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Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Europe’s second- largest airline, introduced rock-bottom fares for its new long- haul venture, to sharpen competition with Persian Gulf carriers that have been crowding it out of routes.
Eurowings will start serving Dubai from 99.99 euros ($111) one-way on special introductory fares, Karl Ulrich Garnadt, who heads Lufthansa’s passenger business, said at a presentation in Berlin Wednesday. The planes, operated by the company’s SunExpress joint venture with Turkish Airlines, will initially also serve Bangkok and Phuket in Thailand, as well as Varadero in Cuba and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, Garnadt said.
Eurowings will offer “affordable ticket prices and an attractive route network,” Garnadt said. The venture will start out with promotions and raise prices later, he said.
Starting a low-priced offering to Dubai, the most popular long-haul destination from both Frankfurt and Munich, Lufthansa’s main German hubs, is a shift of strategy. Lufthansa had been pulling out of routes that faced too much competition, deciding in October to end service to Abu Dhabi after Etihad Airways had increased capacity to the city through Air Berlin Plc, its minority-owned German partner.
Eurowings’ long-haul service will start with two Airbus Group NV A330-200 planes seating 310 from October from Cologne airport and that fleet will eventually grow to seven, Garnadt said. It will copy the price model introduced by the company’s Germanwings unit with a “basic, smart and best” fare.
In the lowest price category, Caribbean destinations will start at 229.99 euros one-way, while the flights to Thailand will start at 199.99 euros.
This article was written by Richard Weiss from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.