easyJet (U2, London Luton) will compete with Lufthansa (LH, Frankfurt Int'l) and its subsidiary Eurowings (EW, Düsseldorf Int'l) on domestic routes in Germany after launching four new services from Berlin Tegel on January 5.

The LCC has announced it will launch services from the main capital airport to Düsseldorf Int'l (13x weekly), Frankfurt Int'l (34x weekly), Munich (51x weekly) and Stuttgart Echterdingen (27x weekly), taking over the routes previously served by the bankrupt Air Berlin (AB, Berlin Tegel). In the first days, the services will be operated with reduced frequencies.

The carrier is currently the market leader at Berlin Schönefeld, having a 41.03% market share by capacity, according to the ch-aviation capacity module. The airline, however, does not yet operate domestic routes in Germany.

easyJet is expecting to close a EUR40 million (USD47.7 million) deal on the lease of up to twenty-five Tegel-based A320s that were formerly in service for Air Berlin by year-end. The carrier also wants to take over the bankrupt operator's slots at the airport and has already secured wet-leased capacity from SmartLynx Airlines to launch flights from Tegel in January 2018.

easyJet's take-over of Air Berlin's assets is still pending regulatory approval by the German and European Union authorities, but - contrary to Lufthansa Group's deal concerning the majority of the former competitor's assets - has not raised major concerns yet. However, Ryanair believes that easyJet's takeover of Air Berlin's slots is "questionable" on the grounds of competition law, the carrier said in a statement. The Irish LCC has also applied for slots at Tegel.

easyJet's decision means it will compete directly with Lufthansa on the routes to Frankfurt and Munich and with its subsidiary Eurowings (EW, Düsseldorf Int'l) on the routes to Dusseldorf and Stuttgart. These carriers serve all four routes with a significantly higher number of frequencies, reaching as much as 119x weekly to Munich.

easyJet simultaneously announced a number of international services from Tegel, including Budapest (7x weekly), Catania (7x weekly), Copenhagen Kastrup (14x weekly), Fuerteventura (1x weekly), Helsinki Vantaa (7x weekly), Madrid Barajas (7x weekly), Milan Malpensa (7x weekly), Palma Son Sant Joan (14x weekly), Paphos (1x weekly), Paris CDG (14x weekly), Rome Fiumicino (13x weekly), Stockholm Arlanda (14x weekly), Tel Aviv Ben Gurion (7x weekly), Vienna (34x weekly) and Zurich (34x weekly).