The demise of AirBerlin left a vacuum and nature abhors a vacuum. In rush easyJet and Lufthansa to fill the vacated space.
While easyJet is using 25 of AirBerlins’ aircraft and taking on many of its staff, Lufthansa too has done similar, diverting resources and even 744’s to domestic German flights into the federal capital.
However at the end of March 2018 when the summer schedules begin, Lufthansa resumes its policy of only flying hubs Munich and Frankfurt to key destinations. It will slowly hand over most of its Frankfurt to Berlin ops to Eurowings, probably flying both brands for the summer season as aircraft capacity is built up.
This is just the beginning of a potentially turning Berlin into a major Eurowings hub, especially when the new airport opens in 2019. Eurowings is the only Lufthansa brand that can even get close to matching easyJet on costs. They won’t be alone in Berlin either, with RyanAir pushing to expand its German domestic routes from Frankfurt and the new “Low Cost” airline Terminal 3 due to open within two years will add more competition.
Lufthansa’s edge – and why it will never entirely quite flying the route, is it offers far quicker seamless long haul integration. Even with monorail and interlining Frankfurt is so vast – Terminal 3 is almost 3km in travel terms from the say the A380 gates on the A+ concourse, and a combination of rail and walking with travelators will still take at least 30-45 minutes to cross from one to the other, when time and location are everything, it still has an appeal.