Lufthansa Sees Growth Opportunities in Saudi Arabia, Muscat

  • Plans 3 billion euros in new products to boost Gulf business
  • Executive warns that strikes can damage long-term reputation

Deutsche Lufthansa AG sees Saudi Arabia, Muscat and post-sanction Iran as potential growth opportunities in the Middle East as it introduces new products and services across the region.

The German carrier will offer its new premium economy class on flights to Dubai and the Gulf region starting Oct. 25, and a restaurant-style service on its Gulf routes, Karsten Zang, regional director for the Gulf, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, told reporters in Dubai. “Our new products will help us definitely to be more competitive here in the Gulf region.”

The company has invested 3 billion euros ($3.4 billion) in new offerings and lounges as part of a restructuring drive as it seeks a Skytrax five-star rating to help it compete with Gulf rivals including Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways. It has also called for a level playing field, accusing its competitors of taking state subsidies.

Its low-cost carrier unit Eurowings could also help attract certain segments in the Gulf because of its competitive cost structure, Zang said.

He also warned that persistent strikes could harm Lufthansa’s reputation in the long term. “We don’t see a huge impact at the moment, but for sure if this would continue in the future, yes to a certain degree, it could damage also your reputation,” he said.

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