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Domestic flights up to four times more expensive after Air Berlin bankruptcy

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Domestic flights up to four times more expensive after Air Berlin bankruptcy
A Lufthansa jet landing at Munich airport. Photo: DPA.
16:43 CET+01:00
It’s been over two weeks since the last ever Air Berlin flight landed on October 27th - and anyone who has bought domestic tickets since then has almost certainly noticed the difference.

Passengers flying domestically are paying on average 32.5 percent more for short haul flights compared to four weeks ago, according to an analysis carried out by MyDealz.de.

The shopping portal analyzed prices on 25 short and medium haul routes in October and again in November before coming to its conclusions.

Since the insolvency of Air Berlin, demand is massively exceeding supply on many nationwide routes, a fact which seems to be driving up prices. Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr estimates that 60,000 seats are currently missing on German domestic flights, with most of Air Berlin's planes sitting idle on the tarmac.

In the most extreme example found by MyDealz.de, a return flight between Munich and Düsseldorf (Weeze Airport) during the week was four times more expensive after Air Berlin finally went bust.

Flying on the weekend could now be almost three times more expensive.

Passengers who flew with Air Berlin on a Munich-Düsseldorf flight in early October paid about €50 for their ticket. But passengers who wish to book the same flight on a return ticket the last weekend of November will have to pay at least €190 with Lufthansa. That’s an increase of 280 percent.

A Lufthansa round trip Munich-Hamburg flight for the last weekend of November, meanwhile, will set back a passenger at least €210, almost 132 percent more than they would have had to pay for the same round trip flight with Air Berlin on the first weekend of October.

These are just a few examples that show the most dramatic development of the cost of several domestic routes since Air Berlin went bust.

When The Local asked Lufthansa on Tuesday how much they were benefiting financially from the insolvency of Air Berlin, the company offered no comment.

The Local also asked Lufthansa whether they planned on matching the price Air Berlin once offered on its Munich-Düsseldorf route - €50 as opposed to nearly four times that amount. But the airline chose not to respond to the question.

The company would only say that, due to the increased demand of domestic flights, on certain days the cheapest flights sell out quicker and as a result are no longer available,

Spohr recently announced that the company would add 1,000 new domestic flights per month in response to their former competitor’s bankruptcy and a subsequent rise in flight prices for popular nationwide routes.

But he cautioned that "no airline in the world can make up for" the bankruptcy of its main competitor.

For now, with the absence of cheaper flight alternatives that Air Berlin once provided, customers intending to fly might just have to get used to shelling out more cash than before.

In October, Lufthansa boss Spohr said after announcing Lufthansa would buy up more than half of Berlin’s aircraft that while flying would not become more expensive in general, he could not rule out the possibility that prices would rise on some routes.

READ ALSO: Berlin airports to expect fewer passengers after Air Berlin ends operations

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