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Lufthansa to close German arm of SunExpress

Lufthansa to close German arm of SunExpress

SunExpress is restructuring its business to focus on the Turkish tourism market.

The news comes as Lufthansa Group confirmed it will close the German arm of the carrier, operated as a joint-venture with Turkish Airlines.

The decision will cost around 1,200 jobs.

The German unit was operating a fleet more than a dozen Boeing 737-800, as well as some Airbus A330-200 which it wet-leased to Eurowings.

SunExpress Germany was also due to receive the Boeing 737 Max 9, once the grounding of the aircraft type would be lifted.


The carrier has made a significant contribution to Turkish tourism since its founding in 1989 in Antalya.

“SunExpress has been one of the largest airlines in holiday and ethnic traffic between Germany and Turkey for more than 30 years.

“Together with our shareholders Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines, we have decided to focus on our strength in air travel into Turkey as the home carrier for Antalya and Izmir.

“With a concentrated route network, a consolidated fleet and passion for aviation, we will ensure the airline’s competitiveness and future viability, remaining a strong and reliable partner for travel agencies, tour operators and our direct customers,” explained Max Kownatzki, chief executive of SunExpress.

“The decision is a strategic move in order to adapt to a changing competitive environment and future market demand forecast.

“We believe that by concentrating all our power on a rapidly growing and developing country such as Turkey, which has a high tourism potential and a strong aviation industry, we will grow and add value with it.”

SunExpress Deutschland was founded in June 2011 as a subsidiary of SunExpress, based in Frankfurt am Main.

The flight operations of SunExpress Deutschland focus mainly on charter and holiday flights to holiday destinations out of Turkey.

Turkish sister airline SunExpress will continue to operate its own routes, with a fleet that consists of over 40 Boeing 737-800.