Capital investment

Easyjet is Berlin’s new ‘home carrier’

British budget carrier Easyjet is investing heavily in Berlin this summer as it builds up a major base with 100 routes to and from the German capital.

April 05, 2018
Easyjet executives and Berlin officials present the new ‘home carrier’
Photo: EasyJet

Easyjet has moved quickly to fill the gap left by Air Berlin after spending €40 million to take over 25 planes from the insolvent carrier along associated slots at Berlin-Tegel airport. The British airline launched flights from the German capital’s main airport in January and has steadily added flights since then.

Under the summer 2018 schedule, it is now offering more than 100 routes from Tegel and Schönefeld to domestic and European destinations, including 28 exclusive routes. Domestic frequencies have been increased while new international routes include holiday destinations such as Alicante, Biarritz, Corfu, Faro, Menorca and Pula.

CEO Johann Lundgren said in Berlin last week that Easyjet will offer 16 million seats to and from Tegel and Schönefeld this summer. In 2017, the airline had some 3.5 million passengers on its flights to and from Schönefeld, where 12 planes are based, and expects to increase this number by 60% to 5.6 million passengers this year thanks to the Tegel expansion.

Part of the growth will come from transfer passengers. Berlin-Tegel is one of seven new airports where the airline now offers transfer connections in addition to Gatwick and Milan Malpensa.

Easyjet’s investments in Berlin go far beyond the initial €40 million for the 25 ex-Air Berlin jets. It will spend a further €112 million on repainting them in its corporate design, retraining former Air Berlin staff and other operational measures. In addition, the airline expects to spend about €68 million on the ongoing wet-lease deals with other carriers. However, Lundgren expects the airline to be operating only its own planes at Tegel by the start of the winter 2018/19 schedule.

The British airline is also cooperating closely with authorities in the German capacity. It has signed a long-term partnership deal with the visitBerlin organisation for joint activities to promote incoming tourism to Berlin, including sales and marketing measures. The deal builds on the airline’s €5m advertising campaign to highlight its new services to and from Berlin Tegel.

“Easyjet is our new home carrier,” declared Burkhard Kieker, CEO of visitBerlin, at a joint press conference with Easyjet executives. “The engagement by Easyjet is a great facilitator for the economic and the touristic development of Berlin, which is a great occasion to establish the first strategic partnership between the capital‘s official promotional organisation and an airline. With the hashtag #berlinwelcomesyou we will join forces to promote tourism in Europe to Berlin.”

Thomas Haagensen, Easyjet’s Country Director for Germany, Austria & Switzerland, added: “Berlin is such an important destination in the German market and remains popular with our customers throughout the entire network. This first ever strategic partnership with visitBerlin will seek to explore different areas of collaboration in order to show everything Berlin has to offer to the great diversity of easyJet's passengers.”

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