By Humphrey Carter
WHILE the German no-frills airlines are moving into Spain, expanding their passenger distribution operations at Palma airport and sticking a toe in the UK market, easyJet is to establish Germany's Dortmund International Airport as its next European base. EasyJet, the UK's biggest operator at Palma airport which has just announced plans to operate a new daily flight from Gatwick to Ibiza from June 3, said it would introduce eight routes from Dortmund, starting at the end of May 2004. Easyjet, which is relatively new to the German market, said it saw great potential at Dortmund.
The British carrier, aware of the fact that ten new countries are joining the European Union on May 1st, has moved into a pole position to move into the new market out of its new European hub and link the new destinations up with its existing network of 135 routes. The other new routes out of Stansted include Basel and Ljubljana International in Slovenia, from Luton they will be flying to Budapest and from Gatwick, apart from Ibiza, there will be new routes to Naples, Faro and Prague from April 23. The airline, which literally took off with its first flights to Palma, now operates between the UK and Majorca out of six airports, Newcastle being the latest. All of easyJet's routes are well connected, for example, from Palma, via one of the airline's UK or German distribution points, passengers will be able to fly to a wealth of new destinations. Via Dortmund, Eastern Europeans will also be just a connecting flight away from the Balearics. easyJet chief executive Ray Webster said this week that the Dortmund announcement “further strengthens our position in Germany. “This is yet another step in the planned growth of easyJet.”

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