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Air Berlin launches UK Domestic Flights

Air Berlin is to step up its competition in the UK marketplace by creating the first ever transfer hub at London Stansted…

Air Berlin is to step up its competition in the UK marketplace by creating the first ever transfer hub at London Stansted, adding domestic UK routes to its schedule and expanding the number of international flights.

In 2004 Air Berlin carried over 12 million passengers, making Air Berlin Germany`s second-largest airline, Europe`s third-largest low-cost carrier, and through its operations in its Majorca hub, Spain`s third-largest airline. It is estimated the airline will carry 13.8 million passengers in 2005.

Air Berlin managing partner, Joachim Hunold, in London today to launch the plan, said: “Our UK customers already know and value our service so it makes sense for Air Berlin to increase our presence in the British market. In doing so, we become the first German airline to fly inside Britain. After all, our rivals are competing with us in the German market – so we will enjoy challenging them here.”

On launch of the hub on December 16th, Air Berlin will introduce connecting flights from Manchester and Glasgow via Stansted to Germany.

This is the first time Stansted will be used by any airline as a transfer hub. Until now, Stansted has been used only for point-to-point flights – passengers could change planes and fly onto other destinations but were required to collect their luggage and check it in again for the new flight. With the Air Berlin hub, passengers from other UK airports who wish to travel to Germany via Stansted can do so easily while their luggage is automatically transported to the connecting plane. Average transfer times will be 45 to 60 minutes.

The move signifies a further increase in customer service for Air Berlin, which already operates hubs in Majorca’s Palma airport and in Nuremburg, Germany.

From December 16th Air Berlin will fly twice daily from Stansted to airports in Berlin, Dusseldorf and Nuremberg once a day or more to Munster/Osnabruck, Paderborn and Nuremburg. Hannover and Paderborn will be connected twice a day from May on. Air Berlin will also increase the number of London-Leipzig/Halle flights from three to seven per week.