If the LH Group wants to maximize it's profits and let all of it's companies flourish, rather than just the German ones, it should take away a significant number of flights with a high connecting ratio of passengers away from its high cost airlines LH and LX and put them at SN and OS.
It isn't necessarily German centrism that prevents that, but economies of scale. FRA and MUC have many more European feeder flights, and to offer most convenient connections to most of those passangers it only makes sense to concentrate the global flights at those places. There simply aren't enough passengers in Europe to replicate an efficient global hub in VIE and BRU.
I'm not talking about just replicating FRA or MUC, I'm talking about using the much more favorable cost bases of the home carriers at BRU and VIE to shift a significant part of the LH network to, i.e. those flights which carry a very high number of European connecting passengers rather than O&D load: those flights could be routed through pretty much any good alternative to FRA or MUC too, you know?
Never thought why it is that within an airline group comprising of 5 intercontinental airlines operating from 6 hubs, hardly any intercontinental routes have been transferred between the different airlines so far (except the shift from LH to EW) and swaps between hubs are often limited to intra-German swaps too????
Is this because accidentally and by some sort of magic, each and every long haul route already operated today was already at its optimum point of departure, or because LH just doesn't want to go down this radical path of optimization because if it does so and starts looking at optimizing the group's profitability by letting flights depart depart from the place where the difference between RASM and CASM will be biggest, it will find out it's largely a one way path of downsizing LH to the benefit of its past acquisitions like OS and SN????
What do you think? The first means you hardly need the current group's network management (so get rid of it), the second means group's network management is protective towards a certain airline: which one is it?
[There's a reason why Brussels Airlines needed a buyer, that's because they couldn't survive on their own and were consistently losing money, just as Sabena. It's a bit easy to blame the upcoming transition of SN into EW on LH when there wouldn't be a SN without LH anyway.
You see, that's exactly the problem: the idea that any airline which was bought by LH is a total failure and should thus be grateful for still being allowed to be around, without further growth expectations.
Once you buy a certain airline, you have to see them as in integral part of yourself, not just as being owned or controlled by you. The latter really is the wrong attitude if you want to run a group of successful airlines, rather than an equity alliance which should just benefit the owner itself: that other 5 star airline trying this approach (EY) didn't have much pleasure from it, did they?
Besides, allow me to say you have your stereotypic setting is a bit wrong in relation to SN: the story of their acquisition is quite a different from OS, as you could already read here above: a profitable SN looked for a global partner in Europe to grow further, but a merger with either BA or LH was simply impossible due to its small size, hence a purchase structure was agreed with LH with a nice gentlemen's agreement attached too it, but nevertheless, it doesn't matter in the context of this discussion.
Once you adopt a child; it either becomes your own blood and flesh and you don't discriminate it vs. your other own children, or you don't adopt it at all: if Spohr wants OS to be more profitable like he constantly says, the easiest way is see it grow quickly and profitably and thus to commit some resources to it: give them a few (new) planes currently deployed at Lufthansa and a few extra routes of which he knows they will be immediately successful because he simply transfers them from his own home airline, Lufthansa. OS could just as well do the job and at a lower cost even, so the whole idea would even be good for the wider group's profit. Exactly what's stopping him from being radically focused on reshaping passenger flows within the group to maximize profit, other than a personal desire to keep Lufthansa intact?