Air Berlin cuts three key UK routes

30 Sep 2008 by Mark Caswell

Air Berlin is to drop flights from both Munich and Berlin to London Stansted, and from Hamburg to Manchester by the end of this month.

A quick look at the carrier’s website shows that the airline’s three daily direct flights to Berlin-Tegel have been replaced with a routing via Dusseldorf from November 1. The daily service between Manchester and Hamburg also ends on October 31, while the Stansted to Munich route ends even sooner, with no direct flights available after October 6.

A spokesperson for the airline confirmed the move, saying:

“Air Berlin will withdraw its Stansted-Berlin service [along with the Stansted-Munich and Manchester-Hamburg routes] for the winter flight plan as of November 1. Like all airlines worldwide Air Berlin is constantly examining its route network to guarantee maximum fleet utilization and yield. Competition on this route was extremely high and the lack of profitability finally made us take the decision to drop the route for the winter flight plan 2008/09. We are nevertheless highly committed to the remaining UK flying programme and will minimise any disruption to customers booked on flights after the termination of services. It goes without saying that customers will receive a full refund.”

The move leaves Lufthansa as the only carrier serving Hamburg from Manchester (Bmi codeshares on this route). Ryanair will also now be the only carrier serving Berlin from Stansted, although the low-cost carrier flies into East Berlin’s Schoenefeld, also served by Easyjet from Luton and Gatwick. BA flies to Tegel from London Heathrow, while Lufthansa serves Tegel twice daily from London City under its Eurowings subsidiary.

London-based passengers flying to Munich continue to have the choice of flights from Stansted with Easyjet, along with Lufthansa from Heathrow and London City, and BA from Heathrow.

Air Berlin continues to fly direct from Manchester to Paderborn, and from Stansted to Düsseldorf, Hanover, Nuremberg, Paderborn and Munster/Osnabrück. The German carrier also announced cuts to its long-haul network in June, with flights from Dusseldorf to Beijing, Shanghai and Vancouver being dropped this month.

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Report by Mark Caswell

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