Lufthansa wings to start-ups

Wolfgang Will, Senior Director, South Asia, Lufthansa Passenger Airlines, says the Indian market is very crucial. India’s growing economy and a booming aviation industry has made them launch their latest aircraft in the country and the airline is also propelling various start-ups here.

NKHIL ANAND & NISHA VERMA

Q Please tell us about the Start-up Expo, which Lufthansa is part of.

Lufthansa recently co-organised the Start-up Expo alongside The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), which saw over 75 investors, 100 partners, 500 mentors and 250 start-ups showcasing their business. Through the Start-up Expo, Lufthansa is bringing together all that a start-up needs to be successful, be it investors, mentors, experienced business leaders, who are there together. We are very proud to contribute to form an ecosystem, which really helps young entrepreneurs to showcase their business, their ideas and fuel the booming Indian economy with this initiative.

Q How is the Start-up Expo different from last year?

We are very excited because this platform is getting bigger and better. There will be a lot of investor start-up meetings, a lot of opportunities for the start-ups to exchange between themselves including ideas and best practices. There would also be a lot of job interviews, and we are expecting more than 10,000 participants coming for Start-up Expo 2017.

Q What would Lufthansa get by being a part of such an event?

We are very proud to partner with the success of Indian business. With India being a home for us for more than half a century, we have accompanied the country on this growth path and to success. Actually, for us, it is important to be seen and recognised as a partner in this success of Indian business.

Q Lufthansa has been following the path of digitalisation and what should we look forward to in this approach?

There are a lot of changes coming up for us—digitalisation as well as innovation. We have declared 2017 as our year for digitalisation and innovation. We have an innovation hub in Berlin, which is like a little start-up factory, where a lot of ideas are coming up. For example, we are working to change the possibility for passengers to access reading material. Earlier, one could get a magazine and some newspapers on board, and nowadays, they have a possibility to download content they want from a selection of hundred magazines and newspapers on their own device on board.

Q Are there any new routes and aircraft you’re introducing in the Indian market?

We are committed to the Indian market, always bringing in the best and modern aircraft here. This year, we have introduced Airbus A350 on our routes from Mumbai and Delhi to Munich. We have Airbus A380, which is our flagship aircraft operating from Delhi to Frankfurt, and we have introduced a new route from Brussels Airline this year, which would fly on the Brussels-Mumbai route. We are investing and we are very much engaged in the booming Indian market, and we want to be part of the growth.

Q How has the demand from the Indian market been?

India is one of our strategic markets. We know about the demographics, as well as the dynamics in India. Thus, we are looking forward to also be a part of the growth which we see happening in this country. We are very proud to be recognised as a partner in the success of Indian business. We started 8 years ago to actively take up initiatives in this area and now Lufthansa runway to success and the Start-up Expo are seen as one of the most important platforms for SMEs and start-ups in India.

Q What makes Lufthansa successful in India?

Our commitment to the Indian market is very strong. When you think of Lufthansa group, then you have three things in mind—the European carrier with a lot of connectivity; over 300 connections and flights beyond our gateways to Europe and to North America; and quality made in Germany with a heart of India.

“We have introduced Airbus A350 on our routes from Mumbai and Delhi to Munich. We have Airbus A380, which is our flagship aircraft operating from Delhi to Frankfurt, and we have also introduced a new route from our Brussels Airline this year, which would fly on the Brussels-Mumbai route” – Wolfgang Will, Senior Director, South Asia, Lufthansa Passenger Airlines

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