Cologne Bonn Pursues Further Expansion

The international airport is based in Germany’s fourth largest city, and serves 9.5 million passengers per year, with a catchment of 17 million.

The international airport is based in Germany’s fourth largest city, and serves 9.5 million passengers per year, with a catchment of 17 million.

The airport has already begun plans for expansion in 2015, forecasting 9.7 million passengers and 775,000 tonnes of cargo (+3 percent) for the year.

Cologne/Bonn will partly fulfil its long-haul ambitions in 2015 when the new low-cost, long-haul business of Lufthansa, operating under the Eurowings brand, will take-off from the airport. 

After a strong 2014, with seven new summer and five additional winter destinations, the German airport forecasts a second successive year of passenger growth edging traffic levels closer to the record ten million passenger landmark it exceeded in 2007 and 2008. 

The selection by Lufthansa to be the base for its new long-haul concept is a major boost for Cologne/Bonn.  It will initially launch operations from the end of 2015, serving destinations in Florida, Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean with a fleet of three A330-200s, configured with 310-seats, but will grow to up to seven aircraft in the coming years.

Turkish carrier, Onurair is the other latest addition to the airport – operating a seven weekly charter service to Antalya.

Cologne/Bonn is set to welcome a number of new routes, with confirmed services already including Cluj in Romania which will be served twice weekly from February 7 by Wizz Air, increasing to thrice weekly in summer.

Ryanair will be introducing a daily service to Barcelona from March 29, 2015 and Turkish Airlines will begin a four-times-weekly operation to Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen from June 26, 2015. TUIfly will also be introducing a new weekly service to Nador from June 26.

Frequency increases for 2015 include Ryanair’s service to Madrid which will increase to a daily operation from March 29, while Wizzair’s operation to Skopje will increase from two to three-times-weekly from June 30, 2015.

Last year for Cologne/Bonn was an equally successful year, with the airport welcoming Aegean Airlines with a service to Thessaloniki in Greece, Blue Air with a service to Bucharest, and UK LCC Flybe with a service to Birmingham. The airport also introduced charter flights with both Corendon and Tailwind Airlines to Antalya, a Tunisair charter to Djerba, and a Ten Airways charter service to Nador.

The German airport also introduced a three-weekly service to Bucharest with Blue Air, a daily link to Birmingham with Flybe, a weekly service to Algiers and Knock, and a twice weekly service all of which are operated by Germanwings. For 2014, the airport also welcomed a twice weekly link to Gazipasa operated by SunExpress as well as a twice weekly service to Skopje.

In the winter 2014/15 season, the airport introduced a weekly service to Varadero operated by Condor, and a weekly operation to Larnaca with Germanwings. Ryanair introduced a four-times-weekly service to Madrid, as well as a thrice weekly service to Riga, and SunExpress began a weekly service to Paphos.

2014 also saw Ryanair expanding its services at Cologne/Bonn – basing one of its aircraft at the airport for the winter season, as well as offering five new destinations including Dublin, London Stansted, Madrid, Riga and Rome.

Cologne/Bonn’s new Intercity-Express (ICE) railway station allows passengers a quick, direct link into the city, and the airport’s bus services will be improved in the fourth quarter of 2015, with the hub for the long-distance bus being relocated to the airport.

The growth in 2014 and already announced new routes for 2015 have crossed a number of the points off the airport’s desired route map, but a number of destinations remain on the list including long-haul destinations such as New York, Dubai, Bangkok and the Seychelles. The airport is also eyeing short-haul destinations such as Copenhagen, Warsaw, Geneva, Marseille, Granada and Belgrade.

The chart clearly shows that the greatest origin and destination market for Cologne is Germany. Spain is the most popular origin and destiantion outside of Cologne-Bonn, and the remaining top destinations all reside in Europe.