Ryanair (FR, Dublin Int'l) has announced it will take over the Berlin Tegel base from its subsidiary LaudaMotion (OE, Vienna) as of April 2019. Meanwhile, the Austrian leisure specialist will take over the Düsseldorf Int'l base currently operated by its Irish parent.

Ryanair will base four B737-800s out of the main gateway in Germany's capital. The base will utilise the slots taken over from the bankrupt Niki (HG, Vienna) by LaudaMotion. Currently, the Austrian unit also bases four Boeing narrowbodies wet-leased from Ryanair out of Berlin Tegel.

The Irish LCC will also launch two new routes out of the airport, to Kefallinia and Paphos. In total, Ryanair plans to operate fifteen routes out of Tegel in Summer 2019.

In turn, LaudaMotion will take over the existing Ryanair's base at Dusseldorf. Short of announcing any details, CEO Andreas Gruber told AustrianAviation.net that the change would lead to a "massive" expansion at Dusseldorf. LaudaMotion also intends to grow at Stuttgart Echterdingen in Germany in 2019, although in total it would rather cut capacity from Germany. Besides Dusseldorf and Stuttgart, LaudaMotion also plans to focus growth in Vienna. In 2019, the carrier will also open its first base away from the German-speaking countries, in Palma Son Sant Joan.

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary said that as long as the disputes with the German labour unions Ver.di and Vereinigung Cockpit are not resolved, the carrier will not grow its total capacity out of Germany.

The base switches will not lead to any major changes for passengers, as LaudaMotion tickets are sold by Ryanair. The Irish LCC owns a 75% share in the Austrian carrier.

Separately, Diario OK has reported that Ryanair will also close its Ibiza base for Summer 2019. The carrier has not yet confirmed this information. The Irish LCC is the largest carrier at the Balearic island with 139 weekly departures and a 26.8% market share by capacity, according to the ch-aviation capacity module. However, it will cut its number of weekly departures to just 44 with the onset of the Winter 2018/19 season.