Air Berlin and the oneworld alliance signed (27-Jul-2010) an MoU under which Europe’s fifth largest airline and Germany’s second largest carrier will join the alliance and Air Berlin group member, NIKI, will become an affiliate member. A formal alliance membership agreement is to be signed "soon". Air Berlin is expected to start flying as part of oneworld in early 2012 – just weeks before the opening of the new Berlin Brandenburg International Airport. Details include:
- Air Berlin key details: In 2009, Air Berlin served 160 destinations in 40 countries, operating almost 600 daily departures. It carried 28 million passengers, generating revenues of EUR3.2 billion. As of Jul-2010, Air Berlin operates a fleet of 165 aircraft, including Austria’s NIKI, serving 168 destinations;
- oneworld network and fleet: The agreement will add almost 75 gateways to the oneworld map, expand the alliance’s coverage to almost 900 destinations in 150 countries, served by a combined fleet of 2,500 aircraft operating 9,500 flights a day and carrying 340 million passengers p/a;
- Frequent flyer pgoramme: Members of Air Berlin’s topbonus frequent flyer programme will be able to earn and redeem rewards on any of oneworld’s 13 other carriers, with top tier members able to use any of the group’s 550-plus airport lounges, and its network will be covered by oneworld’s full range of alliance fares. Frequent flyer cardholders of oneworld’s established airlines will be able to earn and redeem rewards when flying Air Berlin;
- Individual agreements: As a starting point in its oneworld implementation, Air Berlin will develop one-on-one co-operative agreements with key established members of the alliance American Airlines and Finnair, to take effect in winter 2010/2011, providing Air Berlin with access to the American market and, via Finnair's Helsinki hub, to Asian markets. Bilateral agreements with British Airways and Iberia are planned to follow. British Airways will support Air Berlin through its oneworld implementation programme as its alliance sponsor. All but one of the alliance’s existing carriers (with Mexicana the exception) already serve Germany. [more - American Airlines codeshare] [more - Air Berlin/oneworld statement] [more- American Airlines/Finnair codeshare] [more - JAL]
Air Berlin: “Joining a global alliance is the logical next step in Air Berlin’s development. We are very pleased and proud to be lining up to join what is clearly the world’s top quality airline grouping. Becoming part of oneworld would be one of the most significant departures so far for our airline, enabling us to offer our customers a truly global network served by partners who include some of the best and biggest airlines in the world. We look forward to completing all joining requirements as soon as possible,” Joachim Hunold, CEO. Source: Company Statement, 27-Jul-2010.
British Airways: “Air Berlin will make an ideal oneworld partner. It has an excellent reputation for customer service – right in line with oneworld’s focus on quality above quantity in terms of membership. Its network is one of the best in Central Europe, expanding the alliance’s coverage of this region markedly. British Airways is delighted to be supporting Air Berlin’s addition to oneworld by acting as its sponsor into the alliance - and we look forward to establishing our bilateral co-operation,” Wille Walsh, CEO. Source: Company Statement, 27-Jul-2010.