The battle for Berlin and the German aviation market
The Air Berlin collapse suited well Lufthansa's plans to increase point to point flying and increase their "low cost" operation under the Eurowings umbrella.
Yet the plans for takeover of a large part of the Air Berlin operation are still under scrutiny by the EU Commission, which prolonged the period for its investigations. Lufthansa stopped the evaluation of a takeover of Niki to already make concessions in the light of these investigations. This led to Niki stopping operations as from today, 14th December 2017.
The easyJet plans for takeover of Air Berlin aircraft and routes though got a green light by the Commission. They will even start four German domestic routes with Berlin - Dusseldorf / Frankfurt/Munich and Stuttgart.
And Ryanair - Europe's Favourite Airline also applied for slots and plans to double its operations at Berlin by adding flights from Berlin Tegel airport.
Will the Berlin market be able to sustain all of this capacity? After all, there was a reason for the Air Berlin problems. And will Lufthansa manage to take on the majority of the Air Berlin operation and slots and compete with Easy Jet and Ryanair in the German market?
They are aware that this would be probably the most serious encounter they have had versus previous competitors in their home territory. The former Deutsche BA and HLX operation had been integrated into Air Berlin, carriers such as the original Germanwings and the original Eurowings had not managed to succeed against the all mighty Lufthansa. The ruling of the EU Commission will have a major influence on the future of the German aviation market.