easyJet: More Efficient Operations From The New Berlin Airport

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.

easyJet, Berlin Brandenburg, Berlin Airport
easyJet has seen the efficiency of its Berlin operations increase at the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport. Photo: Getty Images

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.”

easyJet, Berlin Brandenburg, Berlin Airport
The airline had been storing grounded planes at BER before it opened. Photo: Getty Images

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.

easyJet, Berlin Brandenburg, Berlin Airport
Initial flight numbers at the airport were far lower than the airline would’ve hoped. Data: 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.

Continued investment

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.

easyJet, Berlin Brandenburg, Berlin Airport
The airline is building a new four aircraft hangar at the airport. Photo: easyJet via LinkedIn

What do you make of easyJet’s Berlin base? Let us know what you think and why in the comments down below!