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Berlin's New Airport: Airlines And Competition  
User currently offlineTobias2702 From Germany, joined exactly 6 years ago today! , 721 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 6083 times:

Hi guys,
I've just thrown together all the flights currently operating out of TXL and SXF. With the combined numbers, one obviously gets a good impression how the new BER airport will be like when it becomes Berlin's single airport by 1 April 2012. For all those who are interested in the contruction progess, there is a webcam archive:

http://www.berlin-airport.de/EN/BBI/...inUndDieBaustelle/meinewebcam.html

The following numbers are valid as of February 2010 (so the data is not seasonally adjusted, especially AB has more flights during summer). The dominat carriers at BER will be:
1) Air Berlin (477 departues per week) will operate a true hub out of BER. With the new airport offering far better facilities for connecting passengers than currently TXL, it is quite likely that AB will use these. I expect them to offer 600+ weekly departures during summer.
2) Lufthansa (379 dep/w) will keep BER as a focus city with high-frequency flights to their hubs at FRA and MUC. I cannot see them starting more direct flights to other than German domestic destinations like at e.g. at HAM (currently only international direct flights from TXL are LHR, DME, CDG, with VIE being terminated/moved to OS from April).
3) easyJet (208 dep/w) will maintain a base at BER. (Maybe still the biggest one in continental Europe?)
4) Germanwings (108 dep/w) will also focussing on BER, though the airport will be far less important for them than STR or CGN.
5) Ryanair (100 dep/w) has steadily grown in SXF over the past years, so its quite likely that they will overtake 4U as no. 4 once BER opens (new routes to Kaunas, Malaga and Rygge are already announced). I cannot see them opening a base though, because this would result in a fierce battle with EZY. Instead, FR currently operates quite succesful flights from SXF to HHN and NRN, which are filled with connecting passengers.

As you can see, there will be five major players at BER battling for passengers. Let's shed some light on the (possibly) most fiercely contested markets:

A) German domestic: Currently, business travellers in Berlin are nearly exclusively routed through TXL. With all traffic concentrated at BER, more passengers/employers will chose from LH, AB or 4U due to the ticket price and not according to which airport is nearer or nicer. For quite a while already I'm asking me how the relationship betwenn LH and 4U is like? 4U seems (?) to be sort of a low-cost branch of LH, but will LH really be happy when 4U takes away traffic? BER-MUC will see (according to today's figures) 146 weekly flights (79x LH, 44x AB, 23x 4U), making it the highest frequented air route in Germany. BER-STR will have 101 weekly flights (47x LH, 31x AB, 23x 4U), and BER-CGN will see 105 dep/w (28x LH, 43x AB, 34x 4U). Note that these three will be the only domestic routes being served by all LH, AB and 4U. 4U once pulled out of TXL because they couldn't stand the competition with dba (now AB) and LH. At BER, they cannot run away anymore (well, of course they might totally pull out of Berlin).

B) Major European markets will also see lots of competition due to high frequencies, especially when EZY/FR are offering the routes as well as legacies and - somewhat in the middle - AB:
i) Berlin-London will get 107 weekly departures (BA: 35x to LHR, LH: 21x to LHR, EZY: 20x LGW + 12x LTN, FR: 19x STN)
ii) Berlin-Paris with 78 weekly dep.'s (AF: 35x CDG, LH: 11x CDG, AB: 12x ORY, EZY: 20x ORY)
iii) Berlin-Milan will see 39 weekly dep.'s (AB: 13x MXP, EZY: 12x MXP, FR: 14x BGY)
iv) Berlin-Moscow will have 41 weekly departures (SU: 21x SVO, AB: 7x DME, UN: 5x DME, 4U: 5x VKO, LH: 3x DME)

I see AB in danger of being sort of annihilated between the legacies on one side catering premium and connecting pax, and LCC's on the other side. What are yout thoughts on that matter?

C) Over the last years, AB established sort of a hub towards Northern Europe in TXL (which is quite good due to the geographical location), with more destinations and frequencies to that region compared to their other hubs. But once BER opens, I guess that more Berliners will "notice" that there are other, maybe cheaper airlines on the same routes, which are currently operating out of SXF (which is nowadays often regarded as too far off compared to TXL). Let's finally look at this market:
i) BER-CPH will have 48 weekly departures (25x SK, 12x AB, 11x EZY)
ii) Berlin-Stockholm will get 40 weekly departues (SK: 10x to ARN, AB: 13x to ARN, FR: 14x to NYO, 4U: 3x to ARN)
iii) Berlin-Oslo will see 28 weekly flights (AB: 6x to OSL, DY: 13x to OSL + 2x RYG, FR: 7x RYG (starts April))

So, now please let me know about your thoughts and comments. How much competition can BER stand until one airline might pull out or cuts routes/changes the strategy? I appreciate your answers and comments.

