Marking yet another impressive growth milestone in its ongoing India journey, Lufthansa German Airlines has recently celebrated 25 years of operations in Chennai. Having commenced its regional operations in 1994 with bi-weekly flights from the city, the airline today operates daily flights from Chennai to Frankfurt.
Lufthansa’s success in Chennai has gone hand-in-hand with the city’s growing global relevance as a key hub for industries such as IT, automobile, textile, and leather. The premium airline, as an enabler of globalization, has played an integral role in this meteoric rise.
Speaking on the milestone, Mr. George Ettiyil, Senior Director Sales – Lufthansa Group Airlines South Asia, said, “In the 25 years since Lufthansa commenced its operations in Chennai, the city has gone on to become a flourishing global hub for IT and heavy industries. We, at Lufthansa, are proud of the role that we have played in enabling this growth.”
Over the next five years, Lufthansa aims to strengthen its presence in the city to capitalize on the growth opportunity that the market represents. The airline has already announced its plans to increase the capacity in the Business Class on Lufthansa flights from Chennai from summer 2020 with a different seat configuration.
“Chennai and the larger Tamil Nadu region remain key markets for us. We plan to build on the success that we have earned here by facilitating more premium offerings and experiences for Lufthansa customers from Chennai,” he added.
With the number of international passengers from the country expected to increase to 50 million by 2020, Lufthansa has made a strong claim as the preferred airline for the new-age Indian traveler with its range of tech-led, customer-centric initiatives.
In the endeavour to provide the best end-to-end experience in a customer’s journey, the Lufthansa Group invested majorly in the digitalisation of the passenger experience on all the airlines in the Group, namely Austrian Airlines, Swiss International Air Lines and Lufthansa German Airlines. A major focus was on the various airline Apps, which are most advanced in user experience with many services digitally enabled at the tip of one’s finger, like for example the electronic baggage tag which does away with paper. All Lufthansa Group long-haul aircraft are equipped with internet service on board. Also Artificial Intelligence has been employed by the airlines to provide a new service experience, for example with the chatbot Mildred and Josie Pepper, a robot at Munich Airport.
Driving positive societal change with Help Alliance
Lufthansa has also initiated multiple projects in association with Help Alliance, a global aid organization founded by Lufthansa employees, to drive positive societal change in the region – underlining its focus on being a responsible corporate company. The most prominent amongst these is the Prana Project, a German-Indian collaboration that aims to empower people living in destitute conditions in and around Chennai.
The Prana Project was launched in December 2004 and joined the Help Alliance aegis in 2011. The initiative offers a living base to underprivileged children in the region through its schooling and medical programs. In doing so, it equips them with the tools they need to craft newer perspectives and take charge of their own lives.