||Currently Not Operational
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BER-2011-09 - INCDT - A330
BER-2012-03 - JOINS ONEWORLD A330
BER-2013-04 - AIRBERLIN TOP 12 AIRPORTS
BER-2014-10 - ETIHAD AIRWAYS PARTNERS
BER-2014-12 - TO ABU DHABI
BER-2017-03 - Tegel Airport Verdi Strike.jpg
BER-2017-03-Berlin-Tegel Airport Strike - jpg
BER-2017-08 Berlin to SFO.jpg
BER-Cabin Attendant - 2015-07.jpg
FOUNDED IN 1978 AND STARTED OPERATIONS IN 1979. FORMED AS AN OREGON STATE BASED USA CHARTER COMPANY, AND BECAME A GERMAN COMPANY IN 1992. DOMESTIC & INTERNATIONAL, SCHEDULED & CHARTER, PASSENGER, JET AIRPLANE SERVICES.
SAATWINKLER DAMM 42-43
D-13627 BERLIN, GERMANY
Germany (Federal Republic of Germany) was established in 1949, it covers an area of 356,945 sq km, its population is 85 million, its capital city is Berlin, and its official language is German.
DECEMBER 1995: AIR BERLIN (BER) HAS SERVICES TO THE MEDITERRANEAN & NORTH AFRICAN RESORTS INCLUDING THE CANARY ISLANDS, MOROCCO, SPAIN, TUNISIA, AND TURKEY.
$86 MILLION, 2 ORDERS 737-400'S. LAST YEAR, 6 ORDERS (1998) 737-800'S. PLANS TO RETURN (GUI) LEASED (PW032; & PM561). IN MARCH & APRIL 1996, TO BE LEASED TO JET AIRWAYS (JPL). AIRPLANE (PW517) SOLD & LEASED BACK.
APRIL 1996: 2 737-400'S (PM561 & PW032) TO JET AIRWAYS (JPL). 1 757-200 (PW2037) (27351), AMERICAN TRANSAIR (AAT) 3 MONTH WET-LEASED.
MAY 1996: 1 737-400 (CFM56-3C1) (PW524) DELIVERY.
JUNE 1996: 1 737-400 DELIVERY (PW530).
JULY 1996: 737-400 (PW048) RETURNED TO FUTURA (FUA).
SEPTEMBER 1996: FARNBOROUGH 1 ORDER 737-400 (8TH).
OCTOBER 1996: NEGOTIATING SALE AND LEASE BACK OF 737-400 (PQ047) FROM PEMBROKE CAPITAL (PEB). SOLD 737-400 (PW526; PW527) TO AVIATION INVESTOR SERVICES, NEW JERSEY, USA (JUNE 1998).
DECEMBER 1996: 737-400 (PW517 AT TEAM AER LINGUS (TEL) FOR "D" CHECK.
JANUARY 1997: 1 ORDER 737-400 (2ND QUARTER) (PJ811) = RETURN OF (PW047) TO LEASING COMPANY FOR FUTURA (FUA). CONVERTED 2 OPTIONS 737-800'S TO FIRM ORDERS (APRIL 2001).
MARCH 1997: FLS AEROSPACE, STANSTED (ATD) COMPLETED "C" CHECK ON AIR-BERLIN (BER) 737-400. SOLD 737'S (PW526; PW527) TO AVIATION INVESTORS, USA.
APRIL 1997: 1 737-46J (PJ811) DELIVERY (28867). 747 (PW047) RETURNED TO (GUI). FLEET STILL 8.
MAY 1997: 300 EMPLOYEES.
JULY 1997: POSSIBLE SUB-LEASE OF 737 (PM561), EX-(PGS), (GUI) LEASED FROM NOVEMBER 1997 PREVIOUSLY OPERATED BY AIR-BERLIN (BER).
SEPTEMBER 1997: 737 (PW517), SOLD TO KG AIRCRAFT LEASING.