Tobias

[Edited 2010-02-16 03:29:57]

[Edited 2010-02-16 03:31:19]


PA, AF, UK, BA, AB, DL, LH, FR, BD, A3, EZY, DY //// A319/320/346, B733/735/73G/738/744/763, AT4, 146, CR2, DH4
19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineSomeone83 From Norway, joined Sep 2006, 3391 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 5975 times:

Quoting Tobias2702 (Thread starter):
iii) Berlin-Oslo will see 28 weekly flights (AB: 6x to OSL, DY: 13x to OSL + 2x RYG, FR: 7x RYG (starts April)

DY announced today that it will close RYG-SXF, and AB will increase OSL-TXL to 13 weekly this spring, and AFAIk FR will be 6x weekly, so it should be

iii) Berlin-Oslo will see 32 weekly flights (AB: 13x to OSL, DY: 13x to OSL , FR: 6x RYG )

......which is way to big capacity between these two cities


User currently offlinePW100 From Netherlands, joined Jan 2002, 2485 posts, RR: 11
Reply 2, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 5387 times:

Interesting subject!

Will FR still be interested in BER when SXF has been transformed into BBI? I would expect that the airport would then become considerably more high cost, possibly no longer fitting FR business model.

I am also very curious what LH is going to do here. With heavy focus on FRA and MUC, it doesn't seem likely that BBI will become a third hub [or even afourth after ZRH], and probably will not exceed their DUS operation. But then again, Berlin is the capital off course, and 25 years from now this all may seem very silly . . .

I do expect a heavy fight between AB and EZY. AB off course as the hometown carrier, and EZY as BBI seems to fit their busness model just perfectly.

I also expect that traffic will take-off, a bit like what happened to MUC when Franz Josef Strauss opened. Interesting times for BER!

Regards,
PW100



Immigration officer: "What's the purpose of your visit to the USA?" Spotter: "Shooting airliners with my Canon!"
User currently offliner2rho From Germany, joined Feb 2007, 2632 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 5317 times:

Interesting numbers, nice job doing that study! Indeed, having all airlines compete from one same airport, thereby eliminating the airport itself as a competitive element, will change the whole environment.

I wonder if FR will sustain operations at BER in the long term, as airport fees will likely get higher as the airport fills up and its potential as a connecting hub is realized. If they stay, it would be one of the handful of main airports they'd fly to.

I don't think AB will be seriously threatened as they have the strongest position in BER and offer an attractive product somewhere in between U2 and LH.

If anything, LH will have to adapt itself. Maybe move most point-to-point flights to 4U, and just keeping the FRA and MUC feeder flights plus a few others to main EU destinations?

In any case, it seems likely that there will be a rationalization of frequencies on certain routes...


User currently offlineWROORD From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 956 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 5098 times:

Quoting r2rho (Reply 3):
don't think AB will be seriously threatened as they have the strongest position in BER and offer an attractive product somewhere in between U2 and LH.

I think you are right. AB with LTU is in a prime position to start long-haul service from BBI. They are already expanding service to get ready for BBI


User currently offlineTobias2702 From Germany, joined exactly 6 years ago today! , 721 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 4807 times:

Quoting r2rho (Reply 3):
If anything, LH will have to adapt itself. Maybe move most point-to-point flights to 4U, and just keeping the FRA and MUC feeder flights plus a few others to main EU destinations?

But would it be wise? I've heard that EK is heavily lobbying to get allowance from the German authorities to serve more than 3 destinations (they are obviously looking towards Berlin and Stuttgart). There are rumors than AB might launch MIA services ex BER once it opens, as well as DL starting flights to ATL (additionally to the JFK service). Since CO joined Star, LH codeshares on the TXL-EWR route, but I guess only a BER-ORD service would prevent them loosing too much market share to DL.



PA, AF, UK, BA, AB, DL, LH, FR, BD, A3, EZY, DY //// A319/320/346, B733/735/73G/738/744/763, AT4, 146, CR2, DH4
User currently onlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9401 posts, RR: 29
Reply 6, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 4763 times:

EK serves 4 cities in Germany right now and wants to serve another 2. I understand that the bilateral beween the UAE and Germany does not allow more than the current 4. I am not sure if it makes sense for AB to serve MIA direct from BER, the market is low yield and AB is not so enthusiastic about long haul as it was in the past.

One thing is for sure, neither AB nor LH will run services from BER that are not financially viable.



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlineMH017 From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 1691 posts, RR: 30
Reply 7, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 4753 times:

Would FR move to Sperenberg once BBI opens ?

They 'love' ex-military airfields anyhow  



don't throw away tomorrow !
User currently offlineTobias2702 From Germany, joined exactly 6 years ago today! , 721 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4689 times:

Quoting MH017 (Reply 7):
Would FR move to Sperenberg once BBI opens ?

No way. The new Berlin Brandenburg International Airport received its construction allowance only under the condition that it will be the only commercial airport in Berlin and Brandenburg. This was due to noise protection laws (once BER opens, less people will be affected by the noise than today). Therefore, there is not a single chance that FR could start commercial flights out of Sperenberg. This is also why I doubt they will retreat from Berlin, even though BER might be more expensive for them than currently SXF.

@ PanHAM: Thanks for clarifying about EK. You are right, they currently serve FRA, MUC, DUS and HAM.

[Edited 2010-02-17 03:29:08]


PA, AF, UK, BA, AB, DL, LH, FR, BD, A3, EZY, DY //// A319/320/346, B733/735/73G/738/744/763, AT4, 146, CR2, DH4
User currently onlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9401 posts, RR: 29
Reply 9, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4565 times:

Quoting MH017 (Reply 7):
Would FR move to Sperenberg once BBI opens ?

I don't think that Sperenberg is still a certified airfield. Neubrandenburg would be an alternate, but much better would be Parchim, which, after the potential loss of LBC, could serve a double function as Hamburg East and Berlin West.

MOL really does'nt give a damn about contracts between Brandenburg and Berlin, which has to be renegotiated anyhow to update with current requirements. Parchim would kiss MOL's feet after they still wait for the next installment from the Chinese "Investor".

Kung Hai Fat Choy..  



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlineTobias2702 From Germany, joined exactly 6 years ago today! , 721 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 4424 times:

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 9):
which has to be renegotiated anyhow to update with current requirements.

Could you please explain what you mean?



PA, AF, UK, BA, AB, DL, LH, FR, BD, A3, EZY, DY //// A319/320/346, B733/735/73G/738/744/763, AT4, 146, CR2, DH4
User currently onlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9401 posts, RR: 29
Reply 11, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 4388 times:

Quoting Tobias2702 (Reply 10):
Could you please explain what you mean?

Not the topic here and we discussed that before, the basics of that agreement have been overtaken by reality. look at the current traffic figures, these are beyond the predictions of that agreement. A city like BER with a single airport is a joke. Reliever airports for GA and goivernment traffic are needed. The easiest and most elegant wuld be to keep TXL open as a military airport, that can be done by the federak govenrment and a military airüport can always switch back to joint ops with GA. Mind you, before you hit back, no contract is eternal, contracts can always be updated and renegotiated.



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlineJoost From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 3169 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 4314 times:

Quoting Tobias2702 (Reply 5):
I've heard that EK is heavily lobbying to get allowance from the German authorities to serve more than 3 destinations (they are obviously looking towards Berlin and Stuttgart)
Quoting PanHAM (Reply 6):
EK serves 4 cities in Germany right now and wants to serve another 2. I understand that the bilateral beween the UAE and Germany does not allow more than the current 4.

Didn't the European Union and the UAE government recently agreed on a full open skies agreement? Or was it just Netherlands-UAE (I can be mistaken)?


User currently onlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9401 posts, RR: 29
Reply 13, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 4271 times:

Quoting Joost (Reply 12):
Didn't the European Union and the UAE government recently agreed on a full open skies agreement? Or was it just Netherlands-UAE (I can be mistaken)?


Haven't seen anything like that. Wow, would be great for LH, they could start serving Ras Al Khaimah, El Aiin, and Fujeirah immediately and add a pax 747 to the cargo flights at SHJ.  



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlineJoost From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 3169 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 4185 times:

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 13):
Wow, would be great for LH, they could start serving Ras Al Khaimah, El Aiin, and Fujeirah immediately and add a pax 747 to the cargo flights at SHJ.

EU carriers already have unlimited access to the UAE. The UAE have an unilateral open-skies policy, so any carrier can fly as much to the UAE as they want.

