03.07.2018

Lufthansa Group opens a new location for its Innovation Hub digitization unit in Shenzhen (China)

  • Lufthansa Group opens an offshoot of its Lufthansa Innovation Hub in Shenzhen (China) on July 1, 2018
  • First non-Asian airline group with a digitization backbone in one of Asia's leading innovation centers for travel and mobility 
  • Objective: build a sustainable bridge to the local travel and mobility tech scene and play a role in the immense innovation dynamics in the Chinese market 

The Lufthansa Group pioneered international air travel in 2014 by founding its corporate digitization unit, the Lufthansa Innovation Hub (LIH), in Berlin. With the new location in Shenzhen, the company is once again leading the way as the first non-Asian airline group to expand its digitization efforts into what is currently the most dynamic market for travel and mobility innovations.

“Not only are the Asian markets showing particularly dynamic growth in our core businesses, but they are now often also leading the way in digital travel and mobility solutions. With the new locations of the Lufthansa Innovation Hub, we want to learn from the developments in Asia, build specific partnerships in the digital context, and benefit from our experience. We aim to consistently expand our position as an airline group with the world's highest level of digitization," says Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG.

More than ever before, the Asian startup scene is driving a fundamental technological change along the entire travel and mobility chain. This is reflected in a powerful increase in startup and financing dynamics. Last year alone, 55% (approximately $14 billion) of global venture capital invested in travel and mobility tech went to China. There was also an increase in mega-financing rounds, most recently Grab (Singapore, $1 billion) and Hellobike (China, $321 million).

"The innovative strength of the Chinese technology sector is enormous – especially in the travel and mobility tech industry. More than half of the associated global venture capital is currently being invested in China – a growing trend. Having a Lufthansa Innovation Hub team in Shenzhen will enable us to directly participate in this dynamic business environment. We expect to see concrete stimulation for our home markets along with potential for new travel solutions adapted specifically to the Chinese market," explained Gleb Tritus, Lufthansa Innovation Hub Managing Director.

The Lufthansa Innovation Hub Shenzhen opened on July 1st. Experts from the Berlin team are currently working on local network expansion, targeted scouting, and partnership initiation. The overarching mission is to specifically extend key activities of the Lufthansa Innovation Hub Berlin to the Chinese market. In terms of perspective, the new digitization unit is aimed at generating structured insights along the Lufthansa Group value chain, building concrete partnerships and investments, and ultimately developing in-house solutions tailored to local markets.

In addition to the Shenzhen office, the Lufthansa Innovation Hub is opening a new unit in Singapore to focus specifically on urban mobility innovations.

The Lufthansa Innovation Hub was recently named "Best Innovation Lab in Germany" by Capital magazine for the second year in a row. The Lufthansa subsidiary works with a team of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and corporate aviation experts on new digital business models, partnerships and strategic investments along the entire travel and mobility chain.