Due to higher airport fees, the Irish low-cost airline Ryanair is cutting its flight schedule from Berlin. The airport and the largest German airline are to blame. Lufthansa described the Ryanair boss as a “subsidy junkie”.

Michael O’Leary’s grin is probably more of a sarcastic one. The Ryanair group leader was photographed in Berlin on Thursday (October 13) with a sign that reads “41 routes”. This is how many routes the Irish low-cost airline offers from the German capital. What is not on the sign: The airline has reduced the flight schedule from Berlin.

Ryanair serves 19 fewer destinations in the winter flight schedule from BER compared to winter 2019 – that’s a drop of 230 weekly flights and 40 percent. The 2022 summer timetable includes 49 routes from Berlin. According to Ryanair, demand is currently no lower than in 2019. The reason for the reduction lies rather with Berlin Brandenburg Airport.

Investments and growth are being made throughout Europe and at German regional airports such as Nuremberg and Leipzig, where costs remain competitive. But the “unjustified increases in airport charges, which make these larger German airports uncompetitive compared to their European competitors” are the reason that Berlin is being cut.

The low-cost airline had already closed the base in Frankfurt in March with the same reasoning. “The higher airport costs in Berlin make it more attractive for us to move aircraft to cheaper alternatives in other regions of Germany and Europe,” says Michael O’Leary. But according to O’Leary, it’s not just the big airports to blame.

The Ryanair boss once again criticized the “massive state subsidies of the high-priced ‘national champion’ subsidy junkie Lufthansa”. Because of the high prices of the German airline, German air traffic collapsed by 28 percent in the summer, “which makes Germany the slowest recovering market in Europe, according to the Irishman.

Even if the choice of words sounds harsh – compared to spring 2020, the manager chose almost soft words. In relation to the state aid to Lufthansa, O’Leary had described the German group as a “crack cocaine junkie”. However, Lufthansa has now fully repaid its state aid, as has its subsidiary Swiss.

This article was written by Laura Frommberg

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The original of this article “Ryanair shortens flight plan from Berlin and mobs against Lufthansa” comes from aeroTelegraph.