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LupineChemist
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Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Thu Oct 20, 2016 1:51 pm

As the ECAA now has a decent history as a common market and pan-European brands are certainly prevalent on the Low Cost side (FR, U2, VY, W6), what are the thoughts on consolidation of brands of the legacy carriers that are, to a large extent, consolidated on the corporate side but still operate as separate brands under distinct AOCs.

My personal feeling is that everyone is afraid to make the first move, but once it starts it will happen very quickly. FWIW, my money would be on SN going to full Lufthansa branding, not sure if that would mean being fully absorbed by LH (the airline, not the group) or operating under a separate AOC under the same brand I don't know. There are certainly feelings of nationalism to be reckoned with, but in the end, most European airlines are fully private companies now.

I sort of see a parallel to S. America where within a few years Avianca and LAN (and now LATAM) branding took over for the whole continent under a single brand, even if operated as separate airlines.
 
Andy33
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Thu Oct 20, 2016 2:27 pm

There are several reasons why operating under separate AOCs is actually essential for some of these airlines, and that's before the UK possibly detaches itself from the common aviation market following Brexit.
Firstly, a large number of routes to destinations outside the EU are still flown under route authorities governed by bilateral treaties and, for example, SN would lose much of its African network if it ceased operating under a Belgian AOC.
Then, keeping with the same theme, there's brand recognition. There are countries where LH has no recognition at all because they don't fly there now and haven't done so for years, if ever, but SN (whose IATA code links back to Sabena) is well known.
There's a big difference between recognition within the common aviation market plus other countries fringing the Mediterranean, and recognition in the rest of the world. Of the IAG airlines, Iberia has strong recognition in South America, British Airways some recognition, Aer Lingus none at all. In North America, the order would be BA, EI, IB.
Oddly enough AF/KL probably has the most crossover in terms of recognition, but is the least likely to use a common brand for longhaul.
 
a380787
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Thu Oct 20, 2016 2:36 pm

While I understand the need to maintain brand recognition at specific markets, the conglomerates have grown to a point that the numerous brands becoming unmanageable. Just look at LH Group, including the latest acquisition, they have

- Lufthansa
- Swiss
- Austrian
- Brussels
- Eurowings
- Edelweiss
- edit : forgot there's also Air Dolomiti

The only one going away is Germanwings (folded into the broader EW). IAG has 4 brands (BA, IB, EI, and Vueling), while AF-KL has just 3 (AF, KL, and Transavia, if you combine the 2 variants of Transavia as one)
Last edited by a380787 on Thu Oct 20, 2016 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
LupineChemist
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Thu Oct 20, 2016 2:44 pm

I get the historical issues and the issues with merging any brand. I figured the AOC thing would certainly be an issue but I don't necessarily think everything would have to be under any of the existing brands. Basically taking the LATAM model to make something like "Europe Airways" (clearly I'm not a marketer).

I do think that successfully rebranding could give an image of a much more robust airline from a marketing perspective as well.

I live in Spain and I'm very aware of the IB brand, but you also lose brand recognition when going to N. America with BA (and now EI), despite being under the same corporate entity.

Obviously we'll have to see what the UK's relationship with the ECAA is post-Brexit, but I can't imagine them leaving the common aviation market. Norway and even Albania and Serbia are members, so I don't see why they wouldn't be allowed.
 
LupineChemist
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Thu Oct 20, 2016 2:45 pm

Also, I'm waiting for OS to get rolled into the LH brand to make an anschluss joke.
 
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Thu Oct 20, 2016 2:52 pm

I hope not, it'd be an even duller airliner spotting landscape if, for example, all KL planes were repainted to AF colors.
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a380787
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Thu Oct 20, 2016 2:56 pm

LupineChemist wrote:
Also, I'm waiting for OS to get rolled into the LH brand to make an anschluss joke.


