Connect 2018 – German market focus

By Chloe Greenbank, Editor, Regional Gateway – “Looking at the overall picture, the German market is an optimistic one,” said Ralph Anker, editor of the Anker Report opening a panel discussion on Germany’s aviation market on Wednesday 21 February.

Anker was speaking at the 15th Connect route development forum, which is being hosted by United Airports of Georgia in Tbilisi. Anker went on to report that despite there being a decline in traffic to and from the US, Turkey and Greece are both proving popular destinations in terms of route development from airports across Germany.

Admitting that the demise of Air Berlin has affected both Tegel and Schönefeld airports, Johannes Mohrmann, senior manager key account & business development, Berlin Brandenburg Airport, revealed that “easyJet, which was already a key player in Berlin, has put more capacity into Tegel,” picking up on the slots that were left vacant by Air Berlin and “offering lower fares than Lufthansa”.

Ulrich Theis, director traffic development, Munich Airport said the loss of Air Berlin had also been felt at Munich saying: “It took us by surprise, as we thought Etihad would keep them flying but they obviously pulled the plug.”

Reiterating his appreciation for easyJet picking up on the connections to Berlin, Theis did however highlight that there is “still capacity to fill other slots at the airport that have been left unserved by Air Berlin.”

Dieter Hofele of Frankfurt Airport meanwhile stated that the collapse of Air Berlin hadn’t had quite the same impact on his airport, with Lufthansa benefitting from extra demand on domestic routes.

On the subject of Munich’s third runway, Theis maintained that the airport does still warrant an additional runway. “Obviously the loss of services from Air Berlin and Transavia has opened up slots, so we’re encouraging other carriers to fill that capacity, but in terms of growth we are still in need of a third runway.”

And while Berlin Brandenburg’s opening date is yet to be confirmed, Mohrmann did suggest that the airport is on course to open in winter 2020.

Inset image: From left to right Johannes Mohrmann – Berlin Brandenburg Airport, Ulrich Theis – Munich Airport, Dieter Hofele – Frankfurt Airport and Ralph Anker – The Anker Report. 

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