Germanwings + =
(And catching up with Lufthansa measured by routes served)

How the new third force in Germany might look: A long way behind Air Berlin domestically (19 versus 38 routes) but bigger internationally (234 versus 163 routes) …and not so far behind Lufthansa’s 290 destinations.

The German airline market has seen much drama and excitement in the last few years. The creation of several low-cost airlines in 2002 (Germanwings, Hapag Lloyd Express and a new Air Berlin ‘city’ product) followed by easyJet’s entrance into the market with bases in Berlin and Dortmund having failed to agree terms to purchase struggling dba from British Airways. Then dba was sold to entrepreneur Rudolf Wohrl who made the airline viable and appealing to Air Berlin to purchase.

Since then Air Berlin has also bought long-haul specialist LTU and is now looking to acquire Condor as well. Meanwhile Ryanair has further developed its Frankfurt Hahn base and established new bases in Bremen and near Düsseldorf at Weeze. Then TUI-owned Hapag-Lloyd Express (a.k.a. hlx) was merged with the in-house TUI charter airline hapagfly to create So far so clear? However, there have been casualties. Small regional airlines Dau Air and European Air Express (EAE) ceased operations in August 2006 and September 2006 respectively.

Logo: Germanwings.comThere is now growing speculation in Germany that Germanwings and TUIfly may merge. One apparent proposal is that the new airline would be 40% owned by both Lufthansa and TUI with the remaining 20% owned by Dr Albrecht Knauf, the owner of Eurowings. Germanwings is technically a Eurowings subsidiary, but Lufthansa owns 49% of Eurowings and has effective management control of the airline. Still clear? Detailed financial figures for Germanwings and TUIfly are difficult to track down as both belong to larger companies that produce consolidated reports. However, from a network planning and fleet perspective it is possible to see what a combined airline might look like.

First flight 27 October 2002 3 December 2002 (hlx)
Passengers in 2006 7.1 million 4.4 million (hlx)6.7 million (Hapagfly)
Load factor 2006 80% 80% (hlx)
Revenue 2006 €560 million n/a
Aircraft 2006 24 18 (hlx)33 (Hapagfly)
Aircraft 2007 27 A319/A320 55 in total38 737-800 (189 seats)12 737-700 (148 seats) 2 737-500 (128 seats) 3 737-300 (148 seats)
Main bases (routes in S07) Cologne/Bonn (58)Stuttgart (34)Berlin SXF (17) Hamburg (12) Dortmund (5) Cologne/Bonn (28)Hannover (27)Stuttgart (32) Leipzig (13) Munich (19)
German airports served 9 15
Destinations served 66 80 (TUIfly)
Countries served 24 17 (TUIfly)
Passengers 2007 (est) 8 million 12 million
Source: Airline websites

Combing the two airlines without removing any potential overlap would produce an airline with around 20 million annual passengers operating a mixed fleet of around 80 Airbus and Boeing aircraft.

Domestic: still far behind Air Berlin

Based on schedule data for this winter a combined Germanwings and TUIfly would still be well behind Lufthansa and even Air Berlin in the domestic market.

Airline Frequency Share Capacity Share Number of Routes
Lufthansa 53.5% 53.5% 41
Air Berlin 24.0% 28.3% 38
“Germanfly” 10.8% 14.4% 19
Rest 11.7% 3.8%
Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 10 December 2007

Germanfly would be the leading airline for domestic routes at Berlin SXF (96.5% capacity share) and Cologne/Bonn (43.2%). It would also have over a quarter of domestic traffic at Stuttgart (29.0%). However, the airline would have no presence at all at Frankfurt and Düsseldorf for domestic routes and just a 10% share at Munich and Berlin Tegel.

Third for international routes as well

A similar analysis based on the current winter schedule reveals that the combined airline would still rank third behind Lufthansa and Air Berlin in terms of frequency and capacity but would offer more routes than Air Berlin.

Airline Frequency
Number of
Lufthansa 39.1% 35.1% 290
Air Berlin (inc. LTU) 6.9% 9.4% 163
“Germanfly” 6.1% 7.2% 234
Ryanair 4.2% 6.0% 93
easyJet 3.0% 3.5% 45
Rest 41.1% 39.9%
Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 10 December 2007

For international flights “Germanfly” would be the #1 carrier in Cologne/Bonn (69.4% capacity share) and Stuttgart (34.7%), and would also have a significant market share at Hannover (29.3%).


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