The HQ of LH Group is at Cologne, post-Brexit the political center of EU is actually Berlin not Brussels, and post-Greek bailout the monetary center of Eurozone is Frankfurt ... nothing to see here :D :D
 
mxaxai
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Thu Oct 20, 2016 3:59 pm

A problem is that most names are very country-specific. Ryanair, Air Asia or Easyjet could be an airline from anywhere, but Air France, British Airways, Brussels Air, Swiss, Austrian Airlines all contain their place of origin in the name. Some may recall BA's attempt to enter the german market, who changed their branding from British Airways to Deutsche BA, and LH's attempt in Italy with Lufthansa Italia, reflecting the geographical change. Vueling, Transavia and Eurowings are attempts to create independant brands, however they are not only fairly unknown but also lack the grand "history" of the legacy brands. KLM has been around for over 100 years and most other european legacies were founded not much later. For most countries, "their" airline is the brand most associated with the golden ages of aviaton, and also serves as a symbol of (national) pride.



Along the large group members above, including your home base in your name is quite common in Europe: Alitalia, LOT polish airlines, Finnair, Air Serbia, Aegean Airlines, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Luxair, Cargolux, TAP (Transportes Aéreos Portugueses), Airberlin, SAS (Scandinavian Airlines System), Czech Airlines, ...
Most of these are even quite large and internationally known, unlike the USA, where few of the geographically named airlines are known to the rest of the world.
 
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Thu Oct 20, 2016 4:26 pm

I really can't see it happening. From a legal point of view, you could do what LATAM are doing and just rename stuff- have 'Lufthansa Belgium' for the flights from Brussles, 'Lufthansa Switzerland' for the flights from Zurich, etc etc. But the existing names are too tied to the different countries. A name like United or American Airlines doesn't have any geographical connections (beyond being in the USA, for AA) so absorbing another airline doesn't cause any issues.

Going the LATAM way and rebranding into a 'Europe Airlines' or whatever would solve that issue, but would really struggle with name recognition. LATAM is a very clever name to use for them, as it incorporates the TAM name, kind of alludes to LAN, and is also a shortening of the name of the continent (LATin AMerica). I'm not sure there's a way to do that for any of the big European airlines. However, I can see Lufthansa doing something a bit like this with EuroWings, and IAG with Vueling. Expand outside of existing core markets, trying to be the next Ryanair/EasyJet, and get your brand name out there and well known, and then start to operate certain flights from main hubs too. Although the unions will not like that one!
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Thu Oct 20, 2016 4:37 pm

Besides that, different airline brands offer the possibility for different kind of airlines within the same group. If you take Air France-KLM for example, Air France and KLM are both legacy airlines offering basically the same product. But Transavia is also part of Air France-KLM and is offering a whole other product. That allows Air France-KLM to access other markets that they can't access under their main brands.

Same thing for IAG. Vueling is the LCC within IAG and is therefor aiming at other markets than Iberia for example. KLM and Iberia are direct competitors to each other, they offer more or less the same product but from another group. Vueling and Transavia are also direct competitors to each other, again offering more or less the same product but from another group. But Vueling is no competition to KLM and Transavia is no competition to Iberia. They serve a different market, a different type of passenger.

Both Air France-KLM and IAG are keeping the different brands on purpose to offer those different types of passengers the product they want.
 
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Thu Oct 20, 2016 5:27 pm

Besides, why is it an advantage to have just one brand? I don't see the appeal of flying on Giant Corporation Airlines.
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VolvoBus
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Thu Oct 20, 2016 5:48 pm

Apart from the obvious like bi-laterals, have fun with merging the work forces,with all their existing contracts and employment legislation.

Brand recognition would also be a marketers nightmare. Either you scrap all the existing names and call yourself MegaAir or one name survives. I bet Lufthansa from Athens to Amsterdam or Warsaw to Milan would sell like hot cakes.
 
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Thu Oct 20, 2016 6:26 pm

I'm pretty sure the Dutch people would have a problem with an airline called Air France taking over the Royal Dutch Airlines hub in Amsterdam.
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ei146
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Thu Oct 20, 2016 6:50 pm

If you have a well established quality brand you would be stupid to kill it.
ABInBEV is the largest brewery group in the world. They own around two hundred different beer brands in countries all over the world. They cater for different tastes in different markets. Do you think it would be wise to kill all of that and only sell Budweiser?
Car manufacturers do the same: The Volkswagen group uses one platform with a certain set of engines to produce cars targeting different markets. Under the hood my Seat Leon shares a lot of components with the VW Golf, Audi A3 or Skoda Octavia. GM sells very similar cars under the Chevrolet, Buick, Opel, Vauxhall or Holden brands.
The idea is to have as much commonality as possible to save money and still be able to cater for different tastes and markets.
 
sevenair
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Thu Oct 20, 2016 6:59 pm

There's no evidence that the UK will not be part of the single European sky.

I can't see any country being happy with their 'national' carrier being 'replaced' with that of another country. The French would not accept AF becoming KLM, the Spanish won't accept IB becoming British Airways and neither would the Irish.

The Austrlians wouldn't accept QF becoming Emirates Australia and no would the Canadians accept their flag carriers identify being erased by someone else and Europe would be no different. Despite the EU's best efforts to erase national identities and nation pride within Europe, people still want their own identity. A sense of belonging. Their airline is part of this. That said, nobody seems to have a problem flying Norwegian from the UK to the US or on Spanish domestics or flying on Alaska Airlines on routes that are not to and from Alaska. The lowest ticket price is king, not the name that's painted on the side.

What could work would be a generic brand. For example, Eurowings for all LH group airlines could work. To some extend IAG could do the same and introduce the IAG brand to the public. Ask 99.99% of people who IAG are and they wouldn't have a clue.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Thu Oct 20, 2016 7:44 pm

VolvoBus wrote:
Apart from the obvious like bi-laterals, have fun with merging the work forces,with all their existing contracts and employment legislation.

Brand recognition would also be a marketers nightmare. Either you scrap all the existing names and call yourself MegaAir or one name survives. I bet Lufthansa from Athens to Amsterdam or Warsaw to Milan would sell like hot cakes.


I really doubt that. European countries each got their own identity, Europeans don't feel like Europe is their country like Americans feel like Americans. An American airline can fly anywhere in America because it's America, but in Europe that's different. People in Europe mostly don't have a single clue where the American carriers got their hubs, only that it's in America but no more than that. But they know British Airways is from Britain and Alitalia is from Italy.

Lufthansa from Warsaw to Milan would sell like hot cakes? Sorry, but history proves you to be wrong. Lufthansa once tried to set up a Lufthansa Italy brand, it didn't work. Lufthansa is German and would only work from out Germany. Sure Lufthansa is known in Italy, but as a German airline. They just can't set up a hub outside Germany, that's just not Lufthansa. It would fail. Same for any other major airline in Europe, all of them are very strongly associated with their countries.

Scrap all existing names and switch them all for one new name? That wouldn't work either. People wouldn't know that new name, wouldn't associate it with anything. They wouldn't see the pride in it that they saw in the old airline brands. Dutch people really see some pride in KLM, their national carrier. KLM is part of the Dutch history. That would be lost if KLM was to be rebranded along with Air France to some new unknown airline. Besides, if they got to share it with France it wouldn't really be Dutch so it would never gain the fame that KLM has.
 
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:28 pm

LupineChemist wrote:
FWIW, my money would be on SN going to full Lufthansa branding, not sure if that would mean being fully absorbed by LH (the airline, not the group) or operating under a separate AOC under the same brand



That would be money lost then, since it has already been announced that SN will be rolled into the Eurowings brand.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:57 pm

aviationaware wrote:
LupineChemist wrote:
FWIW, my money would be on SN going to full Lufthansa branding, not sure if that would mean being fully absorbed by LH (the airline, not the group) or operating under a separate AOC under the same brand



That would be money lost then, since it has already been announced that SN will be rolled into the Eurowings brand.


But even that's uncertain since Brussels Airlines is a strong name and there are votes for keeping that name. Anyway, it's not going to be Lufthansa for sure. Personally I'd say keep the name Brussels Airlines to keep the association with Belgium. The ownership may be in German hands, but it still is a Belgian airline and such things are important in Europe.
 
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:01 pm

I'm sure within a decade there will be more mergers in Europe. Brands may remain, but there will be fewer owners.
 
Andy33
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Fri Oct 21, 2016 6:46 am

sevenair wrote:
There's no evidence that the UK will not be part of the single European sky.


And there's no evidence that it will, either. That's the point, really. Total uncertainty,
 
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Fri Oct 21, 2016 6:48 am

a380787 wrote:
While I understand the need to maintain brand recognition at specific markets, the conglomerates have grown to a point that the numerous brands becoming unmanageable. Just look at LH Group, including the latest acquisition, they have

- Lufthansa
- Swiss
- Austrian
- Brussels
- Eurowings
- Edelweiss
- edit : forgot there's also Air Dolomiti

The only one going away is Germanwings (folded into the broader EW). IAG has 4 brands (BA, IB, EI, and Vueling), while AF-KL has just 3 (AF, KL, and Transavia, if you combine the 2 variants of Transavia as one)



You forgot LHCargo as well but what is the Problem. The various brands are managed from HQ (which is de facto in Frankfurt) but Focus on their particular area. They all use a common platform and purchase, from aircraft to coffee Cups under Agreements inked by LH at Prices None of them would get if byuing individually.

Other brands like Inbev or VW have been mentioned. I once shipped Containers of beer to Oz, the beer was brewed in Bremen, the shipping department cutting all the documenation from Export invoice to SLI was(is located in PRG and I,am located at FRA, received all that as a pdf. attachment. It is called globalization, something which is around since thousands of years but revolitionized some 30 years ago with the Invention of the PC and the Internet. You don't have to be near your customer anymore for millions of applications but you Need to have local brands for customers to identify themselves with. You can call Raider Twix but even after years you have to explain that to customers. Might have been a Marketing gag, but Change Swiss to Lufthansa would result in a dramatic fall of passenger numbers from Switzerland.

Whatever a corporate board decides, it is well thought and reasonable. There is no broblem to manage various brands from one HQ as Long as the CEO and the board members have the current key figures each morning on their iPhone, regardless where they are physically.
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seahawk
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Fri Oct 21, 2016 6:50 am

LH could unite under the Eurowings brand
IAG under Vueling
KLM/AF under Transavia

I think this will happen. The old names and legacy carriers are so 20th century, people today want a modern and fresh brand and no legacy has this.
 
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N14AZ
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:01 am

Revelation wrote:
I hope not, it'd be an even duller airliner spotting landscape if, for example, all KL planes were repainted to AF colors.

True, remembers me when I am sitting in the lounge in PEK and following the traffic on the center runway. It's soooo boring just to see one CA-, CZ or MU-narrowbody taking off or landing after the next one. I guess it's similar at the main hubs in the USA...

Having said that, I guess the planespotting diversity will be not so much of a criteria when the decision will be made for the next merger... ;-)

And as others have already pointed out, it might be even unnecessary. Even if you have one big mega-airline you still have to operate sub-bases and sub-fleets. So it doesn't matter much if one sub-fleet has a different livery...
 
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N14AZ
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:08 am

seahawk wrote:
LH could unite under the Eurowings brand
IAG under Vueling
KLM/AF under Transavia

I think this will happen. The old names and legacy carriers are so 20th century, people today want a modern and fresh brand and no legacy has this.

!!! So you thing they would give up the brand British Airways for instance and call it Vueling whatsoever?!?!? Everybody is entitled to his opinion and I have no crystal ball (unfortunately) but I really have a hard time believing that this will happen.

I have less problems with your example (or vision?) for LH and Eurowings. I just think that if it will happen, it will happen gradually with the brand Lufthansa disappearing from the tail fins gradually until there is only a small subfleet of widebody jets for serving the main hubs and the main trunk routes.
 
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seahawk
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:12 am

I think we will see the legacy brands disappear from non-long haul routes in the next 5-10 years. A further 5-10 years on those old brands will just feel old, hollow and dead and will disappear.
 
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hispanola
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:27 am

This should not, and most likely will not happen. History doesn't bother the consumer when they're looking for an airline to fly on, in many cases it's an asset. Experience and brand recognition is a positive characteristic. British Airways, for example, is not a tired or worn brand. The same is applicable to Lufthansa, Swiss, Air France, KLM..... Airlines that did have out of date brands refreshed their image and product, like Iberia did. All they need to do is keep up with the times, as any other company from any other industry on this planet does.

The solution to this problem has already been found. Companies like IAG are European companies that operate separate brands for separate regions/cultures. It works very well and has proven itself to be the way of the future. This continent is much too diverse for a unified brand. It's smarter to have different brands for each market, this way things are more personalised.

