airberlin announced (21-Feb-2013) its "Shape & Size" efficiency programme contributed EUR250 million to its income in 2012 while its strategic partnership with Etihad Airways delivered an additional EUR50 million in revenue with synergies and cost savings starting to take effect. The partnership saw Etihad Airways bring 219,000 passengers onto airberlin's network. airberlin CEO Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said the airline is confident it will "achieve further revenue enhancements and, above all, further cost synergies" with Etihad Airways. Mr Prock-Schauer also said the airline is confident its new turnaround programme Turbine "will enable airberlin to be competitive in the future and achieve sustainable profitability. One of the programme’s key elements is a focus on cost efficiency which involves implementing a range of initiatives, including a staff reduction." [more - original PR]
airberlin's efficiency programme and partnership with Etihad generated EUR300m
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Airberlin: airline's latest, more radical, restructuring gets help from TUIFly and Lufthansa
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As a result of these moves the operating fleet of the core airberlin network airline will slip from second to third in Germany and risks becoming subscale. Eurowings will rise from third to second, and the expanded new TUIFly will go from fifth to fourth (overtaking Thomas Cook Group's Condor).
For several years airberlin has been unable to break the cycle of losses and successive restructuring initiatives, in spite of repeated bailouts from airberlin's 29% shareholder Etihad. A number of details are still to be clarified. These include the detailed route networks for the different operators, the network airline's strategy for feed, and the balance of charter versus scheduled flights in the new leisure airline. However, for now and with help from competitors and Etihad, airberlin looks to have ensured at least some kind of future.
Airberlin makes network cuts, refocusses on North America long haul and new premium product
Despite low fuel prices that have carried the global airline industry to record margins, airberlin's 2Q2016 losses have widened. This was its fifth successive quarter of unit cost growth outpacing unit revenue growth (they both fell, but unit revenue fell faster). Airberlin improved its cost structure, but CEO Stefan Pichler said that 2Q "was more challenging than expected on volumes and yield". It now seems likely that 2016 will be yet another year of red ink for airberlin, which is 30% owned by Etihad.
Airberlin's ongoing restructuring continues to involve capacity and headcount cuts to improve cost efficiency. In addition, airberlin is seeking cost synergies by coordinating some support functions with Etihad Airways Partners airlines.
Still predominantly a short/medium haul operator, airberlin is expanding its long haul network with new routes in the US and the Caribbean. This long haul expansion, accompanied by the launch of a short/medium haul premium product, attempts to position airberlin more squarely as a full service network airline. This is a further move away from its LCC past, just as LCCs are encroaching on long haul in addition to short haul.