OCTOBER 1997: RECEIVED JEPPESEN MAINTENANCE INFORMATION SERVICES DATA FOR ALL MODELS, WORKING WITH (DLH) & OTHER AIRLINES TO DEVELOP A BROAD BASE OF DATA FOR SUPPORTING AIRLINES WITH AIRLINE SPECIFIC DIGITAL DOCUMENTS & RELATED SUPPORT. A CD "VIRTUAL VISIT" PROVIDED AN IMPRESSIVE OVERVIEW OF CAPABILITIES PROVIDING SUPPORT TO PUT ANY FORM OF DOCUMENT MEDIA INTO (SGML) FORMAT. HYPERLINK TEXT, SEARCH TOOLS AND CLICK-OF-A-BUTTON SPARES AVAILABILITY.
2 737-400'S T0 BE LEASED TO UKRAINE INTERNATIONAL (UKR).
NOVEMBER 1997: 1 737-400, (PGS) LEASED UNTIL APRIL 1998 (PM561).
FEBRUARY 1998: 737-400 (PM561) RETURNED TO (PGS). POSSIBLE LEASING A310 FROM (ACM) WHILE AWAITING 737-800 DELIVERY.
MARCH 1998: 1 757-200, AMERICAN TRANS AIR (AAT) WAITING FOR 1ST 737-800 IN APRIL 1998, BASED IN PADERBORN, GERMANY.
APRIL 1998: 400 EMPLOYEES.
PADERBORN/LIPPSTADT - PALMA DE MAJORCA.
1ST 737-800 DELIVERY.
MAY 1998: 2 737-86J'S DELIVERIES. EXERCISED 2 ORDERS +2 OPTIONS 737-86J'S (CFM56-7B26), AT $200 MILLION.
JUNE 1998: JOACHIM HUNOLD, MANAGING DIRECTOR, AND SIEGFRID OLIVO, DIRECTOR MAINTENANCE VISIT BOEING IN SEATTLE.
OCTOBER 1998: 737-86J (2807O; 28071) DELIVERIES.
NOVEMBER 1998: 737-86J (28072) DELIVERY.
FEBRUARY 1999: +4 ORDERS 737-800'S FOR TOTAL 14. 2 737-86J'S (28073, D-ABAS; 29120, D-ABAT) DELIVERIES.
APRIL 1999: 400 EMPLOYEES.
1 737-800 (CFM56-7B27) DELIVERY.
MAY 1999: 2 737-46J'S (27171; 27213), SOLD TO PEMBROKE (PEB) & LEASED TO MACEDONIAN (MDA).
SEPTEMBER 1999: 737-400 (PW517) TO BE RETURNED TO LESSOR NOVEMBER 1999. 1 737-8Q8 (28226), SABRE (SBE) 6 MONTH LEASED OCTOBER 1999.
DECEMBER 1999: 737-800 DELIVERY.
JANUARY 2000: 1999 = APPROXIMATELY 3 MILLION PASSENGERS (+50%).
IN APRIL 2000, FRANKFURT - PALMA.
+6 ORDERS 737-800'S.
FEBRUARY 2000: 737-86J (30062, D-ABAW) DELIVERY.
APRIL 2000: 400 EMPLOYEES.
737-86J (517-30063, D-ABAX) DELIVERY. 1 A320, TRANSAER (TLF) WET-LEASED TO COVER FOR LATE DELIVERIES OF 737-800.
MAY 2000: 1 737-86J (567-30499, D-ABAY) DELIVERY.
JULY 2000: 1999 = 3M PASSENGERS (+46.7%); 1,000 EMPLOYEES (+112.8%).
DECIDES TO INSTALL WINGLETS ON ALL 737-800'S. 737-86J (619-30501, D-ABAC) DELIVERY.
AUGUST 2000: FLIGHT OPERATIONS DEPARTMENT ADOPTS myboeingfleet.com.
SEPTEMBER 2000: HARTMUT KUNKEL, MAINTENANCE MANAGER.
2 ORDERS (NOVEMBER 2000) 737-8K2'S, TRANSAVIA (TAV) LEASED FOR WINTER OPERATIONS.
NOVEMBER 2000: 2 737-8K2'S (498-28379, PH-HZG; 549-30389, PH-HZJ), TRANSAVIA (TAV) WET-LEASED.
JANUARY 2001: IN APRIL 2001, ALTENBERG, BREMEN, & FRIEDRICHSHAFEN TO PALM DE MALLORCA; NUREMBERG, BERLIN (TEGEL), HANNOVER, & DUSSELDORF TO SAMOS; HANNOVER TO KARPATHOS; DUSSELDORF TO CHANIA; NUREMBERG TO CATANIA; AND NUREMBERG TO LAMEZIA TERME (737-400/-800).
