This winter German airline Air Berlin will be expanding its hub operations at Palma airport. Last month it carried 42 per cent more passengers in and out of Palma airport than in November 2001 and this year has seen passenger load figures rise by 6.3 per cent. Via its Palma hub, Air Berlin is operating 710 flight connections per week between key German cities, Madrid, Barcelona, Ibiza, Malaga and Alicante with an increase in flights to Ibiza, Alicante and Malaga planned for the New Year while operating its Palma to Madrid and Barcelona flights all year; some of the airline's Palma to Madrid prices over the holiday are far more competitive than the Spanish domestic airlines. At the close of this year, Air Berlin will have turned over more than 700 million euros, 24 per cent more than last year, and carried over six million passengers. Palma is becoming a hugely popular hub for other German airlines and even some of the British airlines are moving in. The no frills carrier easyJet has been considering a move into the Spanish domestic market since it launched its Palma route and if international carriers can offer cheaper domestic fares in the Balearics, they will be well received by the travelling public.

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