December 22, 2011 / 10:26 AM / 6 years ago

Lufthansa to woo holidaymakers with new ad

3 Min Read

A stewardess is silhouetted as she walks in front of the German airline Lufthansa sign on a window at the airport in Frankfurt July 18, 2011.Alex Domanski

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) will launch a new advertising campaign aimed at filling more seats with holidaymakers as companies spend less on business trips.

Germany's biggest airline said on Wednesday it has named Hamburg-based Kolle Rebbe to help it build an image of more than just a solid business carrier.

"We already have many routes to popular holiday destinations in our schedule and want to emphasise this more strongly in our communication in the future," a spokesman for Lufthansa said.

Kolle Rebbe -- which also handled a new campaign for TUI Travel that is about to launch in Germany -- will act as the lead agency for Lufthansa's advertising in traditional media for the next three years.

Legacy carriers such as Lufthansa traditionally make a large chunk of their profits through sales of business class tickets.

But according to industry group IATA, more business travellers have been buying economy class tickets, and European airlines are looking for ways to preserve margins.

Rival British Airways (ICAG.L) launched its biggest brand campaign in a decade this year -- "To Fly. To Serve." -- aimed at business travellers looking for reliability and comfort.

Lufthansa, some of whose marketing has emphasised business class features like plush airport lounges or meals concocted by award-winning chefs, is taking another direction, aiming to tap the tourist market.

The move comes as the carrier is poised to launch a new cost-cutting programme, reportedly aimed at saving 1.5 billion euros, 50 percent more than Lufthansa shed with its "Climb 2011" programme over the past two years.

A spokesman said he could not confirm that figure, adding details of the programme were still being discussed.

German rival Air Berlin (AB1.DE), which has struggled to return to profit for several years, announced this week that Gulf carrier Etihad Airways was buying almost 30 percent of it, putting cash on the table to build scale in Europe.

Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Mike Nesbit and Elaine Hardcastle

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