FEBRUARY 2001: 737-86J (759-30876, D-ABAD) DELIVERY.
MARCH 2001: +2 ORDERS (OCTOBER 2002) 737-800'S. PLANS TO PHASE OUT ITS 737-400'S BY 2003 AND RETROFIT ITS 737-800'S WITH WINGLETS THIS SUMMER. 1 737-86J (782-30877, D-ABAE) DELIVERY.
APRIL 2001: 1 737-8K2 (498-28379), RETURNED TO TRANSAVIA (TAV). 1 737-85H (178-29444, OY-SEH), STERLING (STR) WET-LEASED.
MAY 2001: 1 737-86J (844-30878, D-ABAF) DELIVERY.
JUNE 2001: 2 ORDERS 737-800'S. CONFIRMS THAT ITS BLENDED WINGLETS ARE "SAVING A MINIMUM OF 4% ON FUEL AND UP TO 6% ON LONGER FLIGHTS. CAN REDUCE POWER SETTINGS ON TAKE-OFF AND CLIMB FASTER TO ALTITUDE. THE RESULT IS A REDUCTION IN BOTH NOISE FOOTPRINTS AND ENGINE EMISSIONS," STATED SIEGFRID OLIVIO, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR.
1 737-86J (871-20879, D-ABAG) DELIVERY. 737-85H (178-29444) RETURNED TO STERLING (STR).
JULY 2001: 737-46B (2088-25262), RETURNED TO (BOU). 737-86J (879-30570, D-ABBA "DANCING QUEEN") DELIVERY, (GAX) LEASED.
OCTOBER 2001: WINTER SERVICE IN 2002 TO CATANIA, AND SEVILLE.
1 737-86J (961-32624, D-ABBB) DELIVERY.
NOVEMBER 2001: 737-8Q8 (30637) RETURNED TO EXCEL (SBE). 737-86J (995-32625, D-ABBC) DELIVERY.
JANUARY 2002: 2001 = 5.5M PASSENGERS (+33%).
737-86J (1043-30880, D-ABBD) DELIVERY.
FEBRUARY 2002: 1 737-86J DELIVERY.
APRIL 2002: 1,250 EMPLOYEES.
OWNERS: REIDUN & KIM LUNDGREN (26%); HANS-JOACHIM KNIEPS (25%); SEVERIN & RUDOLF SCHULTE (25%); WERNER HUEHN (15%); & JOACHIM HUNOLD (9%).
September 2002: Berlin (Tegel), Dortmund, and Paderborn to London Stansted (STN). In October 2002, Nuremburg - London Stansted (STN) and Dortmund to Bergamo/Vienna (Wien). In November 2002, Hamburg - (STN), and Dusseldorf to Barcelona. Also, seasonal winter service Palma to Madrid, Barcelona, Grenada, & Ibiza (daily).
October 2002: Operates to 35 tourist destinations, mainly around the Mediterranean. Now is forming a scheduled-flights entity, to be called "City Shuttle," with which it intends to do battle in the budget travel market. "City Shuttle" will operate separately from Air-Berlin (BER)'s leisure-market flights, on behalf of tour operators. Contrary to other recent, low-cost, German start-ups, it will not focus on one airport such as Cologne-Bonn, but will instead, depart from 7 airports initially, to European destinations, such as London (Stansted), Milan, Barcelona, and Vienna. It will use 737-400's, 167 passengers (PAX), and 737-800's, 184 passenger (PAX) from the mainline fleet.
1 737-8K2 (28379, PH-HZG), Transavia (TAV) wet-leased, until March 2003.
November 2002: 1 737-8Q8 (30637, G-XLAE), Excel (SBE) wet-leased for northern winter season.
December 2002: Munster/Osnabruck to Rome - Milan (Orio al Serio) (6/week). Resumes Berlin (Tegel) - Zurich/Vienna/Rome (CIO) (daily).
737-86J (32918, D-ABBG), delivery.
January 2003: In February 2003, Hamburg - Vienna. In March 2003, Moenchengladbach - London (STN)/Milan (Orio al Serio)/Zurich. In April 2003, "BerlinJet" Berlin (Tegel) - Nice. Stuttgart - Palma de Mallorca. In May 2003, Moenchengladbach - Vienna - Karlsruhe/Baden - Baden - London (STN).
2002 = 6.6 Million passengers (+20%) (5.5 Million). 1,650 employees received a year-end EUR 1,500 bonus, plus a cash premium, equivalent to an additional month's salary.
Contract with AAR Aircraft Component Services, Amsterdam, to provide component management and repair for 27 737-800's, including managing all warranty work and supplying comprehensive maintenance repair & overhaul (MRO) support for 129 Line Repaceable Units (LRU)'s.
February 2003: Vienna - Dortmund - London Stansted (STN) (2/day). In April 2003, Munich - Palma de Mallorca (737-800, 2/day), with connections to Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga, and Ibiza.
2 737-86J's (32919, D-ABBH; 30286, D-AEBJ) deliveries.
March 2003: Berlin (Tegel) - Milan (Bergamo/Orio al Serio).
Projects it will carry 8.3 million passengers in 2003.
1,400 employees. SITA: TXLEXAB.
737-73S (29082, D-AHIA), Hamburg International (HAU) wet-leased. 737-86J (32920, D-ABBI), Boullioun (BOU) leased, with winglets. 2 737-8K5's (27987, D-AHFO; 28623, D-AHFS), Hapag Lloyd (HAP) wet-leased. 737-8K2 (30391, PH-HZL), Transavia (TAV) wet-leased. Intends to lease 2 737-800's from Hapag Lloyd (HAP) for 3 years from April 2003, for the Northern summer season. Plans to order 40 new airplanes in 2003.
April 2003: Avionics component repair contract to (SAS) Component, Denmark, for 29 737-800's.
737-7BK (30617) Hamburg International (HAU) wet-leased.
May 2003: 2 737-700's (CFM56-7B), Boullioun (BOU) leased. 1 737-8BK (33013, D-ABBK), CIT (TCI) leased delivery.
June 2003: 1,450 employees.
August 2003: Lufthansa (DLH)'s regional partner Eurowings (EUY) has its backing for its low-cost subsidiary, germanwings (RFG) to counter-attack the growing challenge of other low-cost carriers (LCC)s, particularly Ryanair (RYR) and EasyJet (EZY), on its own turf. They do not feel threatened by Air-Berlin (BER), Deutsche BA (DBA), Hapag Lloyd (HAP) Express, or Germania (GER) Express. (DLH) is also dribbling onto the market, special low fares for early bookers on its own domestic and cross-border services.
In November 2003, Palma de Mallorca - Valencia (2/day, except Friday). Palma de Mallorca - Seville. Nuremberg - Rome (CIA) (5/week).
September 2003: 2002 = 12.73 Billion (RPK) traffic (+19.7%); +21.4% (ASK) capacity; 77.2% LF load factor (-1.1); 6.6 Million passengers (PAX) (+20%); 1,527 employees (+11.5%). Projects 2003 = 8.2 Million passengers (PAX) (6.6 Million).
2002 TOP WORLD AIRLINES TRAFFIC (RPK) (Billions):
46 (THY) 16.59; 47 (ATZ) 16.30; 48 (LTU) 16.10; 49 (JAA) 15.90; 50 (HAP) 14.40; 51 (JMA) 13.97; 52 (PAL) 13.52; 53 (AMX) 13.31; 54 (AIN) 13.25; 55 (FIN) 12.79; 56 (BER) 12.73; 57 (ELA) 12.54; 58 (TPR) 12.08; 59 (MON) 11.86; 60 (GUL) 11.84; 61 (CMA) 11.74.
In November 2003, is switching flights from Monchengladbach to Dusseldorf, because of operating restrictions caused by a short runway. Dusseldorf - London (Stansted) (3/day), Milan (Bergamo) (daily), & to Zurich (2/day).
November 2003: In April 2004, Berlin (Tegel) - Barcelona (daily).
Plans to lease 2 737-800's from Transavia (TAV) for the summer 2004 season.
December 2003: Joins European Low Fares Airline Association (ELFAA), including Air-Berlin (BER), Basiq Air (TAV), FlyBe, Flying Finn (FFW), Hapag Lloyd Express (HAP), Ryanair (RYR), Sky Europe (SKP), Sterling (STR), Sverigefly, and VolareWeb (VLR).
London Stansted (STN) - Palma de Mallorca. In April 2004, Munich - Barcelona.
January 2004: 2003 = 9.6 Million passengers (PAX) (+43%) (6.7 Million PAX), overtaking Deutsche BA (DBA)'s 3.1 Million (PAX), to become the 2nd-largest German carrier behind Lufthansa (DLH). It has attributed the sharp rise in passengers to the success of its scheduled City Shuttle services from 8 German airports to London, Vienna, Milan, Rome, Barcelona, & Zurich. Another major contributor has been the highly successful shuttle to Palma de Mallorca, where it is the market leader in Germany. It increased passengers on this route alone from 1.9 Million passengers to 2.9 Million.
Air-Berlin (BER) is a closely held private company that functions as both a charter and a scheduled budget-price carrier. It flies from 18 German airports to 42 destinations in Europe and North Africa with 44 airplanes.
Austrian "N L Luftfahrt" and Air-Berlin (BER) have formed an alliance and (BER) has acquired 24% of Niki Lauda's shares in FlyNiki (NKI). (BER) will be providing its services to look after sales and route marketing as well as logistics. The primary objective of the co-operation is to jointly open up the Austrian and eastern European markets. FlyNiki (NKI) is currently operating an A320, 174Y (PAX), and an A321, 210Y (PAX), from Vienna and Salzburg to the Canaries, Madeira, and Egypt. Another 2 A320's will be added in April 2004, signaling the start of operations as a low-cost carrier (LCC).
March 2004: Plans a stock market listing in 2005 to help finance the purchase for about $4 Billion of 70 new airplanes over a 5-year period.
Now operates from 18 German airports to 42 cities in Europe, Turkey and North Africa.
In May 2004, Vienna - Munich (12/week), Vienna - Munster/Osnabruck (daily), & Vienna - Hannover (daily).
2 737-800's to be returned to Transavia (TAV). Will be replaced by 2 former Air Horizons 737-85F's (28821; 28823), (GAX) leased. 3 F 100's, Germania (GER) wet-leased as part of a non-compete agreement.
April 2004: May establish a holding company outside Germany when it becomes a public company. The move would avoid the country's co-determination laws which gives employee representatives up to half of a supervisory board, which oversees strategy and has the right to hire and fire executives at listed companies.
Moved its Rome operations from Ciampini to Fiumicino.
5-year contract with Lufthansa Technik (LTK) (DLH) covering maintenance & overhaul of (CFM56-7)'s for its 34 737-800's at (LTK)'s Powerplant Services, Hamburg.
737-7BK (30617) & 737-73S (29082) returned to Hamburg International (HAU). 2 737-8K2's (28373; 30392) returned to Transavia (TAV). 737-85F (28821, D-ABBL), GATX (GAX) leased.
May 2004: Berlin (TXL), Dusseldorf, Munich - Budapest (daily). Hamburg - Budapest (3/week). In June 2004, Berlin (TXL) - Warsaw (6/week).
Berlin Templehof airport closure has been brought forward to the end of September 2004.
737-76Q (30293, D-ABBN), Boullioun (BOU) leased, painted in "7E7" color scheme.
June 2004: A consortium of 5 German airlines: Air-Berlin (BER), Germania (GER), dba (formerly Deutsche BA) (DBA), Windrose Air, & Hapag Lloyd (HAP), are taking steps to take over the operation of Berlin's legendary 3rd airport Tempelhof, which has been scheduled to close soon.
In November 2004, Dusseldorf - Rome (FCO), Warsaw (daily). Nuremberg - Budapest, Vienna (weekdays).
July 2004: Will start an alliance with Hapag Lloyd (HAP) involving 300 code share flights/week, coordinating their schedules from 4 airports: Nuremberg, Stuttgart, Munich, and Palma de Mallorca, where both have a strong presence. (HAP) will concentrate on routes to Egypt and the Canary Islands, while (BER) will focus on flights to the Spanish mainland, the Balearic Islands and Portugal.
In November 2004, Hamburg - Barcelona, Manchester, and Zurich - Palma de Mallorca.
1st 6 months = 5.4 Million passengers (PAX) (+39%); 77.5% LF (load factor) (+1.5).
