easyJet is seeing more efficient operations from Berlin’s new airport, according to the airline’s CEO, Johan Lundgren. The low-cost airline became the first to fly from Berlin Brandenburg Airport when it finally opened in October last year. Lundgren went on to call his airline the leading airline in Berlin.
While the Berlin aviation scene has seen a lot of turmoil over the past years, it seems as though things are finally settling down. The city’s aging Tegel airport has closed down, with all flights being relocated to the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport. With everything now under one roof, the airline is finding things much easier to manage.
A more efficient operation
Lundgren admitted to Simple Flying that the airline’s operations in Berlin had been reduced due to the ongoing pandemic. Indeed, before the new airport was officially opened, the low-cost carrier has been using its apron to store some of its grounded fleet.
Lundgren told Simple Flying’s Future Flying webinar series,
“We’re getting much more efficiencies in operating from one airport rather than two airports, and actually, the emerging operation is doing really well. It’s been a tremendous success opening up a lot of leisure routes, internationally, that weren’t there before.”
The Berlin transition
easyJet, like many airlines serving Berlin, swapped from Tegel Airport to Brandenburg almost overnight. The airline had a slightly trickier task than most, though. Whereas a Qatar Airways flight can just leave Tegel one day and land at Brandenburg the next, this option wasn’t open to easyJet.
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The airline has maintained a presence at Shönefeld on the site of the current Berlin Brandenburg Airport. However, its main base for Berlin operations was the old Tegel Airport, close to the city. When switching to Brandenburg, the airline had to move staff, equipment, and aircraft to the other side of the city.
A lockdown to compete with
easyJet’s move to Tegel tied in almost perfectly with the German Government’s “lockdown light”, which stopped short of a total lockdown but severely restricted tourism. The airline went from operating 623 flights across three airports in October to just 137 from one in November, according to aviation data experts Cirium.
February was by far the worst month for the airline’s Berlin Operations, with just 91 flights scheduled. Even at the height of the first wave, the airline still had 311 flights scheduled, 107 in Schönefeld and 204 in Tegel.
While still a long way from a full Berlin recovery, easyJet seems to be making good progress in Berlin. From July until December, the airline has more than 1,000 flights scheduled from the city’s airport, maxing out at 1,480 in the last month of the year.
Lundgren commented that his airline has excellent relationships with its suppliers and partners in the city. It seems as though the airline is keen on cementing its position at the airport even further. A week ago, the airline revealed that it had signed a new lease agreement on a hangar at the airport. The hangar will house up to four Airbus A321 sized planes and be fully operational in 2023.
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