Lufthansa faces challenge by easyJet

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Low-cost carrier to start 250 flights a week within Germany

Following the recent bankruptcy of Air Berlin, the UK budget airline easyJet will for the first time take on Lufthansa on domestic routes in Germany, the news agency dpa reports.

It confirms it will launch 250 flights a week between Berlin-Tegel and destinations such as Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Munich from January 5 – four of Germany’s most important domestic routes.

Competition to Lufthansa has been lacking on these routes since Air Berlin ceased flights at the end of October, pushing up air fares beyond the reach of many passengers.

Also included in the new schedules are 15 short- and medium-haul international destinations such as Vienna, Zurich and Rome.

More routes likely
However, easyJet has not said whether it plans to launch on more important routes, such as Hamburg-Munich or Düsseldorf-Munich. But it does say that further destinations will start from the beginning of the summer timetable at the end of March.

The new routes are being heavily advertised in Berlin but are still subject to EU antitrust approval, though approval is expected. The budget carrier aims to buy up to 25 of Air Berlin’s aircraft including their take-off and landing rights.

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