German Low Frills carrier with its hub in Cologne

Germanwings started its service of regular scheduled flights around Europe in August 2003 with a fleet of 5 Airbus A319 but swiftly expanded their fleet due to the great response of the travelling public to 10 airplanes. They fly daily to 22 different destinations, mainly the mainstays of western-european tourism in Italy, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and Greece, but also have more interesting destinations like Edinburgh, Helsinki, Stockholm, Oslo, Warsaw and Budapest.

Prices are reasonable and range from 19 Euro single if you book well in advance to about a 100 Euros if you book last minute.

Germanwings is a wholly owned subsidiary of business class carrier Eurowings, which is partly owned by Lufthansa. The headquarters of Germanwings are situated in a couple makeshift office - containers next to Cologne Airport, a fact that the company is quite proud about and actually advertises with, as it gives their customers the impression that all their money is ploughed into the airline to keep prices down. Booking is done via a call centre or the web, booking early is advised.

The airplane's maintenance and the pilot's training are both handled by Lufthansa which is said to be the best in Europe, so one can be reassured about safety. The interior of Germanwings's Airbuses is a stylish grey, with leather seats and significantly more legspace than Ryanair and Easyjet. There's an Audio/Video entertainment program and as usual with Low-Frills airlines, beverages and snacks must be bought. Service is swift and efficient, but unfortunately has the slight tinge of arrogance that is the scourge of many Lufthansa cabin attendants.

Nevertheless a good alternative to the flag carriers. Recommended.

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