airberlin adds a dozen new routes from its Düsseldorf base; will serve 77 destinations this summer in 25 countries

airberlin launched two weekly flights between Düsseldorf and Tel Aviv

In the last week, airberlin launched two weekly flights between Düsseldorf and Tel Aviv. The airline offers more than 40% more seat capacity from the airport than closest rival Lufthansa this summer.

Last year, Düsseldorf International Airport handled 17.8 million passengers, down only two percent from the previous year. This makes it Germany’s third busiest airport after Frankfurt (50.9 million) and Munich (32.7 million). Unlike these other two airports where Lufthansa is the dominant carrier, in Düsseldorf, the national carrier faces stiff competition from airberlin, which this summer will serve 77 destinations non-stop from the airport. While airberlin offers more destinations and more seat capacity, Lufthansa operates more flights due to its focus on using smaller aircraft.

Airline Weekly flights (departing) Weekly seats (departing) Routes (Domestic / International) Average aircraft size
airberlin 550 90,637 77 (8/69) 165 seats
Lufthansa 665 63,738 54 (8/46) 96 seats
Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 2 August 2010

Between them, the two carriers will this summer account for around 64% of scheduled flights and 61% of scheduled seat capacity at the airport. Maybe surprisingly, airberlin and Lufthansa only compete head-to-head on 19 routes, although these routes do account for 55% of airberlin’s capacity at the airport.

airberlin has managed to establish such a formidable presence at the airport thanks to its acquisition in the past few years of dba (which operated some key high frequency domestic routes), and LTU whose aircraft are used on the longer-haul destinations.

Spanish and domestic routes dominate

airberlin’s eight domestic routes and 15 routes to Spain account for half of the airline’s operations in Düsseldorf. Berlin Tegel and Munich are the biggest routes with 46 and 52 weekly departures respectively, while the airline’s virtual hub at Palma de Mallorca is served with 38 weekly flights this summer, accounting for around 40% of airberlin’s Spanish capacity at Düsseldorf.

airberlin's top 12 country markets at DUS Weekly one-way seat capacity (number of routes)

Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 2 August 2010

In total, the airline serves 25 countries this summer from Düsseldorf, including weekly flights to Cuba (Varadero), Iraq (Erbil), the Maldives (Male), Mexico (Cancun) and Turkey (Bodrum). Foreign cities served with at least two daily flights (on weekdays) include Barcelona, Copenhagen, London Stansted, Milan Malpensa, Paris Orly, Salzburg, Vienna and Zurich.

12 new routes added for this summer

Since last summer, airberlin has added 12 new routes to its Düsseldorf network, raising the total to 77. The newest routes are summarised in the table below.

Destination Launch date WF Aircraft type
Bilbao (BIO) 26 March 2010 6 A319
Erbil (EBL) 6 February 2010 1 Boeing 737-800
Heringsdorf (HDF) 1 May 2010 1 Bombardier Q400
Krakow (KRK) 1 November 2009 7 Varies
Naples (NAP) 3 April 2010 2 B737-700/800
Olbia (OLB) 3 April 2010 1 A319
Pristina (PRN) 3 November 2009 4 B737-800
Salzburg (SZG) 25 October 2009 12 Varies
San Francisco (SFO) 12 May 2010 2 Airbus A330-200
Skiathos (JSI) 11 July 2010 1 Boeing 737-700
Tel Aviv (TLV) 11 June 2010 2 Airbus A330-200
Volos (VOL) 2 May 2010 1 Boeing 737-700
Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 2 August 2010

All of airberlin’s different fleet types are among the more than 30 aircraft that the airline has based at the airport. The airline currently operates eight main types of aircraft; five Airbus types (A330-300, A330-200, A321, A320, A319), two Boeing variants (737-800, 737-700) and Bombardier Q400s.

Meanwhile, just up the road …

It may be around 70 kilometres from the city of Düsseldorf, but Weeze Airport is now a major Ryanair base. It recently celebrated its third birthday as a base and last year handled 2.4 million passengers. This summer, Ryanair will be operating to more than 50 destinations across Europe from the airport which is close to the Dutch border.


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