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…

Out With The Old, In With Emerging

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.

What do you make of these bold moves?

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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3 Comments

  1. Hmmm….I get that wifi is of interest to some of the passengers in business class. But I just don’t believe that it’s really that important to your average leisure or infrequent flier. The blogs we see here in Boarding Area – well they may be somewhat swayed towards wifi users but in general – I think it’s over hyped.

  2. The plane redesign is hideous. Announcing Business Class seats to debut in 2021 ain’t going to give the airline any favors. Lastly, the Miles & Less program drew many corporate travelers to Emirates, Etihad, and other Alliance partners.

    LH does not care what the critical customers want – too happy to support German companies and corporate contracts, and little to support internationals. They’re still one of largest international airlines, but needs to stop the dumb mistakes like ill-thought color scheme (which they’re revising) and horrible spacing in business.

  3. I am a Lufthansa customer and I will be happy to support the airline with my family in the future, if they continue to offer great prices, conformable space for every seat (I hate having the feeling that the person in front of me is lying on my lap! I am of average hight but all other members of my family are 1.76m – 1.93m tall). Important to us as family is that they would improve their miles program especially for frequent travellers like my husband and that we continue earning miles if we are members of other Star Alliance airlines. 30 kg luggage should become standard like in the most Asian and Middle Eastern airlines. Updated entertainment on Board is important for my family and possibility to charge our phones during the flights is very important too (also available on other airlines). We don’t care if the staff on board is young and gorgeous, we care if they are fit, sober and have excellent manners and customer care skills. Summarized what is important to us as family: cost, luggage 30 kg, space, miles. We travel around the world multiple times in a year due to family and work. I hope that the new changes would allow us to travel with Lufthansa in the future too. Thanks

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