Eurowings lands in Cape Town. (Photo: Eurowings)
Cape Town - Cape Town is the latest destination in the long-haul offering to join Eurowings' intercontinental range - with "Europe’s fastest growing airline" adding more direct connectivity to the Mother City and the African continent overall.
On Monday 6 November Cape Town International Airport welcomed the first Eurowings Airbus A330 direct flight to Cape Town from Cologne Bonn Airport. In future a weekly flight will depart Germany on a Sunday evening, with the return flight from South Africa back to Cologne expected to depart every Monday at 18:45.
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Andre Schulz, General Manager for the Lufthansa Group Southern Africa told Traveller24 that the decision to fly direct to Cape Town instead of Johannesburg is due to the fact that German and European tourists favour the Mother City.
Eurowings comes with a different strategy than the Lufthansa group explains Schulz. He says that it has a different price concept and product concept that's very much leisure-driven, adding that European tourists love to visit the Cape as there is value for money.
"Cape Town continues to be a favoured destination, owing to its beauty, exceptionally high quality of food, wine, customer service and friendly residents. The Lufthansa Group recognises that Cape Town’s popularity is not a trend, but rather a market that requires a long-term and dedicated investment,” adds Schulz.
"Cape Town and the Western Cape have had great success in building the reputation of the city and the province as not only a glorious international tourist destination, but also a globally competitive business location,” he says.
SEE: #LoveSA: Why Germans are loving SA right now
"We are seeing a lot of growth in the South African market and especially with the major hubs - Johannesburg and Cape Town - Johannesburg is the backbone of the operation but the growth is happening in Cape Town."
"We are proud to have our first Eurowings aircraft touching down in Cape Town, and it is part of the bigger growth strategy of the Lufthansa group," Schulz told Traveller 24, adding that Lufthansa, Edelweiss and Austrian Airlines are increasing capacity to Cape Town in 2018.
Departure from Cologne/Bonn (CGN) to Cape Town (CPT) at 23:20. Arrival at 12:30 on the following day/flight day: Sunday.
Departure from Cape Town (CPT) to Cologne/Bonn (CGN) at 18:45. Arrival at 05:50 on the following day/flight day: Monday.
The new Eurowings flight route in SA will be operated with a long-haul Airbus A330, offering in-flight entertainment. Flights are available in the three rate classes - BASIC, SMART and BEST - and customers can choose which comfort features they want to make use of on their trip to SA.
More route expansions from Lufthansa group for SA
In addition to the new Eurowings route, here's how jetsetters can also benefit from the Lufthansa group's new routes and expansions:
- Increase in the all-year round Cape Town-Frankfurt service from 3 times to 5 times a week.
- A seasonal Munich-Cape Town flight recently started and runs until April 2018 offering 10 weekly frequencies from Lufthansa.
- Edelweiss increased frequency and will now fly 3 times a week from Zurich to Cape Town.
- Major expansion will be the new service from Austrian Airlines in October 2018, with direct flights between Cape Town and Vienna twice a week.
Here's what Schulz shared with Traveller24:
More long-haul growth overall
Eurowings will expand its long-haul offering in 2018 with three long-haul aircraft based in Munich and the aim to grow offerings from Düsseldorf and Berlin next year.
"This means that the Lufthansa subsidiary responsible for direct connections is also taking advantage of options in the rapidly growing low-cost long-haul market," says the airline.
A large number of new flights within Germany and Europe will ensure greater connectivity to the long-haul network and networking between the departure airports.
"For Eurowings customers, this means countless possible combinations for their air travel to Asia, the Caribbean or South Africa," says the airline that aims to maximise planning options for its customers.
SEE: #AfriTravel: Lufthansa celebrates 55 years of connecting SA to the world
Oliver Wagner, CEO of Eurowings, says that the airline is also "heavily involved in long-haul transport".
"The offering has become an important part of our growth strategy. In the coming year we are planning another huge development step and also the expansion of our long-haul offering to three other German airports in addition to Cologne/Bonn. As a result, Eurowings will also become one of the largest, most important and most successful airlines in Europe in this market segment.”
Improving product offering for travellers
Lufthansa recently bought planes and staff from bankrupt Air Berlin, and Schulz told Traveller24 that this acquisition will improve the product offering for travellers.
He says that this is a "major step in airline consolidation" happening at the moment with the integration of 81 short and mid-haul aircrafts from Air Berlin into the Eurowings platform. "That will excelerate the growth we've seen in Eurowings tremendously," says Schulz.
SEE: Lufthansa will buy 81 planes and 3 000 staff from Air Berlin
"Eurowings is the fastest airline in Europe and with this integration, and the integration of Brussels Airlines that is also happening in 2018, Eurowings will become number three in European point-of-point traffic," adds Schulz. "We believe this will also give a much better choice to the customers in terms of product, network and loyalty programmes."
How passengers benefit
Apart from ease of travel with new direct routes, Schulz told Traveller24 that Eurowings' and the Lufthansa group's new routes and expansions are connecting South Africans to the world and vice verse by offering "many more travel options for the customer".
He says there are different products available now as the group is follwoing a "multi-brand and multi-hub strategy" with hubs in Frankfurt, Zurich, Munich, Vienna, and Cologne.
"There are more travel options, and in terms of loyalty programmes where you can earn and redeem your miles."
He says that the dfferent products offered to different customer groups will also give access to new customers - especially with new price-driven products for leisure customers. "For instance Eurowings is also targeting customers who maybe did not fly in the past and now with a dfferent price concept, they will fly," he says.
All Eurowings flights can be booked at www.eurowings.com or via the Eurowings app. There is also the option on the website to book budget package holidays to the long-haul destinations through the Eurowings Holidays tour operator.
What to read next on Traveller24:
- #FindYourEscape: 25 new flight routes and expansions SA travellers can take advantage of
- #AfriTravel: Lufthansa celebrates 55 years of connecting SA to the world
- Lufthansa will buy 81 planes and 3 000 staff from Air Berlin