On Dec. 7, Deutsche Lufthansa AG, a global operating aviation group with more than 400 companies and subsidiaries, announced that its subsidiary, Lufthansa Private Jet, would purchase its own jets and continue to offer private jet service. The company said because it´s setting up its own LPJ service, cooperation with the previous provider, NetJets Europe, would cease in February 2008.
NetJets Europe, subsidiary of NetJets Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway Co., has been Lufthansa´s main provider of private jet flights. Lufthansa said that until its fleet reaches the required size for 2008, about 10 aircraft initially, partners certified by Lufthansa would operate individual LPJ flights.
Conceived in March 2005, LPJ has offered point-to-point flights between as many as 1,000 destinations within Europe and the Russian Federation.
"Customer demand for the LPJ has risen steadily in 2007, and at times, outstripped capacity," said Thierry Antinori, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Lufthansa´s passenger airline. "The continued growth in demand shows us that our customers want a top-quality Lufthansa service. By creating our own private jet service, we´re broadening our product portfolio."
He said that 70 percent of all LPJ passengers fly point-to-point within Europe; 30 percent of customers use the LPJ service to connect directly with onward long-haul flights operated by Lufthansa or Swiss International Airlines, a strategic airline partner, via Frankfurt, Munich or Zurich.
Lufthansa will purchase new aircraft, fitted with exclusive interiors, next year, and expects the new jets to enter service in the spring of 2008. The company didn´t provide further details about aircraft type, seating configurations or specific orders.
The airline said it offers flights at a fixed, all-inclusive price. Members of the Lufthansa Miles & More frequent flyer program receive 10,000 miles per flight leg.