May 22, 2018 / 10:46 AM / 6 months ago

Lufthansa to offer Economy 'Light' fare on North American routes

FILE PHOTO: Flags with the German airline Lufthansa sign flutter next to the office building in Frankfurt, Germany March 15, 2018. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) will introduce an Economy “Light” fare on transatlantic routes this summer, the German airlines group said on Tuesday, following a similar move by rival British Airways in an effort to compete with low-cost carriers.

The new cheaper fare, which Lufthansa has been testing on some routes between Scandinavia and North America since October, allows passengers on airlines Lufthansa, SWISS, Brussels Airlines and Austrian Airlines to bring only carry-on luggage on their trip, it said.

For an additional fee, they can add check-in luggage or request a seat reservation.

Lufthansa did not say how much the tickets would cost. In 2015, it introduced a “Light” fare on European routes, with round-trip tickets starting at 89 euros ($105).

British Airways, owned by International Airways Group (ICAG.L), last month unveiled a new “basic” fare, whereby a one-way ticket between London and Boston in the United States would cost from 175 pounds ($236).

That compares with low cost carrier Norwegian’s (NWC.OL) 145 pound cheapest available fare, according to its website on that same route.

Legacy airlines are battling Norwegian and other budget carriers such as Canada’s Westjet (WJA.TO) and Iceland’s Wow Air, which are all stepping up expansion on routes between North America and Europe.

Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Mark Potter

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