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The sky's the limit
30/09/2006 | Channel:
Luxair, an airline with 44 years experience, is in the midst of a rejuvenation that will see the company return to form
Luxair began flying in March 1962, linking the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg with other major centres in the emerging European Union. Today, the airline employs 2000 staff and links the country with more than 50 provincial business and leisure destinations in Europe and beyond. Luxair’s route network and schedule are mainly intended for business travellers who want to fly non-stop to their destinations and return on the same day.
Operating regular flights to locations such as Barcelona, Berlin, Copenhagen, London Heathrow,Madrid, Paris and Venice, Luxair is far more than just an airline – the Luxair Group comprises tour operating, cargo handling, airport shops, catering and passenger handling.
In 2002, the company celebrated its 40th anniversary, and since then it has been
constantly growing and rejuvenating. The new commercial and corporate strategy for the airline is to offer the best business schedules to Europe from Luxembourg, rejuvenate the fleet, make prices more competitive and introduce dynamic e-commerce, amongst other things.
As part of this strategy, Luxair has introduced the ‘Building a New Airline’ project, which, it is hoped, will make the business line ‘Airline’ – named so as part of the company’s reorganisation programme - profitable again by 2008. The scheme,
initiated at the end of 2005 to re-energise the airline and guarantee Luxair’s financial stability, has entered its decisive phase after several essential decisions were recently made.
As a regional airline, Luxair now will concentrate on guaranteeing the best quality
service and best daily schedules from Luxembourg to the major European economic centres and transfer airports to both business and leisure travellers.What’s more, based on several market studies, the ‘Building a New Airline’ project has
highlighted the need for 70-90 seated aircraft in the Luxair ‘Airline’ business. Increased seat capacity presents greater revenue-generating opportunities and will allow Luxair to practice the desired flexible commercial strategy.
Luxair’s independent business line - Tour Operating, created in 1968 to stimulate air travel on weekends when business traffic is slow – will take over the operation of three to four Boeing 737, while the Luxair Airline will be operating a fleet of nine small to medium sized regional aircraft. In addition, Luxair intends to order three Bombardier Q400s, which will be delivered in 2007, and take option for three further Q400s.
The Bombardier Q400 is a state-of-the-art turboprop aircraft – considered by many to be the future of regional transport. This new generation aircraft offers Luxair all the necessary commercial advantages without compromising the passenger comfort it guarantees.With a maximum cruise speed of 360kts it is as fast as jets on the main Luxair routes. The spacious cabin will have a 72-seat configuration and, thanks to its revolutionary noise and vibration reduction features, the noise level in the Q400 is actually lower than in the jet. This also applies to noise emission – the Q400 will therefore be a quiet neighbour to airport residents.
As well as the reduced maintenance costs of introducing young aircraft into the Luxair fleet, the Q400 replies to Luxair’s cost reduction constraints in that it consumes on average 25 per cent less fuel than the jets. This makes the turboprop an environmentally responsible aircraft with 74 per cent less CO2 discharge as opposed to the jet. There is no doubt that something positive is happening within Luxair at the moment. The company is evolving into a modern, dynamic, flexible and customer-oriented organisation – everything is getting an overhaul, but priority is being given to creating a more transparent and attractive fare structure and quality of customer service. At this moment, Luxair is posting fares, with taxes included.With
this policy of transparency, the airline’s customers will no longer have surprises when adding the amount of taxes to the price of their flight.
In many respects, Luxair stands out from its competitors by the quality of its service. In fact, the consumer associations of six EU member states elected Luxair best European airline in terms of quality. A quality assurance chain has been put in place to guarantee and improve this exemplary quality even further. This outstanding achievement embodies the foundation on which Luxair wants to build its future - creating a more reliable service, which is both professional and understanding. Indeed, armed with a new airline strategy, Luxair intends to further improve its services and position itself as a modern and dynamic company, in tune with the needs of its customers.
2005 was a financial year of transition for Luxair. The airline ended the year with a net profit of 5.5 million euros, which was a significant reduction when compared to the 13.4 million euros recorded in 2004. However, the operating result remained steady, and this fall in net profit is mainly due to the 15 million euros, which Luxair has taken as a provision to finance the social aspect of the ongoing restructuring programme.
With a positive result of 1.6 million euros, Luxair’s Tour Operating business has been profitable for the first time in five years. In 2005, Tour Operating carried 359,696 passengers, which was an increase of seven per cent. Luxair is optimistic that it will achieve equally impressive results in the coming years - not just in the Tour Operating business segment but also in all other business sectors as well.