September 2004: Forecasts 2004 = 12.5 MILLION passengers (PAX) (+30%).
Selects TEAC Aerospace, AIRTRACK satellite-based moving map system with installation by Lufthansa Technik (DLH) (LTK) for 37 737's.
October 2004: 1st 9 months = 9 Million passengers (+38.5%).
Selects Lufthansa (DLH) Systems to implement e-ticketing with a phased rollout throughout (BER)'s system.
In November 2004, Zurich - Rome (daily). In December 2004, Berlin Tegel (TXL) to Madrid (737-800, daily) and Palma de Mallorca to Reus (daily). Berlin (TXL), Dusseldorf, Hamburg, & Paderborn to Manchester. Paderhorn - Southampton (3/week).
November 2004: $6.6 Billion, Air-Berlin (BER) and its low-fare partner Niki (NKI) (Air-Berlin (BER) has a 24% stake) 70/40 orders (September 2005) A320's, 174Y, including 60 for (BER) & 10 for (NKI).
737-86N (28608, D-ABBQ), Futura (FUA) leased.
January 2005: In February 2005, Leipzig - London Stansted (STN) (3/week). In May 2005, Euro-Shuttle, Berlin Tegel - Amsterdam.
2004 = 12 Million passengers (+25.4%). Projects 13.7 Million passengers (+14%) for 2005. In 2005, +350 staff and 1st of 60 new A320's.
737-832 (30827), delivery.
March 2005: Selects Rockwell Collins avionics for 70/40 A320's.
April 2005: A320-214 (1578, EC-HZU), Iberworld (IBW) wet-leased.
May 2005: 2,300 employees.
Berlin - Amsterdam (daily).
737-86N (28618, EC-ILX), Travel Service Espana (VSG) wet-leased.
June 2005: To increase its presence at Palma de Mallorca hub in November 2005, with frequencies to Lisbon, Porto, Seville, & Madrid, increased to 2/day. During summer, will operate 262 weekly flights from Palma de Mallorca to continental Europe, mainly to Germany, plus an additional 93 weekly flights to cities in the Spanish maonland and in Portugal. In November 2005, Palma de Mallorca to Santiago de Compostela, its 12th Spanish destination.
July 2005: 1st 6 months = 6.1 Million passengers (+16%). The highest gains were seen in Vienna (+33.6%); Dusseldorf (+28%); Zurich (+25%), & Palma de Mallorca (+24.6%). Expect to reach 13.7 Million passengers by end of 2005.
2,300 employees (+4.5%).
October 2005: European low-cost seat capacity rose by +29% (ASK) capacity in 2004, accounting for 22% of intra-European capacity - - up from 11% in 2002 - - and "in excess of +30% (ASK) of all passengers traveling on intra-European routes," according to Route Development Co's recently released Low-Cost Monitor 2005. Traditional carriers, meanwhile, "remained almost static in 2003 and increased seat capacity by only +2% (ASK) in 2004, according to the study, which was supplied by the UK-based company. It reveals that 35 airports within Europe rely on Low Cost Carriers (LCC)s for more than 95% of annual departures offered and that 233 airports have some level of low-cost presence. London Stansted remains the largest low-cost hub in Europe, offering 12 million departing (LCC) seats in 2004. Ryanair (RYR) and easyJet (EZY) dominate the market segment, with nearly 50% of low-cost seats on offer. But the rest of the sector is highly fragmented: 33 carriers tracked by the Monitor provide the remaining 50%, with No 3 Air-Berlin (BER) having just 7.4%. The report notes that (RYR) and (EZY) "now offer more intra-European seats than a number of European majors including (KLM), Swiss (CSR) and Alitalia (ALI), and of those larger network airlines, only Lufthansa (DLH) offered growth in capacity in both 2003 and 2004." The UK and Germany dominate in terms of low-cost capacity available, accounting for "just under the half of the total." (LCC)s operated in 472 international city-pair markets touching Germany and 96 domestic German markets. For the UK, the numbers were 464 and 90 respectively. Spain was third, "but this predominantly is driven by the inbound capacity offered by non-Spanish carriers," according to the Monitor.
Air-Berlin (BER) intends to strengthen its position in Zurich, where it already has based a leased A320. The carrier applied for slots to operate four-times-daily flights from Zurich to Frankfurt. It also is looking into adding service from Zurich to Munich, Malaga, Valencia, and Alicante.
