Lufthansa Group is making major investments in the areas of product customization and digitalization. Between now and 2020, the Lufthansa Group will be investing 500 million euros in the new development and improvement of personalized digital offers alone. Whether above the clouds or on the ground – the Lufthansa Group is reacting to customer preferences with tailor-made digital offers. For example, travellers can already download 250 newspapers and magazines as eJournals, and over 200,000 downloads in February alone show how customers are enthusiastically welcoming the offering. Customers can ask the chatbot “Mildred” about the best prices for flights. They can also access current information regarding their flight with the Apple Watch while in the air and much, much more. Most recently, the airline group has been developing a new application for the “personal assistant” Google Home. The little device will soon be able to use text to speech technology to answer questions regarding upcoming Lufthansa flights.
“At Lufthansa, digitalization is much more than just developing new apps. We offer our clients state of the art technology to respond to their requests and provide them with the best possible support for their journeys,” says Harry Hohmeister, Member of the Executive Board of the Lufthansa Group and responsible for the Hub Airlines. He continued, “It isn’t just about major innovations – it’s also about all the little things that make travelling with us more pleasant, more comfortable and more personalized.”
A new business class for the Boeing Triple Seven X
As an ITB exclusive, the Executive Board of the Lufthansa Group announced another previously well-kept secret: The new Boeing Triple Seven X, planned to take off for the first time in 2020, will be getting a completely newly designed business class. Perfect customization and digitalization are also the theme of this newly developed generation of seats: passengers can control their seats wirelessly using their own smartphones or tablets. The position of the seat as well as the inflight entertainment can be controlled directly via their personal devices “This seat will be more than ‘just’ a seat. It will meet the specific needs of customers – no matter whether they prefer to work or sleep, or whether they are travelling with their families or on their own for business. You really have something to look forward to. Let us surprise you,” said Harry Hohmeister, speaking at the ITB.
The new business class seat doesn’t only represent quality and customization – it is also an example of a new strategy within the Lufthansa Group: an ever increasing joint responsibility for processes. For instance, the new seat was developed for the network airlines Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and Swiss collectively. The sales division was also restructured last year, across all Lufthansa Group hub airlines. Heike Birlenbach, Senior Vice President Sales Hub Airlines Lufthansa Group, emphasizes: “Standardized processes across all three hub airlines and shared structures reduce complexity and make our customers and sales partners the central focus of everything we do.” The “BookaGroup” platform that will be expanded for all three network airlines in the second quarter of 2017 is one example of this approach. Sales partners will be able to request any desired group travel combination with Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and Swiss in a single web-based tool, and book them with immediate confirmation.
One-way fares starting at 49 euros offer more travel options in Europe
The Lufthansa Group has made a new type of fare available: one-way tickets to European destinations. From now on, customers can jet across Europa with Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and Swiss for as little as 49 euros. Around 7,500 weekly flights to some 170 destinations in 44 countries offer even more options and flexibility in arranging air travel.
Presales through direct channels
The Lufthansa Group will continue to expand its direct channels in 2017. The long-term goal is to be a “first mover”, offering attractive flights and services that meet the increasingly specialized and dynamic requirements of sales partners and corporate customers. The Lufthansa Group had already begun implementing its new sales and distribution strategy back in 2015. With the most recent technological solutions, customers will benefit from additional content that could not be made available before, as well as from optional services that are more innovative, more affordable and more customer-oriented than before.
This also means that it will be possible to customize offers for the various channels.
As a first step, the Lufthansa Group is offering its direct sales partners exclusive presale promotions. Going forward, the differentiated offers made available to Direct Connect partners will be reassessed, expanded and adapted continuously, in order to meet customer requirements as much as possible.