I was saddened when they announced that Air Berlin would be grounded permanently from the world’s airspace a few months ago. I was in Hamburg Airport when the news broke and my heart sank. For a number of years I had a quiet yet loving appreciation for the odd but humble airline with a heart of chocolate gold (or should I say red).
Air Berlin’s sudden departure has left German airports, namely Tegel, for the last few months with a number of slots empty. The biggest winners of the carve up were Lufthansa and EasyJet. This week EasyJet confirmed that it would commence operations from Tegel Airport on 5 January 2018.
The British low-cost-carrier will operate nineteen routes from Tegel, including fifteen international as well as station 25 EasyJet aircraft in Berlin.
EasyJet is currently sweating on approval from the European Union’s competition authorities for its 40 million EUR part in the takeover of Air Berlin. The airline anticipates that they would get the nod to gain access to Air Berlin’s former Tegel slots by the end of 2017.
Whilst EasyJet is no Air Berlin (it lacks any real character or charm – thank goodness for the bright orange livery colour), the airline’s expansion into Tegel and Germany in general will provide Germany and its visitors some much needed aviation competition.