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Lufthansa Rebrands Leisure Airline Subsidiary Discover

Edward Russell

September 5th, 2023 at 10:39 AM EDT

A Discover Airbus A330

A big focus of the Lufthansa Group during the pandemic was streamlining its operations. It closed two subsidiaries but, to the bane of some industry analysts, launched a new one in 2021, Eurowings Discover.

That airline is now just Discover under a new brand identity revealed Tuesday. The change will allow it to better differentiate itself from the separate Lufthansa Group budget subsidiary Eurowings. The main difference is where each airline maintains bases: Discover operates leisure routes from Lufthansa’s core Frankfurt and Munich hubs, while Eurowings has bases in non-core cities, like Berlin, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, and Prague.

“We have built up our airline in a record time of two years,” Discover CEO Bernd Bauer said. “The start-up phase is behind us and we are working on sharpening our profile as well as a clear positioning in the segment of higher-value leisure travel.”

Bauer also leads Edelweiss, the Lufthansa Group’s Switzerland-based leisure airline.

The leisure travel market is booming in Europe. While corporate travel remains down across the board, leisure fliers are filling planes and driving profits at airlines ranging from Air France-KLM to Norwegian Air and Ryanair this summer. That has resulted in some capacity shifts with many airports in southern Europe fully recovered or busier than in 2019, while those in northern Europe — like Germany and Scandinavia — are still well below pre-crisis numbers.

At the Lufthansa Group, corporate travel volumes were roughly 60% of 2019 levels in the second quarter. Leisure travelers, however, were driving “high premium demand” and pushing yields up, group Chief Financial Officer Remco Steenbergen said in August.

Discover, according to Bauer, is profitable. That is no small feat for the group as Eurowings, designed to compete with the likes of EasyJet and Ryanair, has long struggled to stay in the black. In the second quarter, Eurowings posted a €69 million ($74 million) operating profit.

The group has not fully explained why — beyond the route network differences — Discover and Eurowings are separate airlines rather than a single, unified budget leisure airline.

Discover caters to booming leisure travel with the new brand standing for the “joy of traveling, discovering, and rediscovering beautiful places and experiences.”

In addition to the rebranding, the budget airline will add six more aircraft — five Airbus A320s and one Airbus A330 — to its fleet by next summer. The majority of its 28 plane-strong fleet will be based in Frankfurt with five A320s in Munich.

Discover serves a wide range of leisure destinations that include Anchorage, Cancun, Orlando, and Tampa in the Americas; Kilimanjaro and Victoria Falls in Africa; and a wide range of Mediterranean destinations like Corfu, Mykonos, and Rhodes.

The first aircraft featuring Discover’s new brand, an A320 (registration D-AIUR), was unveiled in Munich on Tuesday.

Edward Russell

September 5th, 2023 at 10:39 AM EDT

Tags: Europe

Photo credit: The Lufthansa Group has rebranded Eurowings Discover as just Discover. Discover

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