What to Know Now

Only days after IAG, the parent of British Airways, announced that it was launching Level, a low-cost carrier with transatlantic service, Deutsche Lufthansa AG announced similar expansion plans.

Rather than starting a new airline like IAG though, Lufthansa’s service will come through an extension of Eurowings, its current low-cost carrier that primarily operates short-haul flights in Europe. Right now, that carrier only runs one transatlantic flight between Miami and Cologne, Germany — but with competition heating up, apparently expansion is now a higher priority.

Details on the new service are still light but apparently several destinations in Germany from the U.S. are currently under consideration. And once Air France gets its budget carrier off the ground, all three alliances in Europe will soon start the battle for transatlantic low-cost dominance.

Social Quote of the Day

Once again @eurowings are totally delivering! Wonderful staff on this flight to Hamburg. On time and beautifully new A320. I love this airline

– @LeeProud | Lee Proud, Choreographer

Airlines

U.S. Frequent Flyer Programs Are Far More Profitable Than Is Widely Known: Does your wallet contain an airline-branded credit card? If so, your daily Starbucks visits, iTunes selections, and dining habits serve a critical role in keeping the U.S. airline industry fat and happy. Read more at Skift

U.S. Ultra Low Cost Carrier Frontier Airlines Plans IPO: Frontier Airlines on Friday confirmed one of the worst-kept secrets in the airline industry — it plans to go public soon under the symbol FRNT. Read more at Skift

United Confirms Its New Business Class Cabin Is Facing Delays: United Airlines faces a new setback in its bid to win back business customers as production snags hinder deliveries of Boeing Co. jetliners outfitted with new luxury seats. Read more at Skift

Alaska Air Won’t Have Flatbeds But Will Reward Frequent Flyers With Free Upgrades: With its competitors adding amenities, including improved food and designer silverware, to already-luxurious flatbed seats on some transcontinental routes, Alaska Airlines will try a different approach, installing new recliners as it prepares to give away many first class seats to its most loyal customers. Read more at Skift

Airports

Pilots Call for Drone Crackdown After Three Near-Misses at London Heathrow: Three planes narrowly missed colliding with drones near London’s Heathrow Airport in the space of three weeks last year, underscoring increasing concerns about the devices being used near aircraft, a report Friday said. Read more at Skift

JetBlue back in Atlanta after absence of more than 13 years: JetBlue is back in Atlanta, officially returning to the world’s busiest airport after an absence of more than 13 years. Read more at USA Today

Portugal’s Favorite Football Star Now Has His Own Airport: Cristiano Ronaldo now has an international airport named after him. Read more at Skift

Tech

Millennials Are the Biggest Adopters of Sharing Services in Business Travel: Young business travelers in Europe’s biggest markets are more likely than their older counterparts to use sharing economy services such as Uber and Airbnb, a new study shows. Read more at Skift

Audi Will Buy Luxury-Car Rental Service Silvercar: Volkswagen AG’s luxury brand Audi plans to buy a U.S. startup that rents out silver A4s, in a bid to boost digital revenue as the industry shifts away from outright car ownership. Read more at Skift

IATA CEO Says Electronics Ban Is ‘Not an Acceptable Long-Term Solution’: A week after the U.S. and UK banned passengers flying from some Middle East and North African countries from bringing large electronics in airplane cabins, the head of the world’s largest airline trade group sharply criticized the new policies, saying they’re “not an acceptable long-term solution to whatever threat” faces the two nations. Read more at Skift

Kayak Tries a Fresh Way to Display Basic Economy Fares in Metasearch: When airlines created basic economy fares, they gave price-comparison companies a headache. How can you compare tickets side-by-side on price when one ticket includes, say, the right to stow a bag overhead and another doesn’t? Kayak, the travel metasearch company owned by Priceline Group, has come up with an answer — the first of many. Read more at Skift

Hotels

Affluent Travelers Increasingly Turning to Hiking and Upscale Hotel Packages: Though his words are more than a century old, there’s a decidedly 2017 ring to John Muir’s proclamation that “going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity… useful not only as fountains of timber but as fountains of life.” Read more at Skift

Hundreds of Hotel & Restaurant Bars Shuttered in India: India is forcibly enacting a new law that orders the closure of any establishment serving liquor if it is located within 500 meters (1,500 feet) of a national or state highway. Read more at Travel Pulse

Turkish Court Limits Hotel Sales on Booking.com Website: A Turkish court has ordered the travel website Booking.com to be blocked in a dispute with the country’s main travel agency association, Turkey’s state-run news agency reported Wednesday. Read more at Skift

Your Turn

Andrew Evans is currently walking across Jordan and blogging the entire journey. Follow along starting with his Twitter feed.

Tips and Comments

Can be sent to gm[at]skift[dot]com or to @grantkmartin

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Photo Credit: Eurowings, the low-cost arm of Lufthansa, will soon be used for budget transatlantic flights. Eurowings