German flag-carrier, Lufthansa has today been awarded a prestigious Five Star ranking by aviation industry rating specialists, Skytrax. Lufthansa becomes not only the first and only Five Star airline in Europe but also the only airline outside of Asia and the Middle East to have been ranked so highly.
Skytrax said a critical factor in Lufthansa achieving its Five Star certification was its “consistency of standards” – judges noted the consistent service by cabin crew and other staff, as well as the harmony of onboard products across its entire aircraft fleet.
“The award is a well-deserved recognition of our major efforts to make Lufthansa one of the world’s leading premium airlines again,” commented Carsten Spohr, Lufthansa’s chairman. Sphor explained: “We have caught up because we made huge investments in our fleet, updated all our cabins, introduced digital services, opened new lounges and improved service on board and on the ground.”
Lufthansa’s efforts to improve its digital services also came in for praise – in the last year the airline has launched a new mobile app for passengers and all cabin crew now have access to connected mobile devices. The airline says it hopes to “increasingly use digital opportunities” to improve the passenger experience.
At present, Lufthansa’s First Class product already claims a Top Ten position as one of the Best First Class Airline Seats in the world although its Business Class product doesn’t quite make the cut in its category. However, judges said the consistency of the product was still a positive passenger experience proposition.
A recent announcement from the airline about its new Business Class which will feature direct aisle access for every passenger and a nearly 7-foot long lie flat bed was also said to be a “key factor” in Lufthansa clinching the 5-Star rating. The new Business Class seat will launch in 2020 on the carrier’s Boeing 777X aircraft.
Skytrax said onboard service met a “high standard” and had developed to such a point that it competed well against leasing Asian and Middle Eastern carriers – often seen as the benchmark for service provided by cabin crew.
“The achievement of 5-Star Airline status by Lufthansa is not only a great accolade as the first European airline to reach this target, but is a clear recognition of the improvements they have made in recent years, particularly in all areas of the frontline service delivery,” explained Edward Plaisted, Skytrax CEO.
Over the weekend, reports emerged that Lufthansa would be forced to offer concessions to European regulators over its proposed takeover of airberlin assets. A decision over the deal has been pushed back from 7th December to 21st December as discussions continue.
Regulators are said to be troubled over Lufthansa’s dominance of the German market but there are concerns the deal could collapse, putting thousands of jobs at risk, should the European Commission intervene.
Lufthansa has so far declined to comment on what concessions it proposes to offer.