Lufthansa excels with upgrades and investment


LUFTHANSA is investing heavily on modernisation of fleet.

The company has purchased a number of new aircraft, created new facilities on the ground and invested on products that would serve the corporate customer, said Joachim Steinbach, vice-president sales and services Southeast Europe, Africa and Middle East/Pakistan.
“All our long-haul aircraft have been refurbished and fitted with new seats,” he told TTN in an interview.
Steinbach, who was recently in Bahrain to celebrate Lufthansa’s significant presence and growth within one year of launching its services between Bahrain and Frankfurt, said: “Within just over 12 months, we increased flights from Bahrain to Frankfurt from three to four weekly flights currently. The fourth flight was added with the beginning of the summer 2007 schedule and will be a seasonal flight in the summer.”
Asked why passengers would choose Lufthansa when there are lots of other airlines offering better deals, Steinbach said besides the basic qualities like punctuality, safety and reliability in service, the airline, with the Star Alliance, operates 15,000 flights daily on a wide network of 855 destinations in 155 countries. “Moreover, we have the brand image and our onboard service is unparalleled,” he said.
Asked if the airline industry was making enough profit for all the investments made in it, Steinbach said airlines overall over decades have been suffering and losing money. But the current trend is that a lot of airlines are doing well. Many economies are booming and a surge in air travel has been predicted.
“We too have invested a lot in upgrades and we are aware of the need to make a certain level of profit to make all the investments worthwhile. We have done just that. We had strong results for 2006. At 36 million euros, the Lufthansa Group recorded a positive first-quarter operating result for the first time after four years,” he said.
On all flights from Bahrain, Lufthansa offers the new Business Class, which is operated by the Airbus A330-300 and Airbus A340-300, Wriedt said. The new business class offers maximum comfort, more space, a diverse information and entertainment programme and excellent service on board. The state-of-the-art business class seat converts into a two-metre complete flat bed.
Bahrain's economic boom has made it one of the most lucrative destinations in the Gulf for airlines due to the large number of business passengers travelling to the country, added Peter Pollak , who takes over from Wriedt. 'It is not only Bahrain - we see the catchment area as Bahrain and Dammam. We foresee developments in the Eastern Province that will make it is an important market,” he said.
by K S Sreekumar