On February 1st, 1993, Eurowings was founded by the merger of two commuter airlines based in Nuremberg and Dortmund, Nürnberger Flugdienst (NFD) and Reise- und Industrieflug (RFG) respectively.
On January 1st, 1994, with an initial fleet of ATR 42 and 72 aircraft inherited from its predecessors, Eurowings launched flight operations.
In 2001, Lufthansa took an initial 24,9% stake in Eurowings and increased it to 49% in 2004, exercising full control of Eurowings since 2005.
Established in 1997 as Eurowings Flug GmbH, a low-cost department of Eurowings, the airline became a separate company and was renamed to Germanwings GmbH on the 27th of October, 2002.
Based in Cologne, Germanwings is the first low cost airline in Germany to offer connecting flights, thanks to its Smart Connect programme.
In December, 2008, it was announced that Lufthansa would buy Germanwings.
Germanwings became a wholly owned Lufthansa subsidiary on the 1st of January, 2009.
In September 2010, Eurowings moved its headquarters and technical infrastructure from Dortmund to Dusseldorf.
Since 2010, as part of an extensive cooperation plan between Lufthansa and Germanwings, Miles & More members have been able to collect miles on all Germanwings flights. Independently of the Miles & More partnership, the Boomerang Club will continue to exist as Germanwings’ frequent flyer programme.
From the beginning of 2011, in the next phase of the cooperation, interline (i.e. combinable) fares were made available for Lufthansa and Germanwings flights.
In February 2012, Lufthansa transferred the first of its European routes, Stuttgart – London/Heathrow, to Germanwings. The summer of 2012, Germanwings took over from Lufthansa further routes out of Stuttgart: Bilbao, Brussels, Manchester and Milan-Malpensa.
At the end of 2012, after the successful transfer of routes to Germanwings in Stuttgart, Lufthansa announced that Lufthansa direct European services (those outside of the Frankfurt and Munich hubs) will be shifted commercially and organizationally to the “new Germanwings” and that Eurowings will fly on behalf of Germanwings.
On July 1, 2013, the “new Germanwings”, Germany’s third-largest airline, launched a completely new brand and product concept positioning itself as a quality airline in the low-cost segment and offering three Economy Class fares, Best Smart and Basic, each with different benefits and bookable services.
In July 2014, Lufthansa announced that Eurowings would replace its 23 Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft with 23 Airbus A320 aircraft and that the airline would turn from a regional airline into a low-cost carrier by the end of 2015.
By the end of 2014, Germanwings was operating a young fleet of 87 modern aircraft, 64 Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft fully-owned and 23 CRJ-900 aircraft owned by Eurowings.
In January 2015, Lufthansa announced that the Germanwings brand would be discontinued and replaced with Eurowings starting in late 2015.
By January 2016, Germanwings’ own website and social media profiles have been redirected or renamed to Eurowings. Germanwings continued to operate under its own flight numbers but only using the Eurowings brand.
In February 2017, Eurowings retired its last Bombardier CRJ900. All CRJ900s have been replaced by larger Airbus A320-200 aircraft as part of the transformation from a regional airline into a low-cost carrier.
In March 2018, Germanwings abandoned its own IATA code 4U and started using Eurowings’ EW code for all operations, already carried out under the Eurowings brand.
In 2018, Eurowings relocated from Cologne Bonn Airport all its long-haul routes and Airbus A330-200 aircraft to Düsseldorf Airport. Starting the 2018/2019 winter timetable, Düsseldorf and Munich Airport are Eurowings’ long-haul bases.
In June 2019, as part of a strategy to return to profit, Eurowings announced its exit of the long-haul market by the end of 2020, with services to be transferred to other network carriers in the Lufthansa group, and focus on European short-haul flights. As part of the turnaround plan, Eurowings also plans to grow in its core markets of Cologne/Bonn, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, and Stuttgart, close unprofitable smaller bases and cut unprofitable routes.
In February 2020, Eurowings announced plans to close its base at Munich Airport in 2020, its services being re-distributed to other airlines in the Lufthansa Group. Eurowings will continue to fly to and from Munich, but it will probably no longer be a Eurowings base starting the 2020/2021 winter timetable.
Only Germanwings has been involved in one deadly accident resulting in 150 fatalities. On March 24, 2015, an Airbus A320 operating Flight 4U9525 from Barcelona to Dusseldorf was intentionally crashed in the south of France by the co-pilot. There were no survivors. Following the accident, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) made a recommendation to airlines that two authorized persons must be present in the cockpit at all times.