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15 November 2012

airberlin: New network strategy from summer 2013 inspired by efficiency drive

airberlin has strategically revised its route network for next summer. The timetable modi-fications have been designed to increase efficiency and mainly refer to the intercontinental routes to the USA as well as the airline's hubs in Palma de Mallorca and Vienna. The important consideration was not to reduce but to transfer capacities, thereby enhancing the airline's profile in strategic core markets. In future airberlin will also be focusing even more on the synergies emerging from its association with its strategic partner Etihad Airways and the oneworld® carriers, to derive even greater benefit from the potential stemming from the existing alliances and partnership.

"Our goal is certain: to return airberlin to the profit zone in 2013," said Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, airberlin's Chief Strategy and Network Planning Officer. "By revising our current network strategy we are adapting to the growing challenges of an ever more dynamic economic environment and putting ourselves in a position where we can exploit the potential of our outstanding configuration of alliances to an even greater extent. Our intensified cooperation with Etihad Airways, with the members of the oneworld global airline alliance and, as regards our North American services, especially with our codeshare partner American Airlines, is a keystone in our strategy to prepare airberlin's route network for the challenges of the future. By restructuring its network, airberlin is also enhancing its profile as a network carrier operating within a strong association of airlines."

airberlin derives greater benefit from the synergies of its alliances in North America

The United States are a strategic growth market for airberlin. This will continue to be the case in the future. By restructuring its network in North America, airberlin has set the course for further growth in this market from summer 2013 onwards. The new non-stop service between Berlin and the American Airlines hub of Chicago from March 2013 underpins the strategy of the second largest German airline as regards developing the existing synergies from that association.

Against this background, airberlin will also be increasing its non-stop services to New York JFK, Los Angeles and Miami from May 2013 onwards, while at the same time cancelling its seasonal non-stop flights from Düsseldorf to Las Vegas, San Francisco and Vancouver.

The restructuring of the North American network is therefore aimed at selectively weeding out low-frequency routes while simultaneously strengthening the strategically important, high-turnover routes and making the best use of a strong network of partners. Consequently both San Francisco and Las Vegas will continue to be available for booking as codeshare flights with American Airlines, since this airline operates a far more frequent service to these destinations than airberlin – and throughout the year.

The expansion and optimisation of services from Berlin and Düsseldorf to the American Airlines hubs of New York JFK, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago is an important element in airberlin's network strategy for summer 2013. Consequently airberlin will be increasing the number of non-stop flights between Düsseldorf and New York JFK from seven to ten flights per week, thereby ensuring greater timetable consistency with the same arrival and departure times throughout the year.

The number of flights from Düsseldorf to Miami is also being increased: from May 2013 a daily service will replace the previous five flights a week to this major US destination. Another new feature at airberlin's Düsseldorf hub is that the number of non-stop flights to Los Angeles will be increased from three to four per week. The flights are scheduled for Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Since the service from Berlin to Los Angeles will still continue in summer 2013 with three flights a week – on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays – airberlin passengers will be offered a daily flight from Germany to West Coast USA from May 2013 onwards.

The times of the flights between Berlin and Los Angeles, a service that airberlin has been offering since 11th May 2012, have also been optimised for better connections to and from destinations in airberlin's growth markets of Scandinavia and Russia. The service between Berlin and Miami is also being increased from three to five flights a week.

Strengthening of airberlin's base in Palma de Mallorca

With 7.8 million passengers a year, the airberlin group has been the carrier with the highest passenger volume at Majorca's Son Sant Joan airport for nine consecutive years. With the start of its summer timetable, airberlin will be transferring capacities to achieve a 12 per cent increase in its services from Germany, Austria and Switzerland to Majorca, thereby further extending its market leadership on the Balearic Island. This means that in summer 2013 alone, airberlin will be operating 402 flights a week to this Mediterranean destination. The move represents a 14 per cent increase on the previous summer (summer 2012: 352 non-stop flights a week from Germany). The summer will also see new additional flights to Palma de Mallorca from Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich.

Along with transferring its capacities, airberlin will be reducing the total number of destina-tions on the Spanish mainland available via a connecting flight from Majorca from 16 to 13. From summer 2013 passengers will therefore no longer be able to fly airberlin to Barcelona, Madrid and Santiago de Compostela via Majorca. Instead, airberlin plans to offer the route from Majorca to Madrid in cooperation with its oneworld partners starting in summer 2013. A new interline agreement with Vueling and Air Europa, which is also to come into effect in summer 2013, will allow passengers to carry on booking a connecting flight from Majorca to Barcelona via the airberlin website. Furthermore, airberlin will continue to operate its non-stop services from Berlin, Düsseldorf and Vienna to Barcelona. Both Barcelona and Madrid can also be reached from several German airports via non-stop flights operated by our codeshare partner Iberia.

More holiday flights from Vienna

While remaining at a total of 23 planes, the NIKIi fleet will be standardised to operate only Airbus aircraft. This total concentration on Airbus will increase the number of seats available on existing routes. The route network from Vienna will be expanded on the one hand by extending the range of services to new tourist destinations in Greece, such as Kalamata, Karpathos, Kavala, Lesbos and Volos, and on the other hand by increasing the frequency of flights to existing destinations in Egypt, Spain or Turkey.

In addition airberlin is promoting its Eastern European services from its hub in the German capital. As a result the services from Vienna to Sofia, Bucharest and Belgrade will no longer be offered as non-stop flights from Vienna as of summer 2013, but increasingly transferred to Berlin.

In summer 2013 passengers will have a choice of nine destinations in Eastern Europe (Warsaw, Krakow, Gdansk, Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Budapest, Sofia, Bucharest) from Berlin. The airline will also be offering non-stop flights to Riga, the Latvian capital, in conjunction with its codeshare partner airBaltic.

Press contact

Alexandra Bakir

Phone: +49 (0)30 3434 1500