Could Air France-KLM unite under one brand? Yes, anything can happen. Should Air France-KLM unite under one brand? As others have said, it's an unnecessary and costly step.
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N14AZ
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Fri Oct 21, 2016 8:14 am

seahawk wrote:
I think we will see the legacy brands disappear from non-long haul routes in the next 5-10 years.

I agree that's a likely scenario. We all know it already started.

seahawk wrote:
A further 5-10 years on those old brands will just feel old, hollow and dead and will disappear.

I am not so sure about this one. I think they will remain, even if it is just to serve as a kind of fig leaf.

Even today young people drink Coca Cola or Pepsi even though these brands are actually quite old.

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Source: http://blog.retroplanet.com/coca-cola-bottle-shapes/

Just made a note in my calendar: October 21, 2036: check if LH is still around. If yes, log in on a.net and post "I told you!!!!"
 
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N14AZ
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Fri Oct 21, 2016 8:25 am

N14AZ wrote:
seahawk wrote:
A further 5-10 years on those old brands will just feel old, hollow and dead and will disappear.

Oh, WIederling might not be happy that I took an American brand as example so I shall add quickly a European example ;-)

Image

Even though they started other brands, VW is still there. In your scenario the name would disappeared and the cars would be now sold under Skoda or whatsoever...
 
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N14AZ
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Fri Oct 21, 2016 8:26 am

N14AZ wrote:
N14AZ wrote:
seahawk wrote:
A further 5-10 years on those old brands will just feel old, hollow and dead and will disappear.

Oh, WIederling might not be happy that I took an American brand as example so I shall add quickly a European example ;-)

Image

Even though they started other brands, VW is still there. In your scenario the name would have disappeared and the cars would be now sold under Skoda or whatsoever...
 
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seahawk
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Fri Oct 21, 2016 8:27 am

Because they kept the main brand. However we see a tendency to add younger brands to the legacy brand , with those younger brands taking over a lot of the business.

It is like Coca Cola deciding that from now on they will sell Coca Cola branded drinks only in gas stations, while it will be called World Cola everywhere else.

The question is if the new brands replace the old one or aim at a different market. In Europe it seems to be more about replacing the legacy brand, there is also not much brand separation left with the legacy brand not offering a much different product experience than the new brand when offering the same basic product.
Last edited by seahawk on Fri Oct 21, 2016 8:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Fri Oct 21, 2016 8:29 am

seahawk wrote:
LH could unite under the Eurowings brand
IAG under Vueling
KLM/AF under Transavia

I think this will happen. The old names and legacy carriers are so 20th century, people today want a modern and fresh brand and no legacy has this.


I wouldn't hold my breath. And do you have any proof to back up your theory of people wanting "a modern and fresh brand"? This is a very generic statement that I see absolutely no evidence for in the aviation industry.

As mentioned before, LH may be the most likely one out of the three, but hell will freeze over before BA/IB/EI are merged under a Vueling brand (even more so after the whole VY meltdown this summer that damaged the brand massively...).

Brand recognition is an extremely important differentiator in the market place. What you are suggesting is no different to Coca Cola merging all its different products under a generic "Soda" brand - no more Coca Cola, Fanta etc. It just doesn't make sense to kill a valuable, trusted and internationally recognised brand that has been around for decades.

And how would you manage the customer expectations? Each carrier in the group has its own home market and for example BA vs VY have completely different products and market segments.
 
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seahawk
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Fri Oct 21, 2016 8:48 am

Brand recognition is important, but when the only difference in anything but long haul is the airport served (main hub vs. other airports) the brand becomes hollow.
 
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Fri Oct 21, 2016 8:50 am

seahawk wrote:
LH could unite under the Eurowings brand
IAG under Vueling
KLM/AF under Transavia

I think this will happen. The old names and legacy carriers are so 20th century, people today want a modern and fresh brand and no legacy has this.


LOL . Bayer is "soooo" 19th century, we call it Lanxxess now. Everyone knos Bayer but WTF is Lanxxess? They could do that because the oeprating firm has a bunch of product brand names and the buyers don't care what the Name of the operatmg firm is.

But Airlines are in the Service Business, they are not OEMs. That makes the difference. in case of LH the Name of the Holding Company is also the Name of the 5' star Airline and the Holding has other brands in their portfolia ranging from another 5' to one or more LCCs. .
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seahawk
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Fri Oct 21, 2016 9:18 am

But the LH name only makes sense if it still is a 5* airline. At least on short and medium haul the product experience between the legacies and their low costs brands is becoming more and more similar. A different brand only makes sense if the product is different.
 
