DALLAS — City Airlines GmbH is the new short-haul airline from Lufthansa (LH), the largest German carrier. It is the second airline of its kind in the Lufthansa Group next to Lufthansa Cityline (CL). The lines are scheduled to start operations as early as the summer of 2023.
The new airline will bring passengers from all over Europe to the LH hubs in Germany with about 40 medium- and short-haul aircraft. Its main hub will be Munich Airport (MUC). GmbH operations will be under 100% wet leasing just like CL.
City Airlines will not sell flights under its own brand, as you know it, for example, from Eurowings Discover or Eurowings (EW), but you will take over short-haul flights from LH from Munich in order to fly them under LH flight number and branding.
An Airbus A319 from CL is also to switch to the fleet of the new GmbH soon, as this step is necessary for the new company to receive an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) because for this you need at least one aircraft in the fleet.
Initial Difficulties, Conflict With Union
City Airlines GmbH was actually founded in May 2022. However, the project was formally stopped by LH in October. The reason for this was conflicts with the Union Association Cockpit.
Lufthansa’s main goal is that the airline operates feeder flights to the LH hubs analogous to the CL. Pilots will earn significantly less with the airline than with the original Lufthansa Group Airlines to save personal costs.
In order to appease the pilots, the union has a comprehensive peace obligation until May 30. June 2023 and called for a stop from the airline. However, LH continued to work internally on the airline.
It is already clear that this project will not improve the already tense relationship between the airline and the pilot union. What the reaction of the union is is still unclear, but far-reaching strikes will probably be expected.
The new subsidiary of LH will officially formally start employing new employees in the summer of 2023, the airline pointed out on their already-released website. Only a few new staff should be trained.
In the background, LH is already looking for especially flight attendants, who still work at CL.
Featured image: Lufthansa D-AILC Airbus A319-114. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways