Eurowings takes Swiss spot at Basel airport
Swiss International Air Lines is to pull out of Basel airport in 2015, to be replaced by low-cost carrier Eurowings.
The airlines are both owned by German company Lufthansa, which hopes to compete with easyJet’s 54 percent market share at Basel airport by introducing Eurowings flights, its director Carsten Spohr told the media during a press conference.
Basel will welcome two to four A320 airplanes under the Eurowings banner, with flights commencing in spring 2015.
It will be the first non-German base for the budget airline, which has been operating in Germany since 2002 under the name Germanwings.
Spohr hopes to roll out Eurowings across Europe in the coming years to create “a Wings family”.
Swiss, which currently serves 11 destinations from Basel and employs 300 people, will not forfeit jobs when it pulls out of the airport, a Lufthansa spokesman told news agency ATS, as staff will be reassigned internally.
Swiss will now concentrate on its service from Zurich and Geneva, from where it recently launched its own low-cost offering, with one-way tickets to selected destinations from 89 francs.
The reshuffle is part of Lufthansa’s strategy to expand its budget services, which Spohr indicated would be extended to long-haul flights by teaming up with other carriers.
The news comes shortly after easyJet announced new routes from Basel, including Luton in the UK and Lanzarote in the Canary Islands.