Percy Roxas recently spoke with Dirk Grossman, general manager-passenger sales of Lufthansa for Thailand and the Mekong Region; Napaporn Pinkaew, general manager of SWISS (Thailand); Boonita Tantiprasut, general manager of Austrian Airlines (Thailand and Southeast Asia); and Chompunut Sirisopana, key account manager for Lufthansa (Thailand and Cambodia).
Four airlines, one group — no, four strong airlines in one strong group.
“The Lufthansa Group is the world’s biggest airline group in turnover terms and is also the market leader in Europe’s airline sector,”saysDirk Grossman, general manager-passenger sales of Lufthansa for Thailand and the Mekong Region.
“As the group strives to bethe First Choice in Aviation for its customers, employees, shareholders, and partners, we endeavors to provide excellent service to it customers at all times.Safety, quality, reliability, and innovation are the prime credentials and priorities of all our business activities.”
The Lufthansa Group is active in five strategic business areas: Lufthansa Passenger Airline Group, which carries more than 110-million passengers annually; Lufthansa Cargo, which ranks among the worlds largest cargo airlines; Lufthansa Technik, which is one of the world’s most important manufacturer-independents provider of technical services for aircraft; LSG Lufthansa Service Holdings (LSG Sky Chefs Group), which — with around 200 locations in 52 countries — is the world’s market leader in airline catering and with services covering inflight service procedures; and Lufthansa Systems, which is one of the world’s leading IT service providers for the aviation industry.
The Lufthansa Passenger Airline Group represents just one of the group’s business areas. In Thailand, four airlines form the core of this passenger airline group today: Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian, and Eurowings airlines. The youngest member of the Group, Eurowings, is building on the successful Germanwings concept, which is positioned as an innovative quality low-cost airline brand in Germany and Europe. The airline now connects passengers from Bangkok and Phuket to Germany.
Together these airlines fly to 25 destinations in 101 countries (this winter), with 19,338 flights each week around the world from their hubs in Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Vienna, and Brussels. Each airline has a story of its own, although all share the vision of a globally active, modern aviation company that always focuses on the needs of its passengers.
“Whether you travel with Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian, or Eurowings, you can rest assured that you will travel comfortably in appropriate, modern and environmentally friendly aircraft,” says Grossman. “Together, they form a strong partnership that allows each independent airline to expand their inherent versatile range of services still further we will always be able to offer passengers traveling with us a relaxing journey.”
Lufthansa flew its first service from Berlin to Bangkok in 1939 using a Junkers 52 aircraft that took four-and-a-half days to fly the intercontinental distance of 10,000km. In November 1969, Lufthansa introduced its first scheduled flight to Asia with its Super Constellation Hamburg-Duseldoorf-Frankfurt-Tome-Cairo-Karachi-Calcutta-Bangkok. It took 36 hours to complete the journey. Today, Thailand –especially Bangkok–is a very important hub for the airline group. Lufthansa Group flies 26 flights a week between Europe and Asia.
“Thailand is popular destination for travelers from Europe – and that’s why this route is very profitable for the Group,” adds Napaporn Pinkaew, general manager of SWISS (Thailand). “The group currently operates 23 weekly flights from Bangkok to our hubs in Europe.”
What makes each airline separately popular among travelers is its overall value for money benefit. “As a traditional German company we stand for safety, quality, reliability, and innovation,” adds Boonita Tantiprasut, general manager of Austrian Airlines (Thailand and Southeast Asia). “Our employees always give their best in order to provide excellent service to our customers.”
Among the prime attractions of flying with any airline in the Lufthansa Group is their ability to provide “state-of the-art” travel on modern, environmentally friendly aircraft.
Cabin service in all airlines within the Group are definitely among the best in the world as the crew is taught by Lufthansa Flight Training to provide professional service, high safety levels, and effective teamwork.
“We prepare our cabin crews for their duties as hosts above the clouds through modern and innovative training concepts,” adds Grossman. “Our training courses provide our flight attendants and senior cabin crew members with both extensive knowledge and the necessary finishing touches to ensure perfect service on board the aircraft.
All four airlines offer excellent services and facilities. Entertainment offerings on board long-haul flights are first-class, with Lufthansa in-flight entertainment as well as current blockbusters and popular classics. “You can also choose from a large number of TV series, audio books, CDs and radio stations,” says Boonita. “You just sit back and enjoy the excellent entertainment program.” As in SWISS’s Airbus A340 and A330-300, every seat has a personal entertainment system offering a multitude of media programs.
Seat comfort varies depending on the aircraft type but designed to provide convenient personal space. In fact, in some, like in the Premium Economy Class of Lufthansa, passengers get more personal space – with up to 50 percent more room so that passengers experience especially pleasant flights with seats wider than the airline’s Economy Class. Now imagine how much more space and comfort you’ll enjoy on First- and Business classes!
With LSG Sky Chefs as a strong partner, all four airlines ensure tasty meals on board. For example, with Lufthansa, no matter your destination and even on Economy Class, you will be spoiled with an aperitif service and cocktail drinks. A selection of treats suited to your destination and an extensive choice of drinks are available. On selected routes, there is even what they call, “movie snacks.”
For SWISS, passengers from Switzerland on First an Business Class enjoy a multi-course meals created especially by a Swiss chef, and every three months, the airline “Taste of Switzerland,” a culinary surprise from a different Swiss region. Austrian Airlines also ensure that while part of the Group, each individual airline retains a unique identity of the region they are representing: the German efficiency, the Swiss hospitality, and the Austrian flair, for example.
“Our employees always give their best in order to provide excellent service to our customers,” Grossman points out.
“So when you fly in any of the Lufthansa Group airline – you know you are in good hands,” says Napaporn. “These are Europe’s leading airlines, and you can rely on everything being perfectly prepared for your satisfying journey. You enjoy service that meets your requirement. You arrive refreshed ready to get more out of your destination.”
Of course challenges are always part of any business equation but Grossman says the Group, most importantly, will continue giving its best so to meet all kinds of challenges in the future.
“One of the exciting things in being in this industry is that you can never really see things coming up – for example, Brexit and the terror attacks in Europe, which no one could have foreseen,” says Grossman.
“But most importantly, we will continue giving our best so that we will meet all kinds of challenges in the future. “
Grossman also says that while the concurrence is very strong and it’s a constant battle for customers, each airline in the Group only becomes more motivated by the challenges and takes those challenges to prove each other’s strengths. “That’s why we are the world’s biggest airline group in turnover terms,” he reiterates.But also, being the first choice for employees to work daily to improve service and improving their work for all passengers.”
With such strong airlines in one strong group, Grossman and his team see The Lufthansa Passenger Airline Group as still providing excellent service to customers for a long time, being the world’s biggest airline group in turnover terms, and also the market leader in Europe’s airline sector. With the Lufthansa Group’s passenger business from its various hubs continuing to be brisk and growing, we can only strongly agree.