airberlin launches only non-stop service between Germany and Kaliningrad
On 5 June, airberlin began serving Kaliningrad (KGD) in Russia from Berlin Tegel (TXL) with three weekly flights operated by Q400s. The flights operate Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays with an additional Saturday service from mid-September. airberlin’s CEO Hartmut Mehdorn said: “The economic relations between Germany and Russia continue to grow and this means an increased demand for air travel, especially in the market sector of business travel. No other airline connects these two cities nonstop from Germany. Our new route between Berlin and Kaliningrad fills this gap in the European route network.” Since the collapse of KD-Avia in September 2009, Kaliningrad airport has seen passenger numbers fall from a peak of 1.92 million to 2008, to just over one million in 2010, although last year traffic was up over 20% to 1.23 million. Other airlines serving the Russian exclave between Poland and Lithuania include Aeroflot, airBaltic, LOT and SAS, although LOT’s six times weekly service to Warsaw appears to stop operating from the end of June.