airberlin, Germany's second-largest airline, is preparing intensively for its membership in the international air travel alliance oneworld® planned for early 2012. An important strategic element in this is expansion of the hub and with it strengthening its location in Düsseldorf. As before, North Rhine Westphalia is the most important German state for the company. Here the airline generates a high percentage of its passenger traffic. In 2010, 6.7 million passengers used airberlin's services at the Düsseldorf airport. All told, airberlin has 26 aircraft stationed there, and in NRW they have a total of 45 aircraft. In the framework of its comfort offensive, which includes the new Sky Interior features in its entire Boeing fleet as well as the introduction of an inflight entertainment system in the long-haul fleet, airberlin will open an exclusive waiting lounge at the Düsseldorf airport this Friday. With more than 3,200 employees, including 100 employees in training, at its five locations in Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Cologne/Bonn, Münster/Osnabrück and Paderborn, airberlin underscores just how important North Rhine Westphalia is to the company. This also includes the newly-created position of "Regional Director, North Rhine-Westphalia". Marketing and sales expert Eva Martini will take on this assignment effective immediately and will become the face of airberlin in North Rhine-Westphalia.
"We stand by Düsseldorf", said Joachim Hunold, CEO airberlin: "The capital of NRW is our most important location in Germany, after Berlin. We are not only making this clear with the approximately 2,600 employees we station in Düsseldorf alone, but also with an increase in our available non-stop flights to more than 80 destinations, as well as an 18 percent increase in our connecting flights. The airport in NRW's capital is gaining importance due to the fact that 25 percent of our routes starting from Düsseldorf are intercontinental traffic. Furthermore, our extensive involvement in sports in North Rhine Westphalia shows that airberlin is also living up to its social responsibilities in Germany's most populous state.“
"airberlin has been indispensable at the Düsseldorf International Airport for quite some time. With 6.7 million passengers in the past year, it is among the very major carriers connecting the strongest economic region in Germany with the world," explained Christoph Blume, speaker for the Airport Management Corporation. "Destinations on four continents and its outstanding range of routes in Europe make airberlin attractive both to business and leisure customers. We see further potential for growth at airberlin's Düsseldorf hub most of all with respect to intercontinental routes.
North Rhine-Westphalia with its very dense population and sustainable economic strength is and will remain an important source market for every airline. Together with airberlin we have built Düsseldorf into a hub and continued its successful development in recent years. Growing connecting flight traffic, increases in frequency such as in US-traffic and the stationing of an seventh long-haul plane are all indicative of the positive development in Düsseldorf. As a milestone in airberlin's history, we are now approaching membership in the oneworld-alliance, in the context of which we, together with Joachim Hunold's team, anticipate the implementation of new, forward-looking projects which will further underscore the importance of our hub in Düsseldorf“, said Blume.
Over 80 destinations nonstop from Düsseldorf
With new routes, more frequent flights and additional long-haul flights, airberlin is expanding the flights it offers from its hub in Düsseldorf. With the start of the summer flight schedule, airberlin will begin flights to the Italian destinations Verona, Bari, Florence and Cagliari on Sardinia. Also new this summer are flights to Innsbruck, Klagenfurt, Rijeka and the Channel Island of Guernsey. Especially for our business travellers, airberlin is increasing its flights offered from Düsseldorf to Barcelona to three flights per day, and flights between Moscow and Düsseldorf to two connections per day. airberlin is also increasing its long-haul capacity. The airline will offer an additional North American flight per week on the connections to San Francisco, Fort Myers, Los Angeles and Vancouver.
On airberlin trans-Atlantic routes, travellers will fly to the central hubs of its codeshare partner American Airlines, such as Miami, Los Angeles and New York. From there departures to multiple business destinations inside the United States, such as, for example, Atlanta, Boston Washington, Dallas, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Seattle or San Diego, as well as tourist destinations such as Orlando, Tampa and the Bahamas are possible. The partnership with Finnair makes connections to New Delhi and Singapore over Helsinki possible. Likewise, new connections within Russia are now possible through the partnership with S7, the Russian airline.
Successful LTU Integration
On 1 April 2011, airberlin completely integrated LTU International Airways, which was acquired in August 2007. The consolidation of flight operations is one of the key elements of the integration: As of 1 April 2011, only one flight operation exists under the AOC (Aircraft Operation Certificate) of airberlin. A second important element of the integration of LTU is the consolidation of all technical operations in a new company "airberlin technik GmbH". In NRW, airberlin technik is represented at a total of five locations (Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Cologne/Bonn, Münster/Osnabrück, Paderborn). At the stations in Düsseldorf, Münster/Osnabrück as well as Paderborn, airberlin technik uses modern hangars, whereby Düsseldorf is especially important as one of the most important hubs for the airline.