The low-cost carrier Eurowings will perform transcontinental flights

Moscow. On 2 November. The largest German airline Lufthansa plans to turn the subsidiary of Eurowings in the third largest budget airline in Europe, gradually dissolving in it another its subsidiary company – the low-cost carrier Germanwings.

Escalating competition in Europe has prompted Lufthansa to begin more than a year ago a reorganization of the business, but this autumn go for a bold experiment, according to Deutsche Welle. It consists in letting the aircraft for Eurowings long range – to transport tourists from Germany to Cuba, Dominican Republic, Thailand or UAE.

“We are certainly among the pioneers. So far, few of low-cost risk to take on long – haul flights for Norwegian is that Norwegian flying in the US, Malaysian or Air Asia. But we believe that we can do this,” said Lufthansa spokesman Andreas Bartels in an interview with DW.

The first such flight Eurowings scheduled for 2 November at the Cuban resort of Varadero. On this route the company will fly twice a week.

The second direction will be November 7, Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. In mid-December, in anticipation of the Christmas holidays, these routes will add flights to another Dominican city of Puerto Plata, in Bangkok and on the Thai island of Phuket, and Dubai.

In the summer schedule of 2016 should appear the island of Mauritius.

While all of these flights will be operated from one airport to Cologne/Bonn. The choice fell on him because the “low airport charges that, in principle, for each carrier, there is no ban on night flights, which is important for transcontinental flights, moreover, it is the base airport Germanwings”, explained Bartels.

Of particular importance is the fact that the airport is located in the center of a densely populated region within a radius of about 100 km in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands with a population of about 17 million people.

The Eurowings long-haul routes are not much different from intra-European flights, except the aircraft type. On other continents will fly medium-haul A320 and widebody A330 – first two aircraft, in the long term – seven. All other parameters are as usual budget airline: the basic rate includes only the flight itself, for any service (Luggage, seat selection, meals, onboard entertainment) you must pay extra.

As noted by DW, now one of the most profitable offers in the first half of may 2016 – fly from Cologne to Cuba. In the base rate it is 379,99 Euro, for the same amount you can book a return ticket. For transporting one piece of baggage there and back twice would have to pay 30 euros. In the end the total price will exceed 800 euros.

Expert on transport, DB Research Eric Hyman is confident that in Europe the share of low-cost airlines will continue to grow, although not as fast as before. However, the commercial prospects of long-haul flights on budget airlines it assesses skeptically.

“I admit that on certain routes, refusal from the usual long-haul flights the service required by the business, but without which we can do the tour – will provide the necessary profitability. Especially, if to take young crews who are ready to work for more modest wages. In General, however, such business model is very ambitious: to reduce costs to the same extent as for budget flights within Europe, will be very difficult,” said the analyst.

Lufthansa, in turn, says that due to lower salaries and increase the number of seats on long-haul flights Eurowings 40% reduced costs compared with similar liners of the parent company.