Eurowings has announced plans to replace almost all of Ryanair’s flying programme at Dusseldorf, following the Irish carrier’s decision to withdraw from the airport.

The Lufthansa Group carrier will increase flights from Dusseldorf to destinations including Mallorca, Ibiza, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Malaga, Alicante and Faro “at short notice”, as well as those to Heraklion, Rhodes, Corfu and Kos from October 24, when Ryanair’s Lauda subsidiary is set to cease flights from the airport.

Eurowings CEO Jens Bischof claimed that a similar decision by Lauda to close its base at Stuttgart airport was a sign that “the ultra low-cost business model is on the retreat throughout Germany”.

“Instead of undermining social standards and regularly offending partners and customers, we offer reliability, fairness and long-term prospects,” said Bischof.

“In times of crisis, our customers are not looking for 5-euro tickets, but more than ever for an airline they can trust. We are pleased that we can now offer even more customers in North Rhine-Westphalia fair and attractive fares for their next flight.”

Last month Eurowings announced a roll out of a recent trial to allow customers to pay to keep the middle seat free on flights within Europe, from €18 per flight.

At the time Bischof said that “The positive feedback during the test phase showed us very clearly that our guests often want more comfort and distance on board”.

“‘Ultra-Lowcost’ no longer works since Corona, at least not in our home market Germany. We therefore assume that the free middle seat will become a very important product for travel in the future.”