Lufthansa, Germany’s largest carrier, has launched City Airlines GmbH, a new short-haul airline that will commence operations as early as summer 2023. This new airline will be the second of its kind in the Lufthansa Group, alongside Lufthansa Cityline (CL).
With a fleet of around 40 medium- and short-haul aircraft, the new airline will transport passengers from various European locations to LH’s hubs in Germany. Munich Airport (MUC) will serve as City Airline’s primary hub. Similar to CL, the operations of GmbH will be conducted under 100% wet leasing.
As opposed to airlines like Eurowings Discover or Eurowings (EW), City Airlines will not market flights under its own brand. Instead, it will assume responsibility for LH’s short-haul flights from Munich and operate them under the LH flight number and branding.
In order for the new GmbH to obtain an Air Operator Certificate (AOC), it is necessary for the company to have at least one aircraft in its fleet. Therefore, an Airbus A319 from CL will soon be transferred to the fleet of the new airline.
Although City Airlines GmbH was established in May 2022, the project was officially halted by LH in October due to conflicts with the Union Association Cockpit. LH’s primary objective for the new airline is to operate feeder flights to its hubs, similar to CL. To reduce personnel costs, pilots will earn considerably less with the airline than they would with the original Lufthansa Group Airlines.
To pacify the pilots, the union has implemented a broad peace obligation until May 30th, 2023 and has demanded a halt to the airline’s operations. Despite this, LH has continued to work on the project internally. It is evident that this initiative will not alleviate the already strained relationship between the airline and the pilot union. While it is still uncertain how the union will react, it is likely that far-reaching strikes will occur.
According to the airline’s website, the new Lufthansa subsidiary will commence hiring new employees during the summer of 2023. The company has stated that only a small number of new staff members will require training. In the meantime, LH is currently seeking flight attendants, specifically those currently employed by CL.
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