Lufthansa Group low-cost (LCC) subsidiary Eurowings will base three Airbus A330-200s in Munich from April 16, 2018, as the fast-growing European carrier continues its long-haul expansion. The first flight will operate to Las Vegas, Nevada.

The company will transfer three of six A330-200s from Cologne to the Bavarian capital.

Eurowings CCO Oliver Wagner said the expansion in Munich was the result of “positive developments in Southern Germany” as the carrier positions itself as the “growth engine within the Lufthansa Group.”

Munich is Germany’s second-largest airport and Lufthansa’s second hub behind Frankfurt.

Eurowings will launch other tourism long-haul routes from Munich, including Bangkok (Thailand), Fort Myers (Florida), Windhoek (Namibia), Mauritius, Varadero (Cuba), Puerto Plata (Dominican Republic), Cancun and Punta Cana (Mexico), as well as Montego Bay (Jamaica).

Cologne will remain the main base for Eurowings’ long-haul operations, where the LCC has reported load factors of nearly 90% and a capacity of 800,000 seats.

Long-haul operations from Cologne will focus on routes to the Caribbean and North America, including flights to Thailand, Namibia and Mauritius. The carrier will offer 700,000 seats on long-haul routes for the coming winter season from Cologne.

Eurowings operates six 310-seat Airbus A330-200s on long-haul flights, which are wet-leased from SunExpress, a joint venture of Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines. It launched its first long-haul flight from Cologne to Varadero, Cuba, on Nov. 2, 2015. Its seventh A330 will join the fleet by summer 2018 and will be based in Cologne.

Separately, Munich Airport reported its best half-yearly figures in its 25-year history this year with 21 million passengers, up 6% compared to the same period in 2016. That number matches the full-year figure for 1999.

Kurt Hofmann, hofmann.aviation@netway.at