March 7, 2018 / 4:43 PM / a year ago

Delta gets boost from Air Berlin collapse in Germany

BERLIN, March 7 (Reuters) - U.S. carrier Delta Air Lines is picking up business on routes from Germany to the United States following the collapse of Air Berlin, executives said on Wednesday.

"The capacity that was taken out by Air Berlin hasn't been filled entirely," Germany, Switzerland and Austria sales manager Thomas Brandt told Reuters at the ITB travel fair in Berlin.

Brandt said load factors, a measure of how full planes are, had been "fantastic" and that Delta had upped the amount of flying it does from Duesseldorf, an Air Berlin hub, as a result.

For example, it kept a larger plane on the route from Duesseldorf to Atlanta than initially planned over the winter and a seasonal daily flight from Berlin to New York will start a few weeks early.

Delta is also ready to compete with low-cost, long-haul carriers, and feels its new basic economy fares allow it to fight on price, EMEA regional sales director Bob Hannah said.

"They're here to stay, they're not going away but we're ready to take them on," he said of the new rivals. (Reporting by Victoria Bryan Editing by Mark Potter)

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