Do you remember the “ProTeam week” here at the end of July this year? It was our pleasure to give you some first insights into the start and the first projects of our trainee program. Time is flying and although everything still feels quite new to us, we are currently all in the process of finalizing our first projects and looking out to new endeavors. After having successfully completed our first assignments in the operative part of Lufthansa Passage, we both changed to a completely different field – let us tell you more about it.
Sophie: I decided to directly continue with my project abroad! As a ProTeamer, one gets the valuable chance to pursue one of the four projects in a different country, and since Lufthansa is spread across the globe this means quite a large choice of potential destinations and projects. Since I started off my ProTeam career with a rather operational focus by working in the personnel planning and dispatch department at check-in and gate of Frankfurt airport, I planned to do my next project with a rather strategic orientation. By “screening the market” for potential assignments, I also had in mind to improve my Portuguese language skills. Hence, I found the perfect project at Lufthansa Passage in Portugal’s beautiful capital city of Lisbon! After concluding the secondment contract with human resources and finding an appropriate accommodation via internet, I booked the flight and made my way to Southern Europe. During the first week at my new workplace in the Lufthansa office in the heart of Lisbon, I grasped an overview of the main focus of the complex venture – namely to develop strategies and measures to counteract Lufthansa’s key competitors in Portugal. This both strategic and empirical project offers a great opportunity to also experience the airline-specific background of revenue management (pricing and steering), as well general business development, marketing and sales. At the same time, I will get the chance to participate in the day-to-day business of comprehensive sales activities at an important Lufthansa field organization. Hence, I am looking forward to “dive” into the next ProTeam challenge – especially, as this time it even comes with beach and surfing at the weekends! ;)
Dominic: After getting to know the “Flight Operations” department of Lufthansa as well as the tools and methodology of Lean Management in a big company, I was interested in either continuing with a project in the product or the commercial division of Lufthansa. Not expecting it, I was lucky to come across a project which combines both perspectives: “Launch Management Premium Economy”. You may have heard of “Premium Economy” or “Economy plus” (which is a huge difference by the way!) as a substantial number of airlines are now offering this product on long-haul flights. Lufthansa decided in late 2012 to fill the growing gap between our Economy Class and Business Class by introducing a new product: Premium Economy. Although this might sound simple (“put some new seats into an aircraft, give them a price tag and sell them”), the story is much more complex. Firstly, Lufthansa creates an entirely new product rather than just adding some space to the existing Economy Class product (more details will be communicated in early 2014). Secondly, we are introducing it on all Lufthansa long-haul flights – not just on new aircrafts. And third, the number of departments and tools involved in such a product launch is enormous. To give you an idea: around 90 IT systems have to be adapted to ensure a smooth operation. I am very much looking forward to work in this team until the end of the year. My task will mostly focus on the necessary preparations for the “start of sale”, when passengers can book the first premium economy tickets. This will be about five months before the first plane takes off with Premium Economy in late 2014.
Although we both changed to completely different departments in different cities, we are once again working on very similar topics: revenue management, pricing and steering, as well as marketing and sales. We were surprised how different this part of Lufthansa is compared to the operations environment, but it is just as important and just as exciting. We are looking forward to the weeks and months ahead – there seems to be a lot more to discover …