Lufthansa LCC subsidiary Eurowings has introduced its first long-haul service from Munich as part of plans to double capacity from the German base in 2018.

Eurowings bases three Airbus A330s in Munich, which is also the second largest hub of its parent Lufthansa. The first long-haul flight to Las Vegas began April 16. The route is to be served twice weekly.

Eurowings plans to introduce nine more long-haul destinations over the summer, including Cancun, Fort Myers, Windhoek, Mauritius, Varadero, Punta Cana, Montego Bay, Puerto Plata and Bangkok.

Overall, Eurowings grows its Munich presence by 15 to 41 destinations. The airline expects to carry 2 million passengers to and from Munich. It will be the airport’s second largest carrier after Lufthansa.

Eurowings MD Oliver Wagner said the Munich services are “complementary” to Lufthansa and do not create in-house competition. The carrier had decided to move its long-haul flying away from Cologne/Bonn and focus primarily on Dusseldorf and Munich.

Wagner made clear that Eurowings has no plans to take over hub feeding for Lufthansa, a step that could lead to lower cost in the group’s European short-haul network, which has returned to profitability after several difficult years.

Eurowings is also no longer pursuing the idea of serving the busy Frankfurt-Berlin route.

Following the bankruptcy of airberlin, Lufthansa enjoyed a monopoly on the market for several months, until UK LCC easyJet introduced services in January.

Cooperation with LaudaMotion could end by the end of May, Wagner indicated. Eurowings wet-leases four aircraft, four less than originally planned, and “it is not clear whether we will extend the contract,” Wagner said.

Jens Flottau, jens.flottau@aviationweek.com