LHRFlyer
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Fri Oct 21, 2016 9:49 am

It's not going to happen, certainly not at IAG.

Although there were fears about brand dilution before IAG was formed, if you look at BA and Iberia their brands have never been stronger.

BA consistently rates very highly in UK "Superbrand" surveys and the brand has proved to be very resilient - it took a lot of knocks when BA had one operational/PR issue after another a few years ago, but it has come through it and got stronger. Same with Iberia.

Also, if you look at what IAG has and hasn't done with acquisitions, what IAG is principally interested in are strong brands in markets where other IAG brands don't have the same profile. I'm sure IAG has turned down a lot of offers to buy airlines in the UK and Europe.

Willie Walsh was once asked why IAG didn't keep the bmi brand and he said it was because it had no brand profile outside the UK. Otherwise, IAG may have kept the name.
 
vv701
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Fri Oct 21, 2016 11:51 am

ei146 wrote:
If you have a well established quality brand you would be stupid to kill it.


So very true.

According to the Superbrands web site the five most widely recognised brands amongst UK consumers are:

1. British Airways
2. Rolex
3. Lego
4. Dyson
5. Gillette

The brands most widely recognised by commercial companies are:

1. British Airways
2. Apple
3. PayPal
4. Google
5. Microsoft

I suspect a not dissimilar pattern exists in many other countries. What commercial advantage can you obtain by destroying one of your country's leading brands? Airline group members can integrate all types of operations while maintaining their own brand. So, for example, IB operated two BA daily LHR-MAD-LHR rotations for much of the current Summer Season as BA had insufficient aircraft to use the LHR slots returned from VS's Little Red .

Another example is scheduled maintenance. So BA 320 G-GATL replaced BA 320 G-GATK when it completed two weeks at Iberia Maintenance at MAD a few days ago on 18 October. This is a far better use of IAG resources than sending aircraft to third parties for planned maintenance

With these sorts of integrated activities merging brands would not yield much if any additional cost advantages. So we can be pretty sure that such widely recognised branding is unlikely to be destroyed.
 
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intotheair
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Fri Oct 21, 2016 12:40 pm

aviationaware wrote:
LupineChemist wrote:
FWIW, my money would be on SN going to full Lufthansa branding, not sure if that would mean being fully absorbed by LH (the airline, not the group) or operating under a separate AOC under the same brand



That would be money lost then, since it has already been announced that SN will be rolled into the Eurowings brand.


That's not true. SN will continue to fly as a standalone brand.

It has been rumored that some SN flights will transfer to EW, but there has been no formal announcement that SN is being "rolled into" EW.
300 319 320 321 332 333 345 346 380 717 733 734 735 73G 738 739 744 752 753 762 763 772 77W 788 789 CR2 CR7 CR9 CRK Q400 E175 DC10 MD82 MD90
AA AF AS AY AZ B6 BA BR DL F9 FI GA HA KF LH MI QX SK SN SQ UA US VY WN
 
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Revelation
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Fri Oct 21, 2016 1:05 pm

N14AZ wrote:
Revelation wrote:
I hope not, it'd be an even duller airliner spotting landscape if, for example, all KL planes were repainted to AF colors.

True, remembers me when I am sitting in the lounge in PEK and following the traffic on the center runway. It's soooo boring just to see one CA-, CZ or MU-narrowbody taking off or landing after the next one. I guess it's similar at the main hubs in the USA...

Having said that, I guess the planespotting diversity will be not so much of a criteria when the decision will be made for the next merger... ;-)

And as others have already pointed out, it might be even unnecessary. Even if you have one big mega-airline you still have to operate sub-bases and sub-fleets. So it doesn't matter much if one sub-fleet has a different livery...


Indeed, planespotting won't be a factor, but I think we all mostly agree that diversity is an asset.

