EasyJet is to mount a major low fares challenge in Germany with expansion from Berlin and a new base in Hamburg.

The budget carrier aims to double passenger numbers from Hamburg to 1 million with the addition of 15 routes and add more than 130,000 from Berlin in the first year.

The expansion will create 100 jobs in Hamburg and 35 in Berlin.

The new Hamburg base will open with three Airbus A319s with the airline increasing its fleet in Berlin by an additional aircraft to bring the total to eight running up to 635 flights a week.

EasyJet currently runs six routes from Hamburg, Germany’s second largest city, which will more than double by summer 2014 with almost 170 flights a week.

Chieff executive Carolyn McCall said: “Hamburg and its region is one of the most dynamic economies in Europe with a significant and growing tourist industry.

“In the last 12 months more than 500,000 passengers have enjoyed easyJet’s low fares combined with our friendly service.

“These expansion plans mean that we expect to carry twice as many passengers in the first year of operations which will take us to more than a million passengers annually for the first time.”