It said it is expecting 13.8 million passengers in 2005 and a turnover of €1.275 billion.
2 737-76N's (28654, D-ABBS; 32582, D-ABBT), ex-Aloha Airlines (ALO), (GEF) leased. A320-214 (2539, D-ABDA), delivery.
November 2005: Air-Berlin (BER) will hire 200 flight attendants (CA) from spring 2006. The new cabin crew (CA) will be based in Dusseldorf, Dortmund, Hamburg, Hannover and Leipzig. The carrier will add up to nine new A320s next year. In addition, it plans to strengthen its position at its Nuremberg hub, adding service to Paris, Catania, Lamezia Terme, Brindisi, Mykonos, Thira, and Milan Bergamo and additional frequencies to London and Vienna.
(BER) will turn the tables on Ryanair (RYR) and easyJet (EZY), which have been opening bases in Germany, when it launches a transfer hub at London Stansted December 16 and begins operating domestic services within the UK offering twice-daily flights to Manchester and Glasgow. "Our UK customers already know and value our service, so it makes sense for (BER) to increase our presence in the British market. In doing so, we become the first German airline to fly inside Britain. After all, our rivals are competing with us in the German market - - so we will enjoy challenging them here," Managing Partner, Joachim Hunold said in a statement.
In addition to offering in-country services, Manchester and Glasgow originating passengers can connect at Stansted for onward travel to Berlin, Dusseldorf and Nuremberg twice daily, with at least daily service to Munster/Osnabruck, Hannover and Paderborn. Hannover and Paderborn will be connected twice a day from May. The airline also will increase the number of Stansted - Leipzig/Halle flights from three to seven per week. It serves Palma de Mallorca and Vienna from the London airport as well.
(BER) said it becomes the first airline to use Stansted as a transfer hub; until now it only has been used for point-to-point services. The airline estimates average transfer time will be 45 - 60 minutes. It will establish its own transit-room and passport-control facility at the airport. It is evaluating further domestic routes in the UK, Hunold added.
According to Route Development Company's 2005 Low Cost Monitor, (LCC)s flew 90 UK domestic routes last year operating 149,413 departures. Stansted, home to both easyJet (EZY) and Ryanair (RYR), was by far the busiest (LCC) airport in Europe with 12.1 million departing seats. Glasgow was 21st with 1.5 million departing (LCC) seats while Manchester was 42nd with nearly 175,000 seats. In terms of size, (BER) is a good deal smaller than either rival, with a 7.4% share of (LCC) seats in 2004 versus 24.3% for (RYR) and 23.8% for (EZY), according to the "Monitor."
(BER) intends to strengthen its position in Zurich, where has based a leased A320, applying for slots to operate 4X daily from Zurich to Frankfurt. It is considering service from Zurich to Munich, Malaga, Valencia and Alicante.
(BER) carried 1.4 million passengers in October, up +11.3% over October 2004. Year-to-date boardings were up +14.6% to 11.7 million. Turnover for the period was estimated at €1.09 billion/$1.3 billion, surpassing the year-end total for 2004 of €1.05 billion. Managing Director, Joachim Hunold continues to anticipate a positive result for 2005 despite high fuel costs.
dba (DBA) and (BER) announced that they are exploring an alliance and/or marketing cooperation that may include linking to each other's websites. "Both networks combine perfectly. Ours is based on the domestic point-to-point traffic. (BER)'s focus is on European routes," (DBA) owner Hans Rudolf Woehrl said in a statement. (DBA) pilots already operate some (BER) airplanes. (BER) has become an even bigger player following the strange events of a few weeks ago: Shortly before he died, Germania (GER) founder and CEO, Heinrich Bischoff transferred the management responsibility of his airline to Air-Berlin (BER) Managing Director, Joachim Hunold. (DBA) is leasing 21 airplanes from (GER). (DBA) and (BER) combined operate a fleet of approximately 80 airplanes.
December 2005: Air-Berlin (BER) will inaugurate nonstop service from Dusseldorf to Paris (CDG) on February 3rd. The airline will operate 2 flights a day with only 1 on Saturdays using a 737-700. On the same date (BER) will start Dusseldorf - Helsinki service with 6 flights a week, daily except Saturdays.
