Air Berlin to join oneworld alliance
Tokyo, July 28, 2010: Air Berlin is to join oneworld(R), adding Europe’s fifth largest airline and Germany’s second biggest carrier to the world’s leading quality airline alliance of which Japan Airlines (JAL) is a member. Air Berlin group member Austria’s NIKI will become an affiliate member of the alliance.
A memorandum of understanding between Air Berlin and oneworld was completed in the airline’s Berlin home city yesterday. It will be followed by a formal alliance membership agreement soon, and the airline can be expected to start flying as part of oneworld in early 2012 - just weeks before the opening of the new Berlin Brandenburg International Airport which is being built as a major new hub for Europe.
As a major player in the European air travel market, Air Berlinserved a total of 160 destinations in some 40 countries, operating almost 600 daily departures in 2009. From Frankfurt alone, to which Japan Airlines operates a daily flight from its hub in Tokyo (Narita), Air Berlin flies to Hamburg and Berlin in Germany, Alicante, Palma de Mallorca, Ibiza and Jerez in Spain, Catania and Naples in Italy, Pristina in Serbia, as well as the Austrian capital of Vienna. It will add almost 75 gateways to the oneworld map and expand the alliance’s coverage to almost 900 destinations in nearly 150 countries.
Air Berlin Chief Executive Joachim Hunold said: “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.”
Willie Walsh, Chief Executive of British Airways, oneworld’s sponsor of Air Berlin, said: “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 cooperation.”
The addition of Air Berlin as a member elect is the latest significant step in what is turning into a breakthrough year for oneworld as it builds further on its position as the world’s premier airline alliance, expanding its unrivalled route network still further and enabling it to offer even more services and benefits to customers.
About Air Berlin
Since its launch in 1979, Air Berlin has grown into Germany’s second largest airline - and the fifth biggest in Europe in terms of passengers boarded.
It has been named the World’s Best Low-Cost Airline seven years running in the World Airline Awards run by the Skytrax airline quality organisation and now offers the full-range of services associated with a full-service network carrier, including its frequent flyer program topbonus, and, for premium passengers, lounges, priority check-in and, for all passengers, free alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and meals or snacks on every departure.
Air Berlin holds major market shares in its home city and also at Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Stuttgart and Palma de Mallorca. Among its international destinations, it serves oneworld hubs Helsinki, Los Angeles, Madrid, Miami, Moscow Domodedovo, New York JFK and Bangkok.
Its current fleet (including NIKI) comprises 165 aircraft, with an average age of five years, including 13 Airbus A330s, 75 A321s/A320s/A319s, 63 Boeing 737s, four Embraer E190s and 10 Bombardier Q400s. It employs 8,500 staff.
oneworld brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business - American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN, Mal騅 Hungarian Airlines, Mexicana, Qantas and Royal Jordanian, and around 20 affiliates including American Eagle, Dragonair, LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador and LAN Peru. Russia’s S7 Airlines will join the alliance in 2010 with India’s Kingfisher Airlines also a member elect and Air Berlin now lining up to join. Between them, these airlines:
· Serve almost 900 airports in nearly 150 countries, with some 9,500 daily departures.
· Offer more than 550 airport lounges for premium customers.
· Carry 340 million passengers a year.
· Operate a combined fleet of almost 2,500 aircraft.
· Generate around US$90 billion annual revenues in total.
oneworld enables its members to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. These include a broader route network, opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flyer miles and points across the combined oneworld network and more airport lounges. oneworld also offers more alliance fares than any of its competitors.
oneworld was named the World’s Best Alliance two weeks ago in the 2010 World Airline Awards and has been voted the World's Leading Airline Alliance for the past seven years in the World Travel Awards. It is the only winner of this award since it was introduced in 2003.
High resolution pictures and logos are available for downloading on-line:
· Air Berlin, go tohttp://www.airberlin.com/site/presse_service.php?LANG=eng
· oneworld and its member airlines, go tohttp://www.oneworld.com/ow/news-and-information/corporate-image-gallery
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