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Berlin Tegel: easyJet's operation revives the airport but needs time

EasyJet's entry into Berlin Tegel airport in Jan-2018, in addition to its base at Berlin Schoenefeld, made it the leading airline at Tegel and in Berlin overall. Tegel barely noticed the gap left by the demise of airberlin in Oct-2017, thanks to easyJet's rapid ramp-up, growth by Eurowings and Lufthansa, and the entry of Ryanair.

Previously suffering from the slow bleeding of capacity by airberlin, Tegel's growth has been revived and it is now Germany's number two LCC airport. Tegel's renaissance has partly been at the expense of Schoenefeld. In Mar-2019, total passenger numbers grew by 25.1% at Tegel, whereas they fell by 8.1% year-on-year at Schoenefeld.

However, for easyJet all is not plain sailing at Tegel, in spite of its leadership position. Capacity expansion by all the major airlines has created a fiercely competitive market at the larger of Berlin's two airports. This has put pressure on easyJet's unit revenue performance and caused it to push back the break-even point for its Tegel base, now expected to be loss making for a second year.

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