Germanwings, headquartered in Cologne, is a German carrier founded in 1997 as a low-cost division of Eurowings. It became an independent company in 2002. In 2008, Lufthansa came up with the idea to merge Eurowings, Germanwings and TUIfly to establish a company that would be a direct competitor to Air Berlin, Ryanair and easyJet. The plans, however, did not materialise - instead, in 2009, Lufthansa acquired Germanwings from Eurowings. Since 2015, the low-cost carrier has been existing under the Eurowings brand. Germanwings operating bases are located at: Berlin Tegel Airport, Cologne Bonn Airport, Dortmund Airport, Hamburg Airport, Hannover Airport and Stuttgart Airport.