As part of plans to transform and rejuvenate travellers experience and up its services globally, Lufthansa German airline said it is investing €3bn (N600 billion) on new aircraft, (new business class, first class and Economy) and ground services to offer better products for travellers.
While presenting incentives to some travel and tour operators in Nigeria, Claus Becker, managing director, West and Central Africa, said the plan which has been muted and being implemented since 2012 is aimed at increasing the fleet of the airline, develop its in-flight services in all cabins, introduction of new classes and ground handling services among others.
Wakanow.com and Aeroland travels were recognised by the airline. “We started in 2012, but as you know it is quite complex in introducing new classes and products, it takes a lot of time and preparation and it is also costly in introducing new class. In a fleet of 400 planes, it takes quite some time before all these planes will be equipped with the new products in them.
“We have a full fledged business class, which is also a state of the art and that is already been introduced on the new Boeing 747-800, which is also coming on the other planes and we have up to date economic class product.
“All these will be done in four years; 2012, 2013, 2014 up to 2015 and it takes a lot of money, which we have to put in the cash flow. So, it is a big effort and it requires a profitable airline to carry out.” Becker emphasised that its clients in Nigeria will also benefit from the improved services on its fleet, but could not state categorically the percentage that would be allocated to the Nigerian routes from the amount of money.
He said unlike some airlines which sometimes exclude Nigeria from their plans, ‘Nigerian passengers are sure of getting these new products.
He said that the airline had employed Nigerians as one of its social responsibilities to the country, stressing that employment generation was one of the major Cooperate Social Responsibilities supported by the company’s headquarters.
Becker stated further that the airline had a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to train Nigerian flight attendance, which it has been doing over the years, adding that it has been doing this over the years.
Segun Adewale, managing director of Aeroland Travels, one of the companies which received award and commendation of the airline, pledged to increase sales of the airline’s ticket by 20 percent adding that Lufthansa was the first to show such appreciation by personally visiting Agency offices.