hubs, with passenger growth of 9.5%, 9.3% and 8.5%
respectively, while home hub Frankfurt also saw growth
of 4.7%. Eurowings—Lufthansa’s answer to LCC competition—saw 18% growth in 2018.
Te background to this growth makes Lufthansa’s
achievement even more impressive. Europe—especially
Lufthansa’s home market of Germany—was impacted
by some of the worst ATC-related delays and cancel-
ations through the summer of 2018 caused by a combi-
nation of strikes in France, German ATC planning and
infrastructure issues, and weather. In Lufthansa’s own
words, it was a “turbulent summer.” But the company
kept moving forward, is hiring thousands more staf
across its network airlines of Lufthansa, Swiss Inter-
national Air Lines (SWISS) and Austrian Airlines, and
maintained its technology and innovation edge.
It was also a milestone year because Lufthansa was
awarded a fve-star Skytrax rating in 2018—the frst
European carrier to get the top customer service rating.
“Te award is a very welcome recognition of our
great eforts to restore Lufthansa to its position as one
of the world’s leading premium airlines,” Lufthansa
Group chairman and CEO Carsten Spohr said. “We
have invested hugely in our feet, renewed all our cabins, introduced digital services, opened new lounges,
and improved our services both on board and on the
ground. We are now far more clearly positioned as a
Investment in modernization and technology played
its part in the improvement. For instance, a new Lufthansa app was developed, and there was a full refurbishment across all cabins that aligned with the airline’s
new livery. Restaurant service was extended from the
frst-class cabin to business class, allowing guests a more
personal service. More refnements are planned for the
premium economy cabins and for a new business-class
cabin that will launch in 2020 on the Boeing 777-9X.
“We listen more to what our customers want, and
we listen particularly carefully to our frequent fiers
because they really know us best of all. We want to
ofer them a perfect product. Our guests are eager to
share their suggestions and experiences so as to help us
continue to improve our services, and I am constantly
amazed at the expertise, experience and creativity they
share with us,” Spohr said.
Technology and innovation are Lufthansa hallmarks.
Responding to growth in the Asian travel and mobility digitalization market, the company has opened a
Lufthansa Innovation Hub (LIH) in Singapore, its frst
Asia accounted for around 59% of the $43.9 billion
invested globally in the travel and mobility tech market
in 2018, with half of the 34 travel-tech “unicorns”—
privately held startups valued at over $1 billion—based
In its initial stages, LIH has partnered with business school INSEAD—which has campuses in France,
Singapore and Abu Dhabi—to research the “Future of