Gulf airlines challenge Lufthansa

In these challenging economic times will the traditional established carriers return to their old ways of thinking to justify the defense of their historical market positions? From a report in today’s Travel Daily Asia this may be the case in Germany.

Market barriers may not be falling as fast in today’s world, but ultimately, it will be the customer who decides the winners and losers, based on customer service, product and value for money. Far better to focus on improving your product offering to retain and grow your market share, than trying to re-erect old barriers that are unsustainable.

German carrier petitions against market “imbalance”…

Germany is likely to witness a tussle between Lufthansa and rapidly growing Gulf carriers that are challenging the German flagship carrier’s market dominance. According to a Gulf News report, Lufthansa wants the German government to block the expansion of Emirates into Germany. Thierry Antinori, Lufthansa’s Executive Vice President of Marketing and Sales, was reported saying that there was an “imbalance” in competition because his airline could only have “limited” market access because of the UAE’s smaller size while Gulf airlines can serve several German routes.“We have to make the situation clear to politicians,” Antinori told Gulf News, declaring that the company would oppose “wild expansion and new traffic rights” for Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways. Emirates reportedly responded to Lufthansa’s resistance to its expansion, saying it “always welcomes competition”. An airline spokesperson added that Emirates had “boosted the German economy by billions of euros, not least because we have bought a large number of German-built Airbus aircraft”. At present, Emirates has 49 flights to Frankfurt, Hamburg, Düsseldorf and Munich and is looking to add Berlin and Stuttgart to its German network.