Adapt, or die?
Lufthansa is a five star airline with an immense reputation. The German carrier has long been the epitome of refinement and exacting standards – but times, they are a’changing. Customers are increasingly looking to digital platforms and mobile solutions to pick the best ticket. Wifi now matters to most customers more than white linen and airlines must choose to adapt, or face a dire fate. Lufthansa CEO, Carsten Spohr, has made Lufthansa’s direction abundantly clear, launching the greatest transformation in company history. And we’re not just talking about their iconic plane liveries…
Think about how much your airline ticket purchase experience has changed over the last ten years. According to Business Traveller, Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr, is making top to bottom changes in a move to bring outside innovation into the incredibly insular airline world. Up to 3,200 legacy airline admin staff will be offered “attractive” voluntary redundancy packages to make way for digital strategy, brand engagement and tech innovation departments. Without a doubt, this is a fight or flight response to new competition and a tech revolution.
Turning The Tables On LCC
This move is widely seen as a way to digitize and mobilize faster and better than Lufthansa’s rampant low cost carrier competition. Fares must become more dynamic, benefits must become more transparent and value propositions must be obvious to all customers. Many experts believe customers will soon rely on VR goggles to preview cabins before making any purchase. You also must find customers where they are naturally hanging out, not just on your own airline website. This swift move is also seen as a response to the tremendous pressure Lufthansa is experiencing from newly emerging Middle East and Asian carriers who are increasingly perched on Lufthansa’s back door. Customers want the thing of the “now” and airlines must constantly deliver on that level.
Old Dog, New Tricks?
Lufthansa is widely seen as a conservative, legacy airline with a business first mentality. This is a fascinating move, which may prove an interesting balancing act not only for Lufthansa, but all legacy airlines. Can Lufthansa adapt to become the “cool” choice for price conscious customers, while maintaining and evolving the exacting standards of the worlds most sophisticated business and luxury travelers? Will tech based solutions at each juncture of the journey appeal to leisure and business travelers alike? Only time will tell. Carsten Spohr seems poised for a dramatic fight to come. We’re excited to watch.