Following the demise of air berlin, europe’s major low-cost carriers are vigorously expanding their services from german airports.
According to its own figures, the lufthansa subsidiary eurowings alone plans to offer 70,000 additional flights this year and transport 8 million more passengers.
Competitor ryanair also wants to grow in the german market and is increasing the number of connections from german airports by 24 to 243 for the upcoming winter flight schedule starting at the end of october. For the year as a whole, ryanair plans to handle 19.7 million passengers from german airports, 13 percent more than in the previous year. This increased its market share by one point to 9 percent.
However, iren expects disruptions due to pilot strikes in the course of its europe-wide negotiations with the national unions. "If you have unions and recognize unions, you can have some disruptions," marketing chief kenny jacobs said in berlin on tuesday. Concretely it was not. "We haven’t had that so far, but it may happen at some point in time."At the beginning of february, ryanair chief executive michael o’leary had spoken of possible labor disputes at easter, without making any concrete threats. In the coming week, there will be talks with the german cockpit union vereinigung cockpit.
Eurowings integrates air-berlin subsidiary LG walter, which it acquired in the insolvency proceedings, into its growth strategy. "With eurowings, we are currently managing the coarsest growth that german air traffic has ever experienced," explained eurowings chief thorsten dirks. In the previous year, eurowings had already achieved growth of 77 percent and had flown into the profit zone. Eurowings was already the rough provider at the airports of koln/bonn, dusseldorf, stuttgart and hamburg, he added.
A few days ago, the german aerospace center (DLR) analyzed the flight schedule for the coming summer, using the single month of july as an example. According to the report, eurowings expanded its services the most, by 137 percent; however, in the previous summer, the starts of its sister company germanwings were still paid for separately. Without this effect, the growth of eurowings calculated by DLR is around 33 percent. This puts the lufthansa subsidiary ahead of ryanair (+22.8 percent), but also well behind easyjet (+93.4 percent), which also took over part of the insolvent air berlin.