Lufthansa scrapping some first-class cabins, considering route cuts

By Amon Cohen
As part of a 1.5 billion euro savings program, Lufthansa is freezing fleet expansion for two years, scrapping first class on a large part of its long-haul network and pondering further route withdrawals.

A widely leaked letter to staff last week from board member Carsten Spohr said the measures are necessary to combat competition from low-cost carriers and Middle Eastern airlines, and to provide investment for more fuel-efficient aircraft.

The airline by 2016 intends to phase out its 55-strong Boeing 737 fleet and 70-seat commuter aircraft.

Lufthansa recently axed unprofitable services to Hyderabad, Kolkata and Guangzhou. Spohr said services to Nanking, Madras and Bangkok now are under review.

The airline will also remove first class from its remaining Airbus A340-300s and 13 B747-300s. However, it is looking at introducing a premium-economy cabin, which has proved profitable for rivals such as British Airways.

Spohr added that the airline would not rule out redundancies to achieve its savings targets.

Source: Business Travel News 
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