Eurowings (EW, Düsseldorf) is boosting its presence in the German capital with the opening on April 1 of a new base at Berlin Brandenburg International, where it will station three A320-200s, the Lufthansa subsidiary announced.

"Others are leaving, we are staying here," stated Eurowings Chief Executive Officer Jens Bischof in reference to competitors having withdrawn from the German market during the COVID-19 pandemic. easyJet Europe (EC, Vienna) and Ryanair (FR, Dublin International) have cut frequencies to the German capital as a result of the pandemic, while the demise of Air Berlin (1991) (Berlin Tegel) and Germania (Berlin Schönefeld) in 2017 and 2019 respectively left a gap in the market. The Lufthansa Group claimed a market share of more than 30% at the airport when it opened in October 2020. Bischof said Eurowings had flown more than 1,000 departures from Berlin Brandenburg since then, by February 2021 flying every third departure from the airport.

“Berlin is, and will remain, an absolute tourist magnet, and culturally and historically remains one of the most exciting metropolises in Europe. Therefore, it is only logical that we...expand our presence in the capital by opening our own base. We will be very happy to fly Berliners and Brandenburgers on their well-deserved vacations after the lockdown is over," he added.

He said the stationing of three aircraft at the airport would create more than 100 additional jobs, which would allow many pilots and flight crews to return to the capital after many had had to leave in recent years in the wake of airline bankruptcies or the withdrawal of some airlines.

Following the opening of the base on April 1, Bischof said Eurowings would again connect the capital 3x daily (or more on certain days) with Cologne/Bonn, Düsseldorf, and Stuttgart Manfred Rommel. The airline would focus its scheduling on off-peak times. Flights from Berlin to Beirut in Lebanon would be added during the summer to cater for a growing market of Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFRs).

Meanwhile, Eurowings said it is entering the British travel market in response to a surge in demand for flights between the United Kingdom and Palma de Mallorca in response to the UK's announced phased lifting of its COVID-19 lockdown. The leisure specialist has a base on Mallorca and will for the first time connect Manchester International and Birmingham, GB twice weekly with the popular Mediterranean island from the end of May. This means Eurowings will connect Mallorca to 24 other airports. A further expansion of UK flights would be considered in the coming weeks, the airline said in a statement.

Eurowings' most popular holiday destinations include Mallorca, Gran Canaria, Athens and Thessaloniki (Greece), Vienna and Salzburg (Austria), Bastia (Corsica), Zagreb Franjo Tuđman and Split (Croatia), and Egypt, the company said.