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Lufthansa says new low-cost brand off to good start

The logo of German air carrier Lufthansa is pictured at Fraport airport in Frankfurt May 6, 2013. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner
The logo of German air carrier Lufthansa is pictured at Fraport airport in Frankfurt May 6, 2013. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Lufthansa said that a project to merge some of its European and German domestic routes under a new low-cost brand has started successfully, as the airline grapples with losses at its European short-haul flights.

"The transition is going well," a Lufthansa spokesman said on Saturday.

The carrier said last year that Lufthansa flights within Germany and Europe, excluding those from its hubs in Frankfurt and Munich, will be merged into its existing no-frills brand Germanwings from January 1, 2013.

German weekly Wirtschaftswoche on Saturday cited an unidentified Lufthansa supervisory board member as saying that Germanwings aircraft were operating at a fuller capacity and ticket prices were higher on average than expected.

This goes a long way towards restructuring Lufthansa's pan-European traffic which chalked up losses of about 250 million euros ($328 million) last year, the magazine said.

($1 = 0.7612 euros)

(Reporting by Frank Siebelt and Ludwig Burger; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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