Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA), including other group airlines like Austrian Airlines and Swiss International Air Lines, will introduce an option for passengers to purchase their own meals onboard flights, in a bid to increase revenues.

The selection of foods and beverages will gradually become available to economy class passengers on short and medium-haul flights starting in Spring 2021. Austrian Airlines will be the first airline out of the three network carriers within the group to introduce the new meal menu, while SWISS and Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) will be second and third, respectively.

"Our current snack offer in Economy Class does not always meet the expectations of our guests," explained the decision member of the executive board responsible for customer, IT and Corporate Responsibility Christina Foerster. Developed on the basis of passenger feedback, the newly added menu will allow passengers to pick and choose their meal and beverage of choice while flying within Europe, added Foerster.

Two birds with one stone

Seemingly, the decision was made to both minimize operating costs and increase ancillary revenues.

Lufthansa Group airlines will no longer offer a complimentary snack to Economy class passengers. Starting from Spring 2021, their only option will be to either purchase a meal onboard or buy one at the airport. Amidst the current crisis, the move will allow both to save on catering costs and to increase ancillary revenue from passengers, shooting down two birds with one engine.

In its latest financial update on November 5, 2020, Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) announced a whopping Q3 2020 net loss of €1.9 billion ($2.2 billion). The company plans to once again become a positive cash flow airline group throughout 2021, as it significantly reduced capacity and costs throughout 2020. In Q4 2020, Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) plans to operate 25% of the capacity that was deployed during the same period last year.

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