(BER) inaugurated nonstop service from London Stansted to Edinburgh and Glasgow last week Friday. Each of the routes is served by 2 daily flights using a 737.
(BER) will inaugurate nonstop service from London Stansted to Alicante on May 1st and operate a daily flight using the 737-700.
Lufthansa (DLH) and tourism company TUI are interested in joining a consortium to bid for German Air Traffic Control (ATC) provider Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS). (DLH) CEO Wolfgang Mayrhuber said possible partners include Fraport, Munich Airport, Air-Berlin (BER) and TUI leisure carrier Hapagfly (HAP), Reuters reported. "A majority held by a German consortium is the right way," he said. TUI CEO Michael Frenzel told Financial Times Deutschland he wanted to avoid any single company having a dominant position in (DFS), perhaps enabling it to raise (ATC) charges to its German competitors. Fraport and German construction firm and airport operator Hochtief reportedly have said they would be interested in bidding for (DFS) in a consortium. The government plans to sell 74.9% of the entity to private investors in 2006.
A320-214 (2619, D-ABDB) delivery.
January 2006: 2005 = 13.5 million passengers (+12.2%) (#6 LCC).
Plans to develop London's Stansted (STN) airport into a transfer hub to integrate further UK cities into its "City Shuttle" program. Will launch Glasgow & Manchester to (STN) (2/day), offering onward connections to its German destinations of Berlin, Dusseldorf, Hanover, Leipzig, Munster-Osnabruck, Nuremburg, and Paderhorn, with other UK routes under evaluation.
Air-Berlin (BER) is the largest foreign carrier at (STN) and its recent dramatic growth has enabled it to firmly position itself as a leading carrier in its markets throughout Europe. It is Germany's second-largest airline, Europe's third-largest low-cost carrier, and through its operations at its hub on the Balearic Island of Mallorca, it is Spain's third-largest airline and Palma's biggest operator.
(BER) will launch Sunday - Friday, London Stansted (STN) - Helsinki service via Dusseldorf from February 3.
(BER) once again is considering an Initial Public Offering (IPO) and will make its decision in the spring, according to a company spokesperson cited by Reuters. Handelsblatt reported that the carrier plans to launch an (IPO) designed to raise up to €700 million/$845.6 million.
Separately, (BER) said it transported 13.5 million passengers in 2005, up +12.45% compared to 2004. Turnover grew +17.1% to €1.23 billion/$1.49 billion. During 2006, it expects to take delivery of nine A320s and a further 49 through 2011. It currently operates a fleet of 52 airplanes.
(BER) named Ulf Huettmeyer to its newly created CFO position from February 1.
February 2006: Air-Berlin (BER) added Helsinki and Paris service from Dusseldorf, both routes are operated with a 737-700. (BER) increased further its massive presence at its Palma de Majorca hub. It added 20 weekly frequencies from several German airports and now operates a total of 300 flights per week from Germany, Austria, Amsterdam and London to Palma. It started daily flights from Dusseldorf to Paris and Helsinki on February 3. (BER) and dba (DBA) are evaluating the possibility of codeshare flights starting with the 2006 - 2007 winter schedule. (BER) will launch six-times-weekly services from Berlin Tegel and Hamburg to Copenhagen as well as a twice-daily Dusseldorf - Copenhagen service from May 2. Daily Berlin Tegel - Helsinki flights also will commence in May.
A320-214 (2685, D-ABDD), delivery.
March 2006: Air-Berlin (BER) has announced various new routes for the upcoming summer season:
Dusseldorf - Budapest: 4x weekly 737-700/F 100 service resuming on April 2;
Palma de Mallorca - Menorca: 2x weekly 737-800 service starting on
Zurich - Lanzarote - Las Palmas: weekly 737-800 service starting on May 6.
(BER) will launch 2X weekly London Stansted (STN) - Sylt service via Berlin Tegel and a 12X weekly (STN) - Belfast service on May 2.
It is reportedly planning to add new routes from Berlin Tegel to
Copenhagen and Helsinki, from Dusseldorf to Copenhagen, from
Frankfurt to Zurich, from Hamburg to Copenhagen and from London
Stansted to Edinburgh. (BER) has, however, given up its Palma de Mallorca - Reