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Topic: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: Gonzalo
Posted 2012-11-28 02:42:31 and read 15707 times.

I apologize since i'm almost sure this has been discussed in the past, but I would like to know your opinions under the light of the recent times, under the EU crisis environment.
From this part of the World, there are very, very few European airlines that look "healthy", and LH is probably the one with the best performance, in a smooth, constant way.
But at the same time, LH has to deal with basically the same problems of the other big airlines ( IAG, AF/KL, SK ), having strong unions, a very diverse fleet, high op costs, etc.

So, if they have to face the same kind of problems of the others, why are they having better results ? Are the managers doing a better work ? Is the route network better suited or designed ? Is the high yield traffic ? What is the secret of LH ?

Rgds.
G.

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: PanHAM
Posted 2012-11-28 03:08:41 and read 15610 times.

A fast food manager would say: location, location, location. FRA is located near the geographic and the dmeographic centre of Europe. MUC is a bit off but not in a bad location either. same for DUS.

Another reason for success is the German system of "dual education". Regardless if maintenance technician or "Luftverkehrskaufmann" (airline management) , the apprenticeship usually is 3 days on the job, going through all parts fo the company and 2 days at school. This is a better foundation than college which give only theoretical training. A Luftverkehrskaufmann will also have additional semesters at the European Business School, he will be working at stations overseas and after the final exam have a deep knowledge of how the business works. Better than that, they even know WHY it works that way.

The dual system is mandatory for all kinds of trade ad is the backbone of the German indzustry, which is very diversified, often centred in small towns, producing world market leaders in places no one ever heard of.

.

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: steman
Posted 2012-11-28 03:25:03 and read 15506 times.

I would add that LH exploits the very big and strong German economic structure.
Germany is one of the biggest exporter of goods in the world. This means lots of travel in high yield classes
for low/middle/top management of many many German Companies.
LH has a huge long haul fleet and a vast network that caters to this market.
I am not sure of this but I think the long haul network is highly profitable whereas the European and short haul one
struggle under the attack of low cost airlines.

And I think that, on average, the people of LH are great professionals, committed and motivated to do their
job. This certainly helps in keeping the image of the Company high among passengers and customers.
Of course you´ll always hear of bad experiences, complaints and so on.
Nobody´s perfect.

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: na
Posted 2012-11-28 03:51:17 and read 15339 times.

I worked for and currently work for a number airlines, and I see a big difference between LH and "the others". That is the will to deliver quality everywhere. My experience (which also includes names such as Emirates) is that the Lufthanseaten are generally more professional and have a far superior company spirit. They have a higher degree of knowledge, and they have a higher sense for quality control. They strive for the best where others only say so. There is a high sense of continuity. Other airlines are ok with mediocrity where they think the public doesnt immediately see it. Other airlines also employ a higher degree of people not really being devoted to aviation, people who sell chocolate bars with the same sense of indifference as they "sell tickets".

A first class airline can only be run on the long run by people enthusiastic about what they do. This is my experience of two decades of work relationship with almost ten airlines. If I ever came over a company that I think is utterly trustworthy its LH.

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: smbukas
Posted 2012-11-28 03:55:36 and read 15300 times.

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 1):
A fast food manager would say: location, location, location.

I think it is only part of reason. More important reason is strong and stable Germany economy and very good management of the airline. Forward thinking, fast adoption to new realities, etc. They are not leaders in service, product or price, but they always adopt new things fast and good change management.

If we compare to other big European legacy airlines they were first with cost cutting programmes, adoption to low cost reality (increased number of seats on LH short-haul fleet, now short-haul operations takeover by 4U "Direct4You" project, relatively good fleet management). They also have enough support from the government in protection of local market from MEB3, they were smart supporting TK in "Star Alliance" as alternative to MEB3. Overall, smart management.

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: lh526
Posted 2012-11-28 03:56:23 and read 15283 times.

It has a lot to do with the german cliche of doing everything to the max, pushing the envelope, being commited and extremely into detail on most things ... and just that little portion of "german engineering in da house".

Not going with the mainstream, keeping a strong brand and positively living up to that german cliche ist just a side effect  

Mario
LH526

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: JU068
Posted 2012-11-28 04:03:01 and read 15244 times.

The answer is very simple. Lufthansa knows how important it is to have a satisfied customer. The first time I flew on Lufthansa was back in 2006, and since then I had over 40 flights with them. I have NO bad memories- something I can't say for SWISS or Austrian Airlines.

People want to come back and fly with them because they feel that they are in safe and professional hands.

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: senatorflyer
Posted 2012-11-28 04:23:30 and read 15103 times.

I would tend to disagree. Before you shoot me, I am German myself and have a Senator/Gold Status with them.

Lufthansa is very lucky in a few areas but management isn’t their strong point.

Lufthansa, the airline itself, is not that profitable. Austrian is a mess and if memory serves me right Germanwings didn’t have any profit since 2007. Other parts of the group are doing well, Swiss contributed the biggest profits over the last years.

The cost reduction program is nice but they could achieve much more if they would do it right. As a matter of fact, if they would sort our their structure and strategy then it could become one of the most profitable airline group.

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: na
Posted 2012-11-28 04:37:19 and read 15006 times.

Quoting senatorflyer (Reply 7):
The cost reduction program is nice but they could achieve much more if they would do it right.

OMG. Of cause they could throw everything overboard that make them a classy airline. A cost reduction system while still delivering high quality that makes a top airline, not maximum profit at all cost. Saving to the max is a horrible thing, it ends in cheapness and misery. Profitability at all cost is a nightmare for employees and clients alike. Profit of cause is necessary, but reckless profit, profit, profit thinking is one of the worst things, as thought to the end it means nothing but huge profit for very few people and nothing for rest 99%.

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: senatorflyer
Posted 2012-11-28 05:10:47 and read 14838 times.

I agree with you, na, that’s why I said the management is not their strongest point. You will need to keep your clients and staff happy, and invest to be able to provide a good service and product. The management achieves the contrary with their cost reduction plan.

Efficiency in administration and strategy are their weakest points. Almost every company in their group is operating as a standalone. They haven’t even managed to alingn purchasing across the group among a million other things.

I do like Lufthansa but if they want to succeed, they need a change in leadership.

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: EagleBoy
Posted 2012-11-28 05:22:10 and read 14766 times.

Quoting na (Reply 3):
They strive for the best where others only say so. There is a high sense of continuity. Other airlines are ok with mediocrity where they think the public doesnt immediately see it.
Quoting na (Reply 3):
A first class airline can only be run on the long run by people enthusiastic about what they do
Quoting steman (Reply 2):
And I think that, on average, the people of LH are great professionals, committed and motivated to do their job.

I like this points. I currently work for an airline that publicly states things like 'customer experience' 'value product' 'brand awareness' 'customer centric'

But many of the decisions taken recently seem to benefit the cmopany more than the customer. I know the airline has to be profitable but it has to build a long term brand loyalty too. At the same time they are pushing tighter retrictions and demands on their staff to 'deliver targets' while missing the gaps that are developing in their product/organisation. When the staff raise objections to these 'initiatives' they are disregarded.

Quoting steman (Reply 2):
And I think that, on average, the people of LH are great professionals, committed and motivated to do their job.

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: Semaex
Posted 2012-11-28 05:28:01 and read 14740 times.

Quoting na (Reply 8):
Profit of cause is necessary, but reckless profit, profit, profit thinking is one of the worst things, as thought to the end it means nothing but huge profit for very few people and nothing for rest 99%.

I think this is a very good point you are making which destinguishes LH from similar companies.

Obviously LH and the entire network of carriers that complete the syndicate are bound to make profits at all times, since that is what shareholders ask for. As a publicly registered and stock market DAX30 player they would be foolish to not have profit as a goal. But it's not the ultimate goal.
The ultimate goal, and that's what I think every business should incorporate, is to make people happy. Not only costumers, but employees too. It's not a life goal to become rich, but to become happy.
People working at LH are, in all fairness, rather well off with their jobs. LH is a very good payer, even for low level jobs the salary is very fair. Not much, but fair. Flight Attendants and Pilots make good money, but they must deliver. It's just a fair system, which makes all sides - management and employees - happy. Simple as that.

The best example of fairness I can give is the way LH destributes it's end-of-year profits (in case they make some, of course) :
One third goes to the shareholders as dividend.
One third stays within the company for future growth.
One third is passed on to the employees as a salary bonus.

I think a lot of companies, whether airlines or not, can take an example of this.


And then of course what others have said already. The "german stereotype" has its uses when selling a product or service, the location in the heart of Europe is very fortunate and the strong ties between LH and the government (after all they used to be (partly) stateowned until less than 20 years ago) has its bonus.
Plus, right until Franz became CEO all the leaders of the company were "home-grown" Lufthanseaten, people from within the company who made a name for themselves. That said, I have my doubts if Franz is the right person for the job at LH.

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: na
Posted 2012-11-28 05:42:45 and read 14649 times.

Quoting Semaex (Reply 11):
That said, I have my doubts if Franz is the right person for the job at LH.

I agree, I also fear he´s not made of the same stuff as Mayrhuber and Weber which were excellent. But after one year, maybe its too early to tell.

Quoting Semaex (Reply 11):
I think a lot of companies, whether airlines or not, can take an example of this.

I agree. In the past I worked as an employee for three renowned American Companies, I talk about more than 15 years alltogether. Basically all I can say about them is greed, greed, greed. Everything thats good is delivered to the top brass, and everything bad was laid at the feet of the staff. Roughly said, the policy was that it was more important that there is enough money to pay for the private trainer of the shareholders wives than for the training of the staff.

All these three companies are in bad shape today.

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: PanHAM
Posted 2012-11-28 05:57:42 and read 14560 times.

Quoting Semaex (Reply 11):
Obviously LH and the entire network of carriers that complete the syndicate are bound to make profits at all times, since that is what shareholders ask for.

shareholders are poor people, very often they got nothing. In all the years I keep LH stock I can only remember one year where the dividend was over one €

Quoting Semaex (Reply 11):
One third goes to the shareholders as dividend.
One third stays within the company for future growth.
One third is passed on to the employees as a salary bonus.

Normally so. But it is more complex, cash flow from depreciation is re-invested and hardly ever turned out as profit. In a bad year, cash flow is kept in the company and re-invested whereas shareholders get nothing.

LH is a publicly owned company, not a private outfit owned by some rich guy. Tens of thousands of share holders and institutional owners make up the company.

Profit is not an evil, profit is the necessity to keep a company going. Without profit the company wuld follow the path of PanAm and TWA who could, at the end, not even pay for the pain on the jet bridges.

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: EagleBoy
Posted 2012-11-28 06:26:39 and read 14437 times.

Quoting Semaex (Reply 11):
The best example of fairness I can give is the way LH destributes it's end-of-year profits (in case they make some, of course) :
One third goes to the shareholders as dividend.
One third stays within the company for future growth.
One third is passed on to the employees as a salary bonus.

I never knew that, very interesting. And a great incentive for the staff to all work towards making customers happy. Even is 25% was towards staff it is still a gesture of appreciation that means a lot in the long term.

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: na
Posted 2012-11-28 06:41:15 and read 14363 times.

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 13):
Profit is not an evil, profit is the necessity to keep a company going.

No one argues that. But profit at all cost is.

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: AAexecplat
Posted 2012-11-28 06:45:35 and read 14347 times.

As a customer who just plunked down for 4 RT tickets FRA-LIS at a significant premium over flying TAP, I chose LH because I trust they will get me and my family to LIS on time, on a clean airplane, and with a decent onboard drink and snack/meal service. Safety, Relaibility, and Cleanliness is where LH excels in my opinion. As Star Alliance Gold, I get dedicated check-in at FRA and lounge access in FRA and LIS.

If I had to complain about one thing regarding LH, it's that their seat in some of the long haul Y configs can be somewhat uncomfortable, and that the IFE really doesn't compare to the Asian carriers or even UA at this point.

But I find that the service onboard usually makes up for this shortcoming.

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: chootie
Posted 2012-11-28 07:00:48 and read 14264 times.

Quoting na (Reply 8):
Saving to the max is a horrible thing, it ends in cheapness and misery. Profitability at all cost is a nightmare for employees and clients alike. Profit of cause is necessary, but reckless profit, profit, profit thinking is one of the worst things, as thought to the end it means nothing but huge profit for very few people and nothing for rest 99%.

Hi Folks!!!!
Wake up and smell the coffee------ Have you all not seen what is happening right NOW with all the outsourcing of those expensive, and motivated employees??? Direct 4U-- a great example of really giving all those High yielding passengers a reason to go to another airline/alliance.

The race to the bottom has begun, and as soon as all the expensive, expierinced workers are replaced with temporary handling agents, we can call the LH model sucessful or better than the rest. Blinded by profit,and it still is not enough for the management of Mr. Franz and co.

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: PanHAM
Posted 2012-11-28 07:33:19 and read 13886 times.

No, it's rather the race to stay in business. Check the routes - point to point, which 4U is scheduled to fly, there's hardly always competition which does not already compete with Lh. More than a coffee and a snack is not served on these routes today.

It is either that way or no way. Either cut the costs for ptp routes or give them up completely. Now guess what happens to employees if the routes are given up? Right. They have no job.

LH is doing it exactly right and it seems to have been understood by the unions., After all, it's very simple, job or no job.

The 4U product will be better than that of FR or EZY and competetive to AB,

There are airlines in Europe that have given up the provinces almost completely. That would be difficult in polycentric Germany which is another reason why it is that way.

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: ETinCaribe
Posted 2012-11-28 07:43:18 and read 13730 times.

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 13):
Normally so. But it is more complex, cash flow from depreciation is re-invested and hardly ever turned out as profit. In a bad year, cash flow is kept in the company and re-invested whereas shareholders get nothing.

I certainly don't know the exact cases of LH, but in general I know that companies can take their free cash and decide what is the best use of it - invest it themselves (either for organic growth, M&A or buyback of under valued stock) or give it back to the investor in the form of dividend. Many Fortune 500 companies nowadays have huge very strong balance sheet with tons of cash. I guess their goal (like all other officers with fiduciary responsibilities) is to maximize long term returns to their shareholders, but since they are big employers, are over leveraged, they may not have too much flexibility in maneuvering.

Now, one thing I thought LH did well is in taking equity stake in other carriers. I hope others know if the ventures with Brussels Airlines, Swiss, etc. were good investments and how the likes of LSG, LH Technik are doing???



Quoting AAexecplat (Reply 16):
If I had to complain about one thing regarding LH, it's that their seat in some of the long haul Y configs can be somewhat uncomfortable, and that the IFE really doesn't compare to the Asian carriers or even UA at this point.

I will find out in a couple of weeks myself as I will be flying MIA-FRA-ADD, with the TATL legs on the A380 in Y, which has had mixed reviews. But I guess that is the point - LH does what it needs to do to stay competitive and doesn't give anything away (case in point, only one checked suitecase per pax, less than most other carriers).

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: PanHAM
Posted 2012-11-28 07:55:51 and read 13525 times.

Quoting ETinCaribe (Reply 19):

I certainly don't know the exact cases of LH, but in general I know that companies can take their free cash and decide what is the best use of it - invest it themselves (either for organic growth, M&A or buyback

Lufthansa goal was always to finance ggrowth and investments from thjeir own ressorúrces. Most aircraft are owned, many paid for and depreciated to 1 € . The current cost cutting program is aiming to keep costs in line to continue that way.

Another point which has not been mentioned is flexibility. The company can react to market developments on a very short notice. Another asset.

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: SCQ83
Posted 2012-11-28 08:08:50 and read 13319 times.

Quoting AAexecplat (Reply 16):
As a customer who just plunked down for 4 RT tickets FRA-LIS at a significant premium over flying TAP, I chose LH because I trust they will get me and my family to LIS on time, on a clean airplane, and with a decent onboard drink and snack/meal service. Safety, Relaibility, and Cleanliness is where LH excels in my opinion. As Star Alliance Gold, I get dedicated check-in at FRA and lounge access in FRA and LIS.

If I had to complain about one thing regarding LH, it's that their seat in some of the long haul Y configs can be somewhat uncomfortable, and that the IFE really doesn't compare to the Asian carriers or even UA at this point.

But I find that the service onboard usually makes up for this shortcoming.

I certainly think that there is something to do with that.

First, as others have stated, the larger German economy and population and their location in Central Europe allow them to have a more extensive network, making more one-stop connections possible and expanding their reach.

And secondly, their brand success is that I don't think anybody raves about LH (like maybe some people do with the likes of SQ or EK) but they are seen as "reliable" and that do their job in time (call it German efficiency maybe?), which for many people is a plus when flying.

I was surprised, for instance in the Gulf / Middle East (which is not a very price sensitive market and that has not much relation with Germany), that some of my local acquaintances there would always fly LH on their way to the US, (some of them even knew the time schedules to FRA or MUC by heart!) despite the fact that they don't speak German, they seldom visit Germany (yet they travel frequently to London or Southern Europe) and they don't have any connections to the country. Yet they think LH is more likely to take them on time and offers a more consistent product than the likes of BA or AF. I have a Spanish relative who has been living in Eastern Europe for a few years... after trying almost every possible combination (no direct flights between the two cities) long ago she decided to "stick" to LH/LX because of reliability, even if she has to pay more.

Obviously this is based on anecdotal personal experiences, but I wouldn't be surprised that a good number of passengers (and not necessarily Germans) are willing to pay a small premium to fly with LH instead of BA/AF/KL/AZ... or that they will fly with LH when they have similar prices.

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: LimaNiner
Posted 2012-11-28 09:52:37 and read 11820 times.

How much of LH's profits come from the airline's passenger ops, versus cargo, LSG (LSG-SkyChefs -- world's largest catering company, IIRC), LH Technik, etc.?

Quoting Semaex (Reply 11):
the way LH destributes it's end-of-year profits (in case they make some, of course) :
One third goes to the shareholders as dividend.
One third stays within the company for future growth.
One third is passed on to the employees as a salary bonus.

Wow -- neat!

As someone who works in Silicon Valley, I can tell you that giving employees a personal financial stake in the success of the business (through profit sharing or stock options, etc.) is one of the greatest ways to get employees to go the extra mile every time!

"Wir ziehen alle am selben Strang."

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: musapapaya
Posted 2012-11-28 13:13:23 and read 9481 times.

For me, choosing to fly with LH group of airlines give me the confidence that I will get there with the minimum amount of (nasty) suprises. I know I will get there mostly on time and my baggage will arrive. Living in the UK I feel sick of the british saying 'with some luck, we will be there on time'. I like the confidence the Germans can give us.

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: lewis
Posted 2012-11-28 13:39:54 and read 9180 times.

Because they are a German airline, they work with a German mindset that is always about being more than just adequate and their staff is in general very professional. The airline is very efficient and always strives to be covering all customer needs without the fancy shmancy service that can be plagued by overall delivery. Since I first flew them I have considered them one of the best to fly overall, not because they have the best food or best seats or best whatever but because they are 100%+ at delivering the standards they have decided to provide and they are always consistent. I have only had a couple of issues when flying LH - a missed connection and a lost (delayed) luggage and both times the customer service has been exceptional at offering a solution to me.

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: avek00
Posted 2012-11-28 13:43:36 and read 9379 times.

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 18):
LH is doing it exactly right

Not really, it's more like playing a rather bad hand as best as they think they can. LH has fallen years behind peers in several areas, including longhaul premium cabin updates (while United and Delta wrap up their flat bed installations next year, LH will not be finished until 2017!), and is largely hoping its passengers won't notice or care in the 5 years it will take to catch up.

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: musapapaya
Posted 2012-11-28 14:16:34 and read 8951 times.

Quoting avek00 (Reply 25):
Not really, it's more like playing a rather bad hand as best as they think they can. LH has fallen years behind peers in several areas, including longhaul premium cabin updates (while United and Delta wrap up their flat bed installations next year, LH will not be finished until 2017!), and is largely hoping its passengers won't notice or care in the 5 years it will take to catch up.

Initially the OP suggested LH is financially in a good shape compared to its peers. We cannot deny that, it seems their lie flat bed in their current A380 C class, yet not perfect, is delivering what it is supposed to do, and this is what the current post is all about.

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: vanguard737
Posted 2012-11-28 14:28:32 and read 8922 times.

Quoting lewis (Reply 24):
Because they are a German airline, they work with a German mindset that is always about being more than just adequate and their staff is in general very professional.

I would agree, this is one of the most important factors of Lufthansa's success. The German work ethic and emphasis on not simply doing something, but doing something well, is immensely important.

One can look to a number of other German companies and find similar levels of success, quality, and general business aptitude: BMW, Siemens, Bosch, Aldi, Bayer, BASF, etc.


The people at Lufthansa work hard every day to earn the reputation they have. I always find it a pleasure to fly with them!

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: aerokiwi
Posted 2012-11-28 14:49:12 and read 8682 times.

Wow, that's a lot of oversimplifications and generalisations. If it really was about being of the "german mindset", then all German airlines would be top notch, solid performers in all respects. They're not.

And Lufthansa has been painfully slow in adapting its economy class service (clapped out 1980s/early 90s style seats, IFE, food) and ticket price offering (reasonably priced one way tickets - quel horreur!). These are in no way "the best", even within Europe.

Ther robust German economy and a fairly tight grip on corporate Germany are, I suggest, LH's two biggest assets.

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: brilondon
Posted 2012-11-28 15:11:50 and read 8383 times.

Quoting na (Reply 8):
OMG. Of cause they could throw everything overboard that make them a classy airline. A cost reduction system while still delivering high quality that makes a top airline, not maximum profit at all cost. Saving to the max is a horrible thing, it ends in cheapness and misery. Profitability at all cost is a nightmare for employees and clients alike. Profit of cause is necessary, but reckless profit, profit, profit thinking is one of the worst things, as thought to the end it means nothing but huge profit for very few people and nothing for rest 99%.

I don't agree. Profit is not a dirty word and I do think that if there was a profit to be made, then by all means they should go ahead and do what it takes to make as much profit as possible. You can not foresee what the economy will allow you in the future. LH is running a business. The end of the day and you want to maximize the profit that the share holders demand. Germany is one of the few countries in Europe whose economy did not go into the tank as much as say Ireland, Spain, Greece...Thus LH is able to do what it does and is very successful at what they do, and i for one wish that they would teach other airlines how to run an airline.

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: Viscount724
Posted 2012-11-28 16:02:06 and read 7864 times.

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):
Are the managers doing a better work ?
Quoting vanguard737 (Reply 27):
Quoting lewis (Reply 24):
Because they are a German airline, they work with a German mindset that is always about being more than just adequate and their staff is in general very professional.

I would agree, this is one of the most important factors of Lufthansa's success. The German work ethic and emphasis on not simply doing something, but doing something well, is immensely important.

One can look to a number of other German companies and find similar levels of success, quality, and general business aptitude: BMW, Siemens, Bosch, Aldi, Bayer, BASF, etc.

The people at Lufthansa work hard every day to earn the reputation they have. I always find it a pleasure to fly with them!

I agree. When I worked for IATA (for 10 years through 2007) I dealt with airlines worldwide, mainly in areas involving pricing, revenue management, regulatory issues etc., and was always impressed by the quality of LH's management staff. They were very well prepared and had data to back up their proposals, unlike representatives of many other equally major airlines. They also seemed to have a good management development program, where well-educated younger managers were moved around from area to area to get a good understanding of the business.

As already mentioned, it's not unique to LH in Germany. Look at the car industry. All of the German car makers are in much better shape than virtually all other European car manufacturers. They know how to build cars that people actually want to buy.

[Edited 2012-11-28 16:13:07]

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: avek00
Posted 2012-11-28 20:22:02 and read 6089 times.

Quoting musapapaya (Reply 26):
it seems their lie flat bed in their current A380 C class,

The A380 does NOT have a lie flat bed in Business Class -- that's partly my point. LH is gambling that its lack of product competitiveness in certain sectors over the next few years will not affect its bottom line. It's a very risky gamble. Then again, with the JV with United, Business Class customers who want a superior meal and a flat bed can fly United metal, so maybe that's what LH is counting on as a stopgap...

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: twa@fra
Posted 2012-11-28 22:54:17 and read 5195 times.

Quoting avek00 (Reply 31):
LH is gambling that its lack of product competitiveness

True, their product could be much better, still not all 744 have inseat IFE in Eco..... but I would say that is the point, they do not invest if it does not make financially sense. For instance, how many pax would pay more for in-seat TV ? So they delayed the investment quite a time.... But more demanding pax could use LX much better hard product, still LH group and they are smart enough to give LX the independency to be a flexible smaller carrier.


Nevertheless I'm not in line with the way the new LH management act, these might be good analytical ideas, but how they implement them and how they sell them to their staff could be done much much better....

Anyhow, from my point of view LH is:
as employer, a better choice than many others
as passenger, at least a solid choice
to invest, ( well I would not invest in any airline) , but solid and better than the other traditional ones in Europe

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: TC957
Posted 2012-11-29 02:39:03 and read 3747 times.

LH's success ? It's obvious - 4 engines 4 long-haul   

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: Semaex
Posted 2012-11-29 03:46:18 and read 3558 times.

Quoting TC957 (Reply 33):
LH's success ? It's obvious - 4 engines 4 long-haul

You forget the secret agent named A330. Some cheeky tongues say that LH still has a couple of them. They are invisible to the naked eye, but bring great joy to the upper management  

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: holzmann
Posted 2012-11-29 06:40:51 and read 3289 times.

A lot of good points being made in this thread that I can reiterate.

-Dual-track vocational education system (that benefits all German industries and should be emulated by all countries).
-A German sense of Ordnung and attention to detail.
-As with Steve Jobs and Apple, a belief that what the customer does NOT see is just as important as what the customer does see.
-Location in the geographical center of Europe.
-The airline of choice among all those executives in charge of export-oriented German companies.
-A country full of 80 million people that has the best per-capita balance in the world between vacation benefits and income, allowing these people to have a "travel/vacation-minded" ethos. No matter where you are, you will always run into German tourists. LH is the most important air travel conduit for this population, third only to the Autobahn and Deutsche Bahn.

That said, does LH do everything perfectly? No.
-Having flown them on business several times a year since 2003, they lost my bags for the first time on my most recent journey. It was a IAD-FRA non-stop and the bags were missing for nearly four days. Not a good indicator! The compensation process/paperwork was also a joke; a typical German bureaucratic/procedural mess.
-They are way behind the likes of DL when it comes to the roll out of in-flight WiFi.
-Even their newest IFE system on the 748 is not as responsive/reliable/polished as what I have used on DL.
-Despite the latest 748 product, their F and J class products are still lacking, especially if LH thinks it has to remain competitive with the likes of Emirates.
-If I were LH, I would go to my friends in Stuttgart (Porsche/MB), Munich (BMW), or Ingolstadt (Audi) and ask each of them to come to Lufthansa Technik to "play" with a as-yet-to-be-sold B744 or A340 and to use this platform as a canvas to design a light-weight F or J class product that has the "look and feel and smell" of a Mercedes S-Class, Porsche Panamera, Audi S8, or BMW M5, etc.
-FRA T1A and T1B are two of the worst terminals in the world. Renovate them ASAP!
-LH Gate Agents: also some of the worst of any airline I've worked with. For a country and culture that espouses Ordnung there is a complete lack of it when it comes to the LH boarding process. Their idea of boarding is more like that of a cattle corral: everyone is roped into boarding area A and then it's "release the hounds" as the gates open and people stream onto the jet bridge, leaving the elderly stranded and the mothers of young children in tears. Heck, I've almost witnessed a few elderly people get trampled in the process. It's disorganized, chaotic, and deplorable. Coming from the US where there is a strict process to first allow uniformed servicemen and women, the elderly, physically challenged, and families traveling with young children ALL before preferred customers and then Y class by zone number, the LH boarding process is always a painful one to watch from an operations standpoint. (Note: these boarding process comments apply more to what I have experienced at FRA.)

[Edited 2012-11-29 06:44:12]

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: SCQ83
Posted 2012-11-29 07:31:24 and read 3177 times.

Quoting holzmann (Reply 35):
-FRA T1A and T1B are two of the worst terminals in the world. Renovate them ASAP!
-LH Gate Agents: also some of the worst of any airline I've worked with. For a country and culture that espouses Ordnung there is a complete lack of it when it comes to the LH boarding process. Their idea of boarding is more like that of a cattle corral: everyone is roped into boarding area A and then it's "release the hounds" as the gates open and people stream onto the jet bridge, leaving the elderly stranded and the mothers of young children in tears. Heck, I've almost witnessed a few elderly people get trampled in the process. It's disorganized, chaotic, and deplorable. Coming from the US where there is a strict process to first allow uniformed servicemen and women, the elderly, physically challenged, and families traveling with young children ALL before preferred customers and then Y class by zone number, the LH boarding process is always a painful one to watch from an operations standpoint. (Note: these boarding process comments apply more to what I have experienced at FRA.)

True... I also think that FRA (for my experience being the only airport I have ever transferred in Germany outside Schengen) immigration officers are not particularly nice.

Having an European passport, this is the only place in Europe (or the US) where (in a couple of occasions) I have been questioned (in not a friendly way, but that's Germany after all, not the best "customer service") where I am coming from, where I am going to... how long I am staying and why... uhh, sorry?

Last year I was transferring with a bunch of colleagues. Our flight back to the US was delayed and we decided to get out to the city for a few hours. A couple of us had non-US/non-EU passport (despite they both had Green Cards) so the immigration officer (who just stamped very quickly the US passports and didn't bother to ask anything) told those two persons in a very rude authoritarian way that they were not allowed to leave the airport... obviously he was doing his job, but there are ways and ways to say things.

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: PanHAM
Posted 2012-11-29 08:17:55 and read 3099 times.

Quoting SCQ83 (Reply 36):
Having an European passport, this is the only place in Europe (or the US) where (in a couple of occasions) I have been questioned (in not a friendly way, but that's Germany after all, not the best "customer service") where I am coming from, where I am going to... how long I am staying and why... uhh, sorry?

I have been asked these questions on arrival and departure at FRA as well and I carry a German passport. I could have told them that this is nothing they should care about and walk away, try that in the US.

After all, border police is mabsolutely nothing LH nor Fraport can do about.



Quoting holzmann (Reply 35):
-FRA T1A and T1B are two of the worst terminals in the world. Renovate them ASAP!

has been done, or is still in process in some areas. Thze A terminal extention is brand new and just opened in October.



Quoting holzmann (Reply 35):
-If I were LH, I would go to my friends in Stuttgart (Porsche/MB), Munich (BMW), or Ingolstadt (Audi) and ask each of them to come to Lufthansa Technik t

They have a place in Raunheim near FRA where they test seats and invite frequent flyers for testing and opinion. The car manufacturers BTW design their car seats in cooperation with manufacturers like Recaro whi happen to be near STR.

Many poeple would be glad without in-flight entertainment. Luckily I seldom fly long distance in Y, but a worst case szenario would be having a kid sitting near by playing video games or listening heavy metal for 8 or 10 hours. Could result in murder.

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: 777way
Posted 2012-11-29 08:22:57 and read 3079 times.

Iif I could run an airline I would make it like Lufthansa, here in Pakistan Airblue has that feel in their early days not sure if they kept it up.

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: SCQ83
Posted 2012-11-29 11:35:26 and read 2900 times.

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 37):
I have been asked these questions on arrival and departure at FRA as well and I carry a German passport. I could have told them that this is nothing they should care about and walk away, try that in the US.

After all, border police is mabsolutely nothing LH nor Fraport can do about.

You are right about that... I somehow "suggested" them that it was not their business... however they certainly asked in quite an abrupt way... they probably need more political correctness. I wouldn't try to do that in the US or in many other countries however  

You are right again in that FRAPort has not much to do with border police, but they could be trained to be more friendly, considering that people from all over the world is transiting FRA in every single day.

But I find it awkward because most of the times I enter the EU thru MAD, LHR or CDG (and even LHR is not Schengen), they don't care a dime about where I am coming or going to.

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: Semaex
Posted 2012-11-29 11:59:14 and read 2824 times.

Quoting Semaex (Reply 11):
The best example of fairness I can give is the way LH destributes it's end-of-year profits (in case they make some, of course) :
One third goes to the shareholders as dividend.
One third stays within the company for future growth.
One third is passed on to the employees as a salary bonus.
Quoting PanHAM (Reply 13):
Normally so. But it is more complex, cash flow from depreciation is re-invested and hardly ever turned out as profit. In a bad year, cash flow is kept in the company and re-invested whereas shareholders get nothing.

I'm afraid you're right, it's not quite as simple as that. But to break it down to a universally-understandable level for people like me, without much of a knowledge in management and finances, these are very interesting figures.

Quoting SCQ83 (Reply 36):
Having an European passport, this is the only place in Europe (or the US) where (in a couple of occasions) I have been questioned (in not a friendly way, but that's Germany after all, not the best "customer service") where I am coming from, where I am going to... how long I am staying and why... uhh, sorry?

Come on. As somebody who travels to and from the US you should be fimiliar with that sort of thing. I've only been to the US twice, ORD and MIA, and it took both times not less than 20 minutes to get past immigration... as a 20-or-so year old student with a German passport and no history of crime whatsoever.

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: PanHAM
Posted 2012-11-29 13:21:05 and read 2656 times.

Quoting SCQ83 (Reply 39):
You are right again in that FRAPort has not much to do with border police, but they could be trained to be more friendly, considering that people from all over the world is transiting FRA in every single day.

Border police is not trained to be friendly, they are trained to detect falsified passports and people on the wanted list. It takes me usually not kmore than a minute to pass US immigration, a bit more now with the finger prints and picture, most of the time it is business like and sometimes even friendly. Can happen here as well, it depends on the people. But whoever starts a career as a police officer is another breed than someone who starts in airline management.

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: jfk777
Posted 2012-11-29 13:51:46 and read 2574 times.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 30):
As already mentioned, it's not unique to LH in Germany. Look at the car industry. All of the German car makers are in much better shape than virtually all other European car manufacturers. They know how to build cars that people actually want to buy

Germans don't necessariy build car people want, People want cars Germans build. People will also pay massive premuims for Germans cars, here in the USA a BMW can be 10K more then the equal Japanesse Lexus or Infiniti. LH is not a flashly airline with Gold all over First Class, its understated with lots of Dark Blue, Air Stealth; People will pay to fly those LH A380 even if J class doesn't have lie flat seats.

Topic: RE: What Is The Secret Of LH?
Username: flanker
Posted 2012-11-29 14:58:22 and read 2459 times.

easy..one word.. GERMANS LOL.


But in all seriousness, I might be a little biased since I always fly with LH.


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