Lufthansa struggles to deal with post-Air Berlin chaos
Domestic flights in Germany are up to four times more expensive after Air Berlin’s bankruptcy.
Three weeks since its final flight landed, passengers are now having to pay 32.5% more on average for short-haul flights, according to a study by MyDealz.de, which looked at fares on 25 short and medium haul routes in October, and then in November.
A return flight from Munich to Düsseldorf was found to be four times pricier rising from €50 to at least €190 now with Lufthansa – an increase of 280%.
Flying Lufthansa on a Munich-Hamburg round trip in November, meanwhile, costs €210, up 132% on Air Berlin’s flights in the first weekend of October.
Demand currently massively exceeds supply on many domestic routes, which is helping to push prices upwards, The Local reports. Some 60,000 seats are now missing on these flights, thinks Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr, with most of Air Berlin’s planes standing idle on the tarmac.
1,000 more flights a month
On Monday, Lufthansa announced it would add 1,000 new domestic flights per month in response to its former competitor’s bankruptcy. But “no airline in the world can make up for” the loss of Air Berlin, Spohr cautioned.
“As soon as we get the green light from Brussels, we want to add 1,000 domestic flights in Germany per month for Eurowings alone,” he told the newspaper Bild, referring to Lufthansa Group’s budget airline. “I can promise that new domestic flights will bring stable prices again.”
The German flag carrier wants to take over a large number of Air Berlin’s flight operations, together with 81 Air Berlin planes and their take-off and landing slots, for €210 million. But first the EU’s competition watchdog must approve it.