EasyJet is poised to close one its of bases in Germany in the first sign that the high oil price is hurting the major low-cost carriers.
The airline intends to restructure its German operations and has begun a 90-day consultation with pilots and cabin crew based at Dortmund on a series of options that includes closure.
EasyJet operates 11 routes to and from Dortmond, a base it established three years ago as its second in Germany after Berlin Schonefeld.
The carrier said it had failed to make sufficient profits at Dortmund, partly due to restrictions on night-time flying which mean there is a 10pm curfew. But the German market has become fiercely competitive, with Germanwings and Air Berlin operating substanial networks to rival EasyJet and Ryanair. Services from Dortmund airport compete with those from neighbouring Cologne-Bonn, Dusseldorf and Weeze
Both EasyJet and Ryanair have expanded rapidly in Continental Europe in the past four years believing they could maintain high growth rates by doing so.