Lufthansa, Swiss Merge Middle East Operations

RIYADH- German carrier Lufthansa and the Swiss International Air Lines announced yesterday the merger of their Saudi operations. The move follows the process of Lufthansa’s laking over the Swiss airline and its eventual integration into the Lufthansa Group, which was first announced early last year.

“Our integration processes are working very successfully,” said Joachim Steinbach, Lufthansa’s regional vice president, during a press conference yesterday. “We will emerge stronger from the consolidation process in the Kingdom.

From July 20, the airlines will offer new services, more ways in which to earn miles and redeem them for awards and reciprocal lounge access.

“With the announcement of integration, Lufthansa and Swiss customers in the Kingdom will enjoy greater benefits from the ever-closer collaboration.” said Felix Rodel, area managerfor Swiss operations in the Middle East.

With the integration, the two carriers with their operations “under one roof” at the Frankfurt, Munich and Zurich hubs, are able to provide more destinations, more frequencies and better connections, Rodel said.

Rolf Koller, an industry veteran with 22 years’ experience, was named as the new general manager responsible for the operations of the two airlines in the Kingdom and Yemen.

“With our joint frequent-flyer program, partner plus benefits for corporate customers, the three-hub strategy with Zurich, Frankfurt and Munich, and Swiss joining Star Alliance, we are also setting a high-quality trend of benefits for our customers in the Kingdom,” said Koller.

Passengers traveling on either airline from Saudi Arabia can now benefit from a single price structure and they can travel one way on Swiss and return on Lufthansa or vice versa.

Additionally, passengers can enjoy a choice of six flights a week between Riyadh and Jeddah. . The two airlines currently operate 62 flights  a week from nine countries in the Middle East.

The airlines, however, will maintain the identity of their fight brands and products, while Koller will lead a single management team in the Kingdom. This is like operating two restaurants from one kitchen,” he said.

In addition, Abdul Aziz Mangera has been appointed as district manager for the Western Province. They said that the high-class travelers would also benefit from the private jet facility offered by Lufthansa.

“This is in addition to the added benefits for members of the elite Oil & Energy Club set up by Lufthansa to serve top officials and executives working in the oil industry of the Kingdom,” said Steinbach.

Add Comment