airberlin CEO Joachim Hunold announced (09-Mar-2011) the International Tourism Bourse (ITB) in Berlin that the airline is "preparing itself intensively" for oneworld membership in 2012, by expanding bilateral cooperation agreements with partner airlines through codeshare agreements, reciprocal frequent flyer benefits and improved access to airport lounges. Mr Hunold said the airline's main focus for 2011 is to strengthen its hubs at Berlin Tegel and Dusseldorf and is expanding its network in Italy. The airline will launch Berlin Tegel-New York service in 2011, Berlin-Rome Fiumicino service will increase to 14 times weekly, new services will be launched to Verona from Tegel and Dusseldorf from Apr-2011, and new services Dusseldorf-Bari and from Cologne/Bonn, Nuremberg, Munich and Zurich to Brindisi. The airline's Palma de Mallorca hub is being expanded with new services to Vienna and Friedrichshafen. [more]
airberlin expands network ahead of oneworld membership
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When Lufthansa began to transfer point-to-point short haul routes to its LCC Germanwings in 2013 it specifically excluded routes to/from its two main hubs at Munich and Frankfurt. Although its two main hubs have been less penetrated by LCCs than many other major European airports, this is changing. Moreover, competitor LCCs are growing rapidly across Germany and in other Lufthansa Group home markets. Even Air France-KLM established a Munich base for its LCC Transavia in summer 2016 (but this is under review). More ominously, Ryanair is to enter Frankfurt in summer 2017.
Lufthansa first revealed in summer 2016 that it was considering opening a Munich base for its LCC operations, now grouped under the Eurowings brand. On 21-Dec-2016 it announced plans to base four A320 family aircraft at Munich for 32 Eurowings routes from summer 2017.
Perhaps it was always inevitable that Eurowings would eventually extend to selected routes from Frankfurt and Munich, but agreements with pilots were understood to have limited the group's flexibility. Confirmation that the operation of Eurowings routes at Munich will be outsourced to airberlin under wet lease appears to have loosened this restriction. Eurowings routes from Frankfurt are also being considered.
Airport pairs: Western Europe-US shows the value of open skies as routes and new entry proliferate
For Western Europe there is no bigger long haul market than North America. In terms of the number of airport pairs between the countries of Western Europe and long haul destination countries, connectivity to the United States dominates. There are more direct routes between Western Europe and the US than there are between Western Europe and the whole of Asia Pacific.
This report presents high level data on the numbers of airport pairs between each Western European country and the US and how these number have changed. EU-US liberalisation in 2008 has stimulated growth in the number of direct connections, although the global economic downturn impeded this for a while. However, the additional routes have not been spread evenly across Western European countries.
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