Air Berlin is gone. What was once a significant airline is now bankrupt. The chart shows the airline’s fleet history. As the chart shows, the airline was in trouble for some time, at least since 2011.
As Air Berlin literally comes apart, its big German rival has moved strongly into as much of the space as it can. “The Supervisory Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG approved the rapid expansion of the Eurowings Group at its meeting today. For this purpose, an investment framework of around EUR 1 billion was approved for the purchase and leasing of aircraft. The funds will be used towards obtaining up to 61 aircraft, including 41 Airbus A320 Family aircraft and 20 Dash 8 Q400. The acquisition of the aircraft is partly dependent on the successful conclusion of negotiations to acquire parts of the Air Berlin Group. The investments would be financed from existing liquid funds.”
Lufthansa went to state they had alrady taken on 20 Air Berlin aircraft over the past few months. These are operated as Eurowings. Lufthansa is interested in seeing Eurowings grow to 81 aircraft and add 3,000 jobs for flight crew. In enabling this growth Lufthansa is throwing down the gauntlet to its EU-based LCC competitors like Ryanair and easyJet. As Eurowings’ fleet grows for longhaul, that expands to the likes of Joon, Norwegian and Level. The EU market consolidation is going to move forward.