|Founded||1 February 1993|
|Commenced operations||1 January 1994|
|Frequent-flyer program||Miles & More|
|Alliance||Star Alliance (affiliate)|
|Parent company||Lufthansa Group|
|Key people||F. W. Weitholz, Chairman
Thorsten Dirks, CEO
Eurowings GmbH is a German airline headquartered in Düsseldorf and a fully owned subsidiary of the Lufthansa Group. It serves a network of domestic and European destinations as well as some long-haul routes and maintains bases at Berlin Tegel Airport, Cologne Bonn Airport, Düsseldorf Airport, Hamburg Airport, and Vienna International Airport.
Eurowings has gone through a major transformation in recent years. It was part of Lufthansa Regional until October 2014. At that time it began operating on behalf of Germanwings within their network. Since spring 2015, Eurowings has been redeveloped into a low-cost carrier for short- and long-haul flights. By October 2015, it had also started to incorporate Germanwings' route network as part of the merger of the two brands.
The airline was formed on 1 February 1993, following a merger of Nürnberger Flugdienst (NFD) and Reise- und Industrieflug (RFG), two commuter airlines based in Nürnberg and Dortmund, respectively. Flight operations using an initial fleet of ATR 42 and 72 aircraft inherited from Eurowing's predecessors were launched on 1 January 1994. Subsequently, BAe 146 aircraft were added to the fleet, which were later followed by larger Airbus A320 family aircraft and even an Airbus A310. Lufthansa took an initial 24,9% stake in Eurowings in 2001, increasing it to 49% in 2004. It has exercised full control of the airline since 2005 and assumed complete ownership in 2011.
Development as part of Lufthansa
As of 31 December 2006, Lufthansa had a 49% shareholding in Eurowings with a call option for 50.91% of the remaining stakes, bringing the company into the Lufthansa Group fold. At that time, Eurowings was the owner of Germanwings, thus creating a low-cost branch within the Lufthansa trust. Plans to merge these two airlines with TUIfly (controlled by TUI Travel) into a joint and independent holding company, were brought forth during 2008, but did not materialize. Instead, Lufthansa announced in December 2008 to acquire Germanwings from Eurowings.
In September 2010 Eurowings closed its headquarters and technical infrastructure in Dortmund, Germany, and moved both to Düsseldorf, where Eurowings operated most of its flights since the airline was part of Lufthansa Regional. In March 2011, the maintenance division at Nürnberg Airport was also closed.
In late 2013, Eurowings' short-haul flights that are not operated from Frankfurt or Munich were transferred from Lufthansa to Germanwings. All Eurowings flights operated on behalf of Lufthansa Regional ceased by autumn 2014 and were rebranded to Germanwings, the last ones to and from Düsseldorf.
Redevelopment into a low-cost carrier
In July 2014, the Lufthansa Group announced that Eurowings would replace its 23 Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft with 23 Airbus A320s. Ten of the A320s would be new orders, and 13 would be transferred from Lufthansa Group orders between February 2015 and March 2017. Lufthansa also announced Eurowings' transformation from a regional airline into a low-cost long and short-haul carrier by the end of 2015.
On 1 February 2015, Eurowings started operating the Airbus A320-200, after taking delivery of its first on 20 January, which was received from Lufthansa and repainted in Eurowings' new livery. This and further A320s would be operated on behalf of Germanwings for most of 2015, until Lufthansa consolidated its low-cost operations under the new Eurowings brand by end of that year. Additionally, in February 2015, the Lufthansa Group announced that SunExpress Deutschland would be the operator of Eurowings' new long-haul operations, which were to be based at Cologne Bonn Airport from November 2015. SunExpress Deutschland therefore would receive leased Airbus A330-200s.
Eurowings also announced the establishment of its first base outside of Germany, at Vienna International Airport, where the aircraft were planned be operated by Austrian Airlines under the Eurowings brand. Previous plans to establish the first foreign base at Basel/Mulhouse were cancelled. In June 2015, the Lufthansa Group announced the application for an additional Air operator's certificate (AOC) for Eurowings in Austria, called Eurowings Europe, under which all new Airbus A320-200s would be operated while the "current" German Eurowings would continue to operate the existing fleet. This was planned due to lower operational costs based on Austrian Airlines union agreements.
On 2 October 2015, Lufthansa announced a change of plans for their Vienna operations. Austrian Airlines would not operate some routes for the Eurowings brand as planned; instead, Eurowings Europe would handle all these flights itself.
In October 2015, Eurowings took over 55 Germanwings routes. By April 2016, Eurowings had taken over several more routes. Eurowings has been solely responsible for all sales under the Germanwings brand since October 2015.
In December 2015, Eurowings' new long-haul operations faced severe criticism, as every fourth flight was delayed by an average of 5.8 hours, with some flights delayed more than 20 hours. Lufthansa stated that unexpected technical difficulties and a small fleet were to blame; Eurowings started its first seven long-haul routes with only one own aircraft. Shortly after, Eurowings again faced severe public outrage and negative media coverage, after one of their flights from Varadero to Cologne was delayed by more than 60 hours with passengers with visas whose validity had run out stuck in their hotels.
In January 2016, Eurowings cancelled their planned service from Cologne to Tehran, and reduced Dubai flights from year-round to seasonal service. Lufthansa also announced the establishment of a task force in the same month. Its brief would be to eliminate the operational problems which lead to serious delays and to increase operational reliability.
In July 2016, it was made public that Eurowing's owner Lufthansa was considering taking over part of the route network, staff and aircraft leases from Air Berlin, which would then be made part of the Eurowings operations.
In August 2016, Eurowings announced further changes to its long-haul operations. The routes to Boston and to Dubai, which had already been changed from year-round to seasonal, were terminated. Boston was only served for three months. Shortly after, Eurowings also announced it would terminate its last route to Moscow, and therefore Russia, due to low demand. Also in August 2016, Eurowings announced it would open its second Austrian base after Vienna, at Salzburg Airport, with flights to six European metropolitan destinations from January 2017.
In December 2016, it was announced that Air Berlin would wet-lease a total of 38 Airbus A319/A320 aircraft for six years to Lufthansa Group's Eurowings (33 aircraft) and Austrian Airlines (five), starting from February 2017. As a result, Eurowings will phase out Germanwings' older A320s.
On 15 February 2017, Eurowings retired their last Bombardier CRJ900 after a flight from Karlsruhe to Hamburg. All CRJ900s have been handed over to Lufthansa CityLine and replaced by larger Airbus A320-200s, as part of the transformation from a regional into a low-cost carrier.
As of May 2017, the Eurowings fleet consists of the following aircraft:
|Airbus A319-100||11||—||12||126||138||operated by Air Berlin|
|Airbus A320-200||42||8||12||162||174||19 operated by Air Berlin
1 in Borussia Dortmund special livery
|Airbus A330-200||6||1||21||289||310||operated by SunExpress Deutschland|
|Boeing 737-800||1||—||—||189||189||operated by SunExpress Deutschland|
Over the years, Eurowings has operated the following aircraft types:
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Media related to Eurowings at Wikimedia Commons