Flight International online news 10:30GMT: German charter and budget carrier Air Berlin is to launch domestic flights within the UK by operating from London Stansted to Manchester and Glasgow from next month.

AB detail BIG

Air Berlin, which already operates connections to continental European destinations from both London Stansted and Manchester, will introduce the services from 16 December.

Few carriers outside of the UK and Ireland serve the domestic market. Belgian regional carrier VLM Airlines is among the more notable exceptions, operating to four UK destinations from London City Airport.

Air Berlin says that it will create a mini transfer hub at London Stansted, enabling it to offer connecting flights from Manchester and Glasgow to Germany. The airline already has similar hubs at Nuremberg and Palma de Mallorca.

It operates a 51-strong fleet, primarily comprising Boeing 737s, but is not presently intending to station aircraft in the UK.

“Our UK customers already know and value our service so it makes sense for Air Berlin to increase its presence in the British market,” says Air Berlin managing partner Joachim Hunold.

“We’ll become the first German airline to fly inside the UK. Our rivals are competing with us in the German market, so we’ll enjoy challenging them here.”

Air Berlin, which expects to transport nearly 14 million passengers this year, claims that it will be the first carrier to use Stansted as a transfer airport rather than as a point-to-point destination.

Its present continental network from Stansted includes routes to Berlin, Dusseldorf, Hannover, Leipzig, Munster-Osnabruck, Nuremberg, Paderborn, Vienna and Palma de Mallorca.



Source: Flight International