easyJet Confirms Hamburg as Second German Base

European low-fare carrier easyJet has confirmed it will expand its activities in Germany from next year with the arrival of an eighth aircraft at its existing Berlin Schoenefeld base and the stationing of three Airbus A319s at Hamburg Airport from spring 2014.  The establishment of a second German base in Hamburg, the country’s second largest city, will see the carrier more than double its traffic in a region that developing into one of the most dynamic economies in Europe as it introduces a further 15 routes to its network.

easyJet has been serving the German market for a long time but has previously been reluctant to establish operating bases in the country and instead serve markets from other bases across its pan-European network.  It first started flights into Germany in 1998 on the London Stansted – Munich route and finally set roots in the country when it opened its base at Berlin in 2004.  At the same time it also established an operation in Dortmund although this base was closed in 2008 although it has remained a key point on the easyJet network.

The carrier now has activities at seven airports across Germany (Berlin, Dusseldorf, Dortmund, Hamburg, Cologne/ Bonn, Dresden and Munich) and a network that encompasses 55 routes which will be served by 885 flights per week during summer 2014 following this latest network growth.  In the last 12 months (September 2012 to August 2013) easyJet carried 5.7 million passengers to or from Germany, a 2.5 per cent increase year-on-year.

Hamburg Airport will be easyJet’s 23rd base in its European network and will see the airline boosts its share of the capacity at the facility from 3.8 per cent to more than ten per cent once all the new routes are launched.   The city of Hamburg is one of Europe’s wealthiest economies with a strong local industry in banking, aviation, renewable energy media & publishing and the second largest European harbour. easyJet expects to bring 275,000 additional business and leisure visitors in Hamburg in the first year.

The airline has been serving Hamburg since 2005 when it introduced flights to the city from Basel.  It now serves five other destinations with links to Edinburgh, London Gatwick, London Luton, Manchester and Rome Fiumicino and up until the start of this month had carried a total of 2.7 million passengers to or from the city, 525,000 in the last 12 months (September 2012 – August 2013), a 14.5 per cent increase year-on-year. 

According to the airline, one in five of its passengers in Hamburg travel for business and the launch of a base and the opportunity for more early morning departures and increased frequencies from Hamburg its new schedule will make easyJet even more attractive to business passengers.

easyJet has confirmed it will add “around 15 new routes” to the six it already operates from Hamburg but has not yet disclosed its full schedule.  It says the utilisation of its three based A319s will enable it to offer 170 flights per week, providing 525,000 additional seats in the first year of operation, which could see it double its passenger numbers to over one million.   This network is likely to initially comprise destinations already served by the carrier from other bases.

Speaking at the formal announcement of its German expansion at the Airbus’ facilities at Hamburg Finkenwerder Airport, easyJet’s chief executive, Carolyn McCall said:  “I am really pleased to be able to announce the launch of a new base in Hamburg which will enable us to double the size of our operation. Hamburg and its region is one of the most dynamic economies in Europe with a significant and growing tourist industry.”

In Berlin, the arrival of an additional aircraft will take the total based fleet there to eight.  It will mean potentially 130,000 more passengers on the top of the four million passengers easyJet has carried over the last 12 months (a 9.5 per cent increase on the previous year).  According to the carrier, the new aircraft will allow it to increase frequencies on popular business and leisure routes and will mean it will offer up to 635 flights per week across 41 routes from the German capital in summer 2014.

In the table below we look in greater detail at the German international market.  According to 2013 flight schedule data from OAG Analyser, easyJet was the sixth largest carrier operating to and from the country with a 3.4 per cent market share.  This represented a 2.8 per cent increase in capacity versus its schedule for 2012.

LARGEST AIR CARRIERS IN GERMAN INTERNATIONAL MARKET (non-stop departures; 2013)

Rank

Airline

Estimated Passengers

% Capacity

% Capacity Change (2012)

1

Lufthansa (LH)

27,159,203

27.7 %

4.6 %

2

airberlin (AB)

11,222,322

11.4 %

0.9 %

3

Ryanair (FR)

5,645,052

5.8 %

8.1 %

4

Lufthansa CityLine (CL)

4,515,030

4.6 %

2.7 %

5

Germanwings (4U)

3,884,148

4.0 %

8.6 %

6

easyJet (U2)

3,334,212

3.4 %

2.8 %

7

Condor (DE)

2,903,820

3.0 %

(-0.3) %

8

TUIfly (X3)

2,246,094

2.3 %

(-7.7) %

9

Turkish Airlines (TK)

2,150,642

2.2 %

17.2 %

10

British Airways (BA)

1,672,654

1.7 %

3.1 5

TOTAL

98,160,605

-

1.0 %