranteed connecting flights. Germanwings operates the Sky Bistro (Bord Shop in German), a buy on board programme offering food and drinks for purchase.
Germanwings also provides an inflight magazine, a bi-monthly German and English magazine called GW. While the primary editorial focus is rooted in Germanwings destinations, the content is not exclusively about travel.
As for its booking services, Germanwings provides a unique option called Blind Booking that allows passengers to choose a hub airport, select a category of destination (e.g. Party or Culture), and then purchase a round-trip ticket via a random lottery process from among the cities in the category. Such tickets are often priced lower than the corresponding ticket to the same destination, and Germanwings e-mails its customers of the destination shortly after the purchase.
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