Over the past two decades, discount airlines have followed the same pattern in Germany, grabbing market share with ultralow fares that appealed. Over the course of time, they expanded to Berlin, Frankfurt, and Munich and began to compete with the German flag carrier,Deutsche Lufthansa AG.

The upstarts are in a defensive stance. EasyJet quit the popular Frankfurt-Berlin route in 2020 due to the high landing and terminal fees at Germany's biggest airport. In Germany, the seat capacity of the airline has fallen by almost half, while in Italy it has risen. In Lisbon it has added nine jets, up from zero, while in Berlin it has reduced its fleet by more than two-thirds.

relates to Ryanair, EasyJet Scale Back in Germany Over Airport Fees
A Ryanair jet taxis at Cologne Bonn Airport in June.

As Europe's largest economy becomes a no-fly zone for low-cost carriers, its aviation market has rebounded more slowly than other parts of the world. In Germany, traffic is about 75% of what it was in the previous year. It is not even a quarter of its peak in many smaller cities.

British Airways and Air France both have bases in London and Paris, but British Airways and Air France have less control over slots in Germany's largest cities. There isn't much incentive to lower fares on domestic routes because of the near-total monopoly held by Eurowings. A two week advance-purchase ticket costs 349. Three airlines offer fares for London to Edinburgh. According to Idealo, Lufthansa is increasing its average ticket price by 40%, more than any other airline.

Germany's competition watchdog concluded that the carrier had used its position to raise prices after taking over most of Air Berlin. EasyJet picked up some aircraft and landing slots as part of the Air Berlin demise, so it didn't have the authority to impose penalties. Brady said the market was set up to protect the airline. The German customer is the one who gets messed with.

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The EU should be an aviation free-for-all, with the bloc's carriers allowed to operate domestic flights in any country. British Airways and Air France-KLM have been forced to cut prices or scale back due to the expansion of easyJet, Wizz Air and other airlines. When most of its fleet was grounded during the early stages of the Pandemic, the government gave a 9 billion lifeline to Lufthansa, but no other airline had that scale. As many as 20,000 new employees will be hired by the airline after it repays the funds.

Airport fees and taxes in Germany are the highest in the EU. The cost of landing a plane at Germany's secondary airports is more than a quarter higher than the average for similar facilities in Europe, according to RDC. There are no lower-cost alternatives to the primary airports in Germany.

The Eurowings brand is used to fight off low cost carriers. When combined with high taxes and fees, it's more profitable for discounters to shrink their German operations and use their jets elsewhere. The low-cost effort was initially predicted to fail by budget airlines, according to the chief executive officer. They laughed at it. It has proven to be an effective tool.

There are also long-haul routes that are affected. The largest international airline has been trying to get landing slots in Berlin for more than a decade, but it can only get them by abandoning one of the other German airports. Tim Clark is the President of the United States of America. Clark told reporters in Berlin that they asked which one they wanted to give up.