SunExpress Germany: summer 2016 route launches may signal a shift to a more pan-European model

SunExpress Germany is probably not an airline that springs to mind for most European air travellers. However, this could be changing. The airline plans to launch 34 new routes in summer 2016, taking its total to 93, versus 59 in summer 2015. Only four of the new routes will be to its core destination market – Turkey.

SunExpress Germany is a subsidiary of SunExpress, an Antalya-based leisure airline 50% owned by each of Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines, and Lufthansa. Set up in 2011, Frankfurt-based SunExpress Germany operates under a German licence and the SunExpress brand, using a fleet of 12 Boeing 737-800s on leisure routes from Germany to leisure destinations in Mediterranean countries, in the main.

In 2016 the airline will continue to move away from its previous concentration on routes between Germany and Turkey, significantly broadening its network. Spain and Bulgaria are also becoming significant and it will add Italy this summer. SunExpress Germany is also Lufthansa's operator of the long haul part of its LCC brand Eurowings. As Lufthansa continues to create options for itself in the development of new operating platforms, SunExpress Germany's steps in a more pan-European direction are intriguing.

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