Lufthansa Group network airlines will introduce an “Economy Light” fare on routes to North America for the summer 2018 season.

The move follows an accelerating trend as more major airlines segment fares in the main cabin, offering a basic fare for cost-conscious consumers while hoping to upsell some passengers to a higher grade of ticket.

Lufthansa and subsidiaries Swiss International Air Lines, Brussels Airlines and Austrian Airlines are introducing the new fare as the least expensive option for passengers traveling with carry-on luggage only and who do not require ticket flexibility. Even within the new fare, there are gradations; however, for an additional fee, passengers will be allowed to add one piece of luggage or request a seat reservation on an individual basis.

Meals and drinks will continue to be served free to passengers.

In 2015, the Lufthansa Group airlines introduced a “Light” fare on European routes. The various fare options differ mainly in factors such as free baggage allowance, seat reservations and the ability to cancel or rebook flights.

Lufthansa has tested a “Light” fare for passengers with carry-on luggage since October 2017 on some long-haul services between Scandinavia and North America.

Airlines, notably those with transatlantic routes, have been introducing a plethora of ticket price points in an attempt to fend off competition from long-haul, low-cost carriers.

Alan Dron