Lufthansa has unveiled plans to launch a new low-cost carrier which will eventually expand into the long-haul market.
The new carrier, called Wings, will operate from multiple European bases in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, alongside the brand’s existing mainline carriers, Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and SWISS.
“The new Wings family, which will build on the success of the Germanwings concept, will be specifically aligned to the high-growth market for private air travel,” Lufthansa said in a statement.
“The group will use the new Wings master brand to bundle the various platforms for its point-to-point air travel business, and it is considering extending the concept to intercontinental services too.”
The group said it will initially operate Wings using a fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft, which will replace the group’s existing fleet of Bombardier CRJ jets. Services will be launched in spring 2015 at Basel, Switzerland.
And at a later stage, Lufthansa also plans expand the Wings concept into the long-haul market. The group said that studies are currently being conducted “into whether this should be done alone or with a further partner”, with talks said to be at an “advanced stage” with fellow Star Alliance member Turkish Airlines.
Long-haul operations are set to commence in winter 2015, with a fleet that will gradually build up to seven Boeing 767 or Airbus A330 aircraft.
The Wings plan formed part of a raft of new innovations by the carrier, through which Lufthansa says it wants to “regain its role as the benchmark of the aviation sector”.