Air Berlin is in Ryanair's sights as the Irish-based low-cost carrier seeks to boost its share of the German market from 5% to 20%.

Referring to Air Berlin's past losses, Ryanair marketing chief Kenny Jacobs says he hopes for more of the same, adding: "We’re going head to head and we’re hurting them."

Earlier this month, Ryanair announced its seventh and eighth German bases, in Nuremberg and Hamburg, plus 13 new routes from Berlin.

These are part of a concerted effort to expand at the expense of Lufthansa and Air Berlin in the German market, which Jacobs regards as an anomaly due to its low penetration of budget operators.

"The new-look Ryanair gives us a stronger offer as Germans seem to embrace classy travel," he says, referring to the airline's improved customer service.

Ryanair also expects to pick up leisure traffic shifting away from the Turkish market following a bombing in Istanbul that killed 10 German tourists in January.

Just as British tourists have been abandoning North African beaches over safety concerns, many Germans will, Ryanair expects, switch their holiday plans to Spain and Portugal, where the low-cost carrier has close to a fifth of the market.

In contrast, Ryanair does not serve Tunisia or Egypt, while Morocco is one of the few regions where its forward bookings are down.

Source: Cirium Dashboard