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Say Hello To City Airlines, Lufthansa Group’s Newest Regional Carrier

The Munich based carrier is expected to begin connecting passengers to destinations throughout Europe from the middle of this year

by Fergus Cole

March 21, 2023

Photo: Courtesy of Andrew Pons / Unsplash

German flag carrier Lufthansa has announced plans to launch City Airlines, a subsidiary, short- and medium-haul airline based in Munich.

As part of Lufthansa Group’s plans to expand its network in Europe and provide more competition in the regional short-haul market, City Airlines was founded as a registered company in April 2022. It has now been confirmed that the new carrier plans to launch operations in mid-2023. However, an exact date for the inaugural flight has not yet been released.

Based out of Munich International Airport (MUC), City Airlines will act as a sister airline to the already established Lufthansa CityLine. It is also set to replace the majority of short-haul European routes currently operated by low-cost carrier Eurowings—another Lufthansa Group subsidiary joining Swiss International Air Lines, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings, and Air Dolomiti.

Photo: Courtesy of Waldemar / Unsplash

City Airlines is not expected to be a traditional low-cost carrier but will act as a more economically-viable alternative to the main Lufthansa branch.

A statement on City Airlines’ website reads: “As a new airline and the youngest member of the Lufthansa Group, we are thrilled to fly daily from our home base in Munich to major European cities and remote regions. At our hub, we also offer fast and convenient connections to the worldwide Lufthansa route network.”

City Airlines is expected to operate primarily as a short- and medium-haul airline, connecting Munich with European destinations with a fleet of Airbus planes. It has yet to be confirmed which aircraft will be used, but it is expected to be the 160-capacity Airbus A319.

While plans for establishing the new airline have been underway since last year, Lufthansa has suggested the project is part of a push to regain lost market share in the European aviation sector.

“Lufthansa has lost a significant share in the European market in recent years,” said a spokesperson for Lufthansa. “In a highly competitive and fast-paced environment in the short- and medium-haul sector, stable and sustainable solutions are needed to make hub-contact traffic viable for the future.”

Photo: Courtesy of Lufthansa

“With the goal of developing structures for a strong, competitive short- and medium-haul airline to feed the Lufthansa hubs, the ‘CityLine 2’ project was launched at Lufthansa CityLine in April 2022. As part of the project, the company ‘City Airlines GmbH’ was founded in April 2022, which is necessary for the implementation of a new AOC.”

Lufthansa Group is currently on a recruitment drive to get a wide range of highly-skilled staff to operate its new subsidiary. Carsten Spohr, the CEO of Lufthansa, has suggested before that the company will look at employing pilots previously employed by Germanwings, a regional low-cost carrier that folded in 2020.

“It will offer an opportunity to employ some 250 captains that were active with Germanwings, which has now been dissolved and which would risk unemployment,” said Spohr last year.