That said, my best day of planespotting was at MSP in the 90s when almost all the a/c were NW's red-tails, but I saw 727s, A320s, DC-10s and 747s all in a few different variations of the NW livery. It seems strange nowadays to see how bland the liveries are, and how important it seems to be to the corporate entities to get all the a/c into the same bland liveries as soon as possible. For instance, I don't think anyone looks at United's current livery and goes 'wow'. It's worse than the UA and CO liveries that preceded it.
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LupineChemist
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Fri Oct 21, 2016 1:26 pm

I could see BA doing a similar thing to BP. British Petroleum was an iconic brand, but now only exists as BP. I think it would be plausible for the brand to take over IB

I don't doubt the power of existing brands, but I think people really overestimate how fast people are willing to change opinions of brands. At the end of the day having a much more powerful network behind a single brand can make a new or existing brand more powerful.
 
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seahawk
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Fri Oct 21, 2016 2:09 pm

vv701 wrote:
ei146 wrote:
If you have a well established quality brand you would be stupid to kill it.


So very true.

According to the Superbrands web site the five most widely recognised brands amongst UK consumers are:

1. British Airways
2. Rolex
3. Lego
4. Dyson
5. Gillette
.
.


Strong brands need strong products, some might remember Nokia in the early days of the mobile phone.
 
skipness1E
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Fri Oct 21, 2016 2:28 pm

If it ain't broke don't fix it. Businesses within groups are expected to have different cultures, brandings and ways of working. Look at WPP, many of which exist and compete in the same space. Certainly the UK is no longer feeling European, not that we ever did. Why would BA rebrand Iberia? Indeed why would IAG rebrand the winner of the UK Superbranding awards? The whole point is the exisiting brand is incredibly strong. There's no upside and world of pain, trust me, they've learned a thing or two from the World Tails fiasco. A brand has to have a connection, IAG is clearly not a brand and does not pretend to be one on the passenger side.
 
skipness1E
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Fri Oct 21, 2016 2:29 pm

seahawk wrote:
vv701 wrote:
ei146 wrote:
If you have a well established quality brand you would be stupid to kill it.


So very true.

According to the Superbrands web site the five most widely recognised brands amongst UK consumers are:

1. British Airways
2. Rolex
3. Lego
4. Dyson
5. Gillette
.
.


Strong brands need strong products, some might remember Nokia in the early days of the mobile phone.

Please explain how removing a strong brand makes a hard or soft product better?
 
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seahawk
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Fri Oct 21, 2016 3:00 pm

skipness1E wrote:
Please explain how removing a strong brand makes a hard or soft product better?


The point I wanted to make is, that once the product is no longer special, the well known brand only helps you for so long. And imho the European legacies are heading to a point where the only difference between a legacy and a lowco brand will be the livery and the uniform of the grumpy FA. When this happens the brand loses value and if the brand does no longer motivate customers to pay extra for the ticket, it becomes hard to make money with the usually higher paid staff of a legacy. At that point managers will think about giving the whole operation over to the lowco subsidiary.
 
skipness1E
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Fri Oct 21, 2016 3:17 pm

seahawk wrote:
skipness1E wrote:
Please explain how removing a strong brand makes a hard or soft product better?


The point I wanted to make is, that once the product is no longer special, the well known brand only helps you for so long. And imho the European legacies are heading to a point where the only difference between a legacy and a lowco brand will be the livery and the uniform of the grumpy FA. When this happens the brand loses value and if the brand does no longer motivate customers to pay extra for the ticket, it becomes hard to make money with the usually higher paid staff of a legacy. At that point managers will think about giving the whole operation over to the lowco subsidiary.

Managers would be breaking the law and thier own business if they did. I am guessing your not EU based?
easyJet and BA compete on price on short haul but BA has to feed long haul which has First and Club so the analogy fails at this point surely. Think if the huge pain the Swiss felt when Swissair went bust and the huge furore the BA ethnic fins created.
So you HONESTLY see Lufthansa flying long haul A380s as Eurowings? Cos that's your point...... No, you've taken a good-ish point well beyond it's natural arguement IMHO.
 
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seahawk
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Fri Oct 21, 2016 3:31 pm

Today no, in 20 years who knows? LH is already flying lowco long haul with Eurowings, KLM/AF have said they are thinking about it.
 
skipness1E
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Fri Oct 21, 2016 3:39 pm

seahawk wrote:
LH could unite under the Eurowings brand
IAG under Vueling
KLM/AF under Transavia

I think this will happen. The old names and legacy carriers are so 20th century, people today want a modern and fresh brand and no legacy has this.