I can't find anything anymore on the open skies treaty anymore, so I wonder what I've read exactly. I can find some old articles (2008, 2009) stateing that negotiations take place and a deal is expected in 2010 or 2011.

The EU obviously wants to define rules together with the UAE with respect to governmental aid to the carriers, before opening the market; in order to make it a fair playing field.


User currently offlineCoachClass From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 431 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 4123 times:

Delta and Continental both offer non-stop flights 5 times a week from TXL to New York/Newark.

It's likely that Air Berlin will offer non-stop U.S. flights once BBI is up and running, but their fares are going to have to be very competetive, as I understand that the seat pitch on the long haul aircraft is 30 inches with limited in-flight entertainment.


User currently offlinekaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12476 posts, RR: 37
Reply 16, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3849 times:

Quoting Tobias2702 (Thread starter):
So, now please let me know about your thoughts and comments. How much competition can BER stand until one airline might pull out or cuts routes/changes the strategy? I appreciate your answers and comments.

I think that there will undoubtedly be a big shake-up once all Berlin airline operations are concentrated on the one airport. There will undoubtedly be many services that will end up being cut; it'll certainly be an excellent year for Berliners planning to fly.

Quoting PW100 (Reply 2):
Will FR still be interested in BER when SXF has been transformed into BBI? I would expect that the airport would then become considerably more high cost, possibly no longer fitting FR business model.

That's a possibility (that they would pull out), but I think a remote one. Given the market at stake, I think they will probably have to hold their noses and wade in; it's either that or pull out of Berlin altogether. The problem is that if they are forced to hike their fares above their normal level (i.e. very low), the differentiating factor is gone; if not for low fares, why does anyone want to fly FR; that could work against them.

Is it possible that BBI might build a low cost terminal, with contact-only (or remote) stands?


User currently offlineTobias2702 From Germany, joined exactly 6 years ago today! , 721 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3787 times:

Quoting kaitak (Reply 16):

Is it possible that BBI might build a low cost terminal, with contact-only (or remote) stands?

There will be a dedicated low-cost pier with walk boarding gates. It wasn't included in the original plans for the first construction step, but was subsequently included due to the LCC demand. Thus, the BBI airport will have a starting capacity of 27 million passengers per year (rather than the original 22 million).

source: www.berlin-airport.de/EN/BBI/ArminUn...09-07-03_Kapazitaetserhoehung.html

For comparison: As of 2008, TXL had 14.5 million pax (with a capacity of only 12 million), and SXF had 6.6 millions (capacity of 7 million), making a combined 21.1 million passengers per year in/out of Berlin.

edit: fixed link

[Edited 2010-02-17 11:25:04]

[Edited 2010-02-17 11:25:40]


PA, AF, UK, BA, AB, DL, LH, FR, BD, A3, EZY, DY //// A319/320/346, B733/735/73G/738/744/763, AT4, 146, CR2, DH4
User currently offlineJoost From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 3169 posts, RR: 4
Reply 18, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3642 times:

Quoting Tobias2702 (Reply 17):
Thus, the BBI airport will have a starting capacity of 27 million passengers per year (rather than the original 22 million).
Quoting Tobias2702 (Reply 17):
As of 2008, TXL had 14.5 million pax (with a capacity of only 12 million), and SXF had 6.6 millions (capacity of 7 million), making a combined 21.1 million passengers per year in/out of Berlin.

This means that the airport will have quite some spare capacity when opening - although not as much as I'd expected. Still, when opening, the airport will have some 5M pax spare capacity - they won't let a carrier flying 1.5M pax, and who is probably willing to expand, leave that easy.

Quoting kaitak (Reply 16):
The problem is that if they are forced to hike their fares above their normal level (i.e. very low), the differentiating factor is gone; if not for low fares, why does anyone want to fly FR;

True, but their latest ventures in MAD, ALC and LGW show that they're able to make it work on airports that are more than a garden shed.


User currently offlineTobias2702 From Germany, joined exactly 6 years ago today! , 721 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3563 times:

Quoting Joost (Reply 18):
This means that the airport will have quite some spare capacity when opening - although not as much as I'd expected.

Also keep in mind that in 2011 construction work won't stop, but the airport will be expanded steadily (2 midfield concourses are planned), until finally (no idea when/if this will happen) reaching a capacity of up to 50 million passengers per year.



PA, AF, UK, BA, AB, DL, LH, FR, BD, A3, EZY, DY //// A319/320/346, B733/735/73G/738/744/763, AT4, 146, CR2, DH4
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