The Lufthansa Group is pleased to announce they will be increasing their flight offering in Egypt during the upcoming winter schedule. Lufthansa will be increasing weekly connections from Cairo to Frankfurt from seven to ten flights per week and the Cairo –Munich connection from four to five flights per week. Austrian Airlines will additionally be increasing its connections from Cairo to Vienna from four to six per week starting in the winter, said General Manager Sales Egypt at Lufthansa Group, Sadiq Mohamed.
Daily News Egypt interviewed Mohamed to learn about the Group’s business and new products in Egypt, the transcript for which is below, lightly edited for clarity:
Do you plan to increase the company’s flights in the Egyptian market?
It has been a very good year for the Lufthansa Group because we were able to increase both our capacity and flight connections from Egypt into our home markets. In the upcoming summer months, from 1 July to 30 September 2019, Lufthansa will be operating the Airbus A330 on the Cairo- Frankfurt route offering passengers even more seats on this route.
Additionally, the Lufthansa Group will increase its winter 2019/20 frequencies. Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines will be increasing weekly connections from Cairo to Frankfurt, Munich and Vienna starting in the 2019/20 winter schedule.
What are the company’s new products in Egypt?
Last year, we introduced several new fights to the Red Sea, Hurghada, and Marsa Alam, and we will continue these flights.
What is the size of cooperation between Lufthansa and the Egyptian government?
Last year we celebrated the 60-year anniversary of Lufthansa in Egypt and are proud to be present and committed to this market. Today, over six decades’ years later, all 5 Lufthansa Group carriers – OS, LH, LX, EW, SN are operating in Egypt which give our Egyptian customers access to our worldwide network of destinations in 102 countries.
Our employees and customers have also been expanding in the region and we continue to build relationships and grow. We work closely with our partners in Egypt and we definitely seek to increase our bilateral cooperation.
What makes your services different and distinguished from other companies?
Lufthansa Group airlines has one of the largest networks in the world, serving 318 destinations in 102 countries, with 13,267 weekly connections. With the increase in connections from Egypt, passengers have even more choices to for the most convenient connections into our hubs and around the world. The Lufthansa Group continues to offer premium service and this has been recently awarded by the numerous Skytrax awards we received just last week based on the votes of 20 million passengers from over 160 countries worldwide. The Lufthansa Group continues to focus on innovation. Lufthansa, SWISS and Austrian have launched the biggest product offensive of all time and are investing a further 2.5 billion euros in new seats in all classes, a significantly larger lounge offering and the expansion of digital services. The aim is to provide customers with an even more personalized service.
For customers who are flying to our 5-Star airport in Munich this summer can additionally enjoy shopping at Munich Airport with a 10% discount, at any of the participating euro trade shops until 31 July.
How does the expected increase in oil prices affect your business?
In principle, our prices are determined primarily by supply and demand, and at the end of the day the final price is central to the customer. In the airline industry, the customer has the choice. If the (final) price/performance ratio is not right, they will not be competitive in the long term.
Do you plan to operate flights to new markets?
We recently introduced Austin Texas, USA as a brand new destination served via Frankfurt. From Munich, we have recently introduced new connections to Bangkok, Newcastle and Tallinn.
Do you plan to invest more in air services and aircraft supplies? If yes, please elaborate.
As the leading European Aviation Group, the Lufthansa Group airlines continue modernizing their fleet, which is one of the biggest projects at the moment. In 2017, we received a new aircraft nearly every week of the year – and in 2018, we received a new aircraft every second week. We will continue to invest in economic, fuel-efficient and quiet aircraft. Recently we ordered forty ultra-modern long-haul aircraft including 20 Boeing 787-9 and 20 Airbus A350-900 aircraft with an investment volume of 12 billion US dollars.
Next year we will also be receiving the newly ordered Boeing 777-x with a brand new Business Class seat that allows every passenger to have direct access to the aisle. All of these aircraft have lower CO2 emissions, are quieter and have lower operating costs.
Do you think that Egypt needs more FDIs in the aviation sector?
Egypt is an attractive market and we have been quite successful here. We have a history of over 60 years in Egypt, which is one of the top destinations in the region and we hope to continue for a long time.
Do you plan to increase your investments in Egypt?
The Lufthansa Group is continuously evaluating and optimizing its entire route network and we are proud to have increased our capacity from Egypt this summer and our flight connections in the upcoming winter schedule.
How many countries does the company operate in?
Lufthansa Group airlines serve 318 destinations in 102 countries, offering 13,267 weekly frequencies during the 2019 summer schedule. The current fleet is comprised of 763 aircraft (as of December 2018) and the Group will continue to take delivery of new aircraft until 2025. In 2018, the Lufthansa Group employed around 135,000 personnel, welcomed 142 million passengers aboard its flights and generated sales of around EUR 35.8 billion.