Your assertion that "people want a modern and fresh brand" is at odd with consistent research that reliability and long termism score highly in branding for some products where safety critical is front and centre.

The thought of Francem that most nationalistic of our nations (in a good way), would unitte under "Transavia" could only be written by someone who understands nothing about French culture and prestige. A genuine ROFL moment.
Meanwhile Vueling takes on Delta on LHR-JFK. Oh come on fella....talk about shotting yourself in the foot!
 
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seahawk
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Fri Oct 21, 2016 4:26 pm

The same was said about Ryanair / Easy Jet in the late 1990ies early 2000s.
 
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Fri Oct 21, 2016 4:47 pm

VolvoBus wrote:
I bet Lufthansa from Athens to Amsterdam or Warsaw to Milan would sell like hot cakes.


Actually "*Hansa" could work across Europe. The "Hanseatic League" used to be a paneuropean alliance.

you'd have to do something with the "Luft" though. ( No good idea on my side for a nationality neutral term.)
Murphy is an optimist
 
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N717TW
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Fri Oct 21, 2016 4:59 pm

ei146 wrote:
If you have a well established quality brand you would be stupid to kill it.
ABInBEV is the largest brewery group in the world. They own around two hundred different beer brands in countries all over the world. They cater for different tastes in different markets. Do you think it would be wise to kill all of that and only sell Budweiser?
Car manufacturers do the same: The Volkswagen group uses one platform with a certain set of engines to produce cars targeting different markets. Under the hood my Seat Leon shares a lot of components with the VW Golf, Audi A3 or Skoda Octavia. GM sells very similar cars under the Chevrolet, Buick, Opel, Vauxhall or Holden brands.
The idea is to have as much commonality as possible to save money and still be able to cater for different tastes and markets.


I think that's right. Having an established brand gives you a strong reason to keep it although you save a lot of money and potentially strengthen your core brand when you expand it. Its true that some brands have very strong regional identities and incorporate geography into the name that makes it hard to merge out....British Iberia would be an odd name as would SwissAustrian and some potential mergers like Air France Italia or British Airways Finland would seem/sound odd. In the US most of the regionalized names have been merged out of business (long gone are Eastern, Northeast, Lake Central, Northwest, Southern, Western) and Delta has wiped most of the Mississippi Delta out of its name. But a name can transcend the region, like Southwest or Alaska. Even Norwegian is slowly turning CPH and LGW into bigger bases than OSL. And least we forget the most beloved of all names: Pan American. Also remember that T.W.A. once stood for Transcontinental and Western Airlines. So its not that far fetched to think that KLM might become just three letters and drop the "Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij" and open bases in the UK, Germany, etc.

The more likely situation, in the short term is slowly merging brand identities in soft-products. You are already seeing this with the LH Group and AF-KL outside their home markets where check-in desks, lounges, etc are slowly being combined under one brand or under a joint brand. I would expect that at some point we'll see "Senator Lounge" and "Galleries Lounge" being the respective brand for all airlines in the respective company. Club World might become the universal brand for IAG business class and then you start to see things without an Iberia or BA logo but with a "Club World" logo.

You certainly already see the back office functions are completely merged. One call center handles all calls for all brands in that language....one minute the operator answers "thank you for calling Swiss" and answers the next call with "thank you for calling Austrian Airlines." The same with purchasing, finance, maintenance, stores, etc.
 
LupineChemist
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Re: Will any of the European big 3 (Lufthansa Group, AFKLM, IAG) unite under a single brand.

Fri Oct 21, 2016 9:44 pm

N717TW wrote:
[

The more likely situation, in the short term is slowly merging brand identities in soft-products. You are already seeing this with the LH Group and AF-KL outside their home markets where check-in desks, lounges, etc are slowly being combined under one brand or under a joint brand. I would expect that at some point we'll see "Senator Lounge" and "Galleries Lounge" being the respective brand for all airlines in the respective company. Club World might become the universal brand for IAG business class and then you start to see things without an Iberia or BA logo but with a "Club World" logo.



IAG has already said that they want the same interior across BA/IB/EI. I'd imagine with I2 and VY as well.

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