So does LX stand any chance on GVA-PRG? They seem to have struggled in Geneva.
According to the Swiss CEO, Thomas Klühr, their GVA operation broke just about even in 2018. From a customer experience, the LX operation in GVA offers very good value for the money.
True, the actual Y-class in-flight product on their GVA flights (catering not included) is nowadays not much better objectively than what EZY offers. On the other hand, their prices have also become veeery competitive. And I can tell you from my own experience that many people (especially in the German-speaking part of Switzerland) will at similar prices always give LX the nod over EZY. Living about in between ZRH and GVA I've on many occasions opted to fly LX out of GVA as it was just the best value for money. In the past, I've done BDS-GVA for CHF 45 one-way, GVA-MAD for CHF 110 in J-class one-way, GVA-NCE return for CHF 100m GVA-FAO return for CHF 280 and several other flights. LX were usually a slight bit more expensive than easyJet but offered better flight times and I much prefer the CS100/300 over the cramped EZS airbusses.
Whether LX can make a profit on these fares is another question. However, I firmly believe that their strategy is paying off thanks to a very efficient fleet and the right network strategy (very few core business markets at higher frequencies such as LHR/FRA/MUC/LCY/ZRH; many holiday/VFR flights in competition with EZY). It has also helped their profitability that they built up a GVA-based flight attendant corps a few years ago. I've heard that they plan on making GVA a pilot base as well. This could further improve their competitiveness as nowadays all pilots have to fly/drive in from ZRH.
As for the new LX destinations and the questions as to why they would go head-to-head against KE. Tourism from Korea to Switzerland is actually at an all-time high right now and interest for Korea has also steadily increased in Switzerland. Business ties have grown as well between the two economies. Despite the KE direct flights, ICN was actually one of the destinations with the most in-direct departing passengers from ZRH. According to Swiss Federal Bureau of Statistics (& my own calculations), in 2018 a total of 90 passengers per day used in-direct/connecting flights to ICN (in 2017: 108 PDEW on indirect flights). In addition, an average of 53 pax depart GVA heading to ICN on connecting flights every day.
If LX manages to capture the bulk of these passengers, stimulate market demand and also get some connecting pax, ICN could be a promising destination from them using the A340-300. LX could also cooperate with Asiana by codesharing on the ZRH-ICN route and by offering onward connections from ICN to other Korean & Japanese cities.