easyJet has celebrated its inaugural flight from Tegel Airport in Berlin and its first domestic flight in Germany.

The airline has announced 19 new routes from Tegel Airport, including four domestic routes between the capital and Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich and Stuttgart up to eight times a day, and in the coming months, flights are to launch to 15 international destinations, including flights up to five times a day to cities like Vienna and Zurich and regular connections to leisure spots like Mallorca.

Combined with the airline’s existing operation at Berlin Schönefeld, easyJet will fly 18 million passengers to and from Germany once the Tegel operation is fully established to 116 destinations, basing 37 aircraft and employing up to 1,700 people across the country.

Thomas Haagensen, country director for Switzerland, Germany and Austria, said easyJet is excited to be growing in Germany, the Berlin Schönefeld base was established in 2004 and over 50 million passengers have flown with the airline since.

Haagensen said: “easyJet has been the number one carrier bringing Europeans to Berlin and Brandenburg, supporting Berlin’s flourishing tourism industry and bringing more Europeans to Berlin than any other airline – including the Lufthansa Group. Our new flights from Tegel will be particularly attractive for business passengers, offering early morning departures to enable day trips to key destinations in Germany and the wider DACH region.

“We look forward to combining all our Berlin operations into Brandenburg airport when the airport opens in October 2020. When we do so it will be easyJet’s second largest base, twice the size of any other easyJet base and will provide the platform for further easyJet investment.”

Professor Engelbert Lütke Daldrup, chairman of the board of Berlin Brandenburg airport GmbH said the expansion makes Tegel Airport and Schönefeld Airport the most important location for the airline outside of the UK, adding: “The decision made by easyJet shows how important the region is for the European aviation industry also in the future, and demonstrates the importance of the airports as drivers of growth in Berlin and Brandenburg.”

easyJet also said it was looking forward to “welcoming hundreds of new people to the EasyJet family from Air Berlin.”

The airline has been recruiting to support its expansion in Germany and has begun training new cabin crew and pilots. Around 40 cabin crew members began their training in December and an additional 330 have passed the selection process, meanwhile the first 30 pilots will start their training in January and February, with 255 more pilots still in the selection process.

The airline will also transfer former Air Berlin aircraft to the easyJet fleet over the next few months and in order to support the flying schedule from Tegel during this period easyJet will wet lease additional aircraft to operate flights alongside easyJet planes.

The airline plans to announce additional new routes from Tegel for the summer season starting 25 March 2018.

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