Lufthansa Debuts Swiss PrivateAviation

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Lufthansa launched Swiss PrivateAviation at EBACE Tuesday, a subsidiary of Swiss International Airlines. The company was formed last year after Swiss acquired business aviation charter and management company Servair Private Aviation. The new company is intended to strengthen Lufthansa's private jet offering and will support the airline's fleet of Cessna Citation aircraft, which will all be operational by the end of summer. LPJ also announced that it has selected Swiss PrivateAviation to manage its fleet of Cessna business aircraft. The operator offers exclusive and flexible options on its own fleet of different types of Cessna Citation aircraft, three light CJ1+ jets, two CJ3 jets and two Citation XLS+ aircraft. LPJ will continue to cooperate with its partners DC Aviation and Jet Alliance in order to respond quickly to passenger requests.

Vice president of sales and services for Europe Dr. Karsten Benz said, "We constantly aim to meet customer expectations with our new product and be more flexible." He added that Lufthansa is the only airline in the world that operates a fleet of private jets alongside its scheduled services. He said: "The key to this service is that it operates on a first class ticket. Customers get 10,000 miles and more points on their card every time they use the service." Lufthansa says that offers an IATA accredited first class ticket, so that should a flight be inoperable due to weather, for example, it can provide a comparable substitute via other routings, even first class scheduled. Benz points out that sensitivity over the perception of operating a private jet means that some customers have migrated back to using first class services. The LPJ ticket means that they have the best of both worlds. Lufthansa has access to a fleet of 40 private aircraft including those operated by its partners. Benz said: "We can use these aircraft in case we have overflow that cannot be accommodated on our own jets." The service is a point to point offering across 1,000 airports in Europe. The airline has pledged more than EUR 150 million to its premium product offering. Benz said: "Regardless of the economy and market conditions we strongly believe that there is a niche market and this is an important offering for us. It offers value to travelers who need to be independent and flexible." Benz said that Lufthansa expects the LPJ service will outperform its 2007 revenues.