In his first briefing with media today, Mr. Veli Polat, the newly appointed Senior Director Sales Greater China Lufthansa Group Airlines, who is responsible for sales and marketing of Lufthansa German Airlines, Austrian Airlines and Swiss International Air Lines in the Greater China region, reinforced the importance of Hong Kong to the group’s regional ambitions.
Mr. Polat mentioned that as Lufthansa group continues to strengthen its presence across Greater China and beyond, Hong Kong’s position is increasingly pivotal, not just as an outbound market, but also as an end destination and as a transit hub.
Lufthansa Group has a well-established presence in Hong Kong and currently operates 26 weekly non-stop flights from the city to Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich and Vienna. In recent years, the Group has continued to strengthen its Hong Kong operations. These investments include Swiss International Air Lines’ deployment of the flagship B777-300ER featuring brand new cabin products last April, and the launch of Austrian Airlines’ direct flights between Hong Kong and Vienna last September.
Mr. Polat highlighted how the recently signed codeshare agreement between Lufthansa Group and Cathay Pacific heralds new and exciting opportunities for not only the group, but also the Hong Kong market. “Thanks to our codeshare partnership with Cathay Pacific, which took effect just yesterday, we are able to offer our customers in Europe improved onward connectivity to Australia and New Zealand, and offer local and regional travelers more network options in continental Europe, all via Hong Kong. This highly complementary partnership will create more value for customers, and no doubt strengthen the city’s role as a regional hub while benefitting the local travel economy.”
He also stressed the importance of the China market and the company’s upcoming plans to enhance the customer experience. “Lufthansa Group has been proudly serving China for over 90 years and we are the leading European airline group in the country. However, in this fast-growing and dynamic market, we must continue to innovate and surpass our customers’ expectations. In 2017, we look forward to bringing more personalised services and products, as well as more booking and travel convenience to our customers in Hong Kong and mainland China.”
To secure Lufthansa Group’s competitiveness and in an effort to make travelling more efficient, sustainable and attractive, Lufthansa Group has declared 2017 “the year of digitalization and innovation”. The company is investing 500 million euros (over HK$4 billion) by 2020 to create more individualised products and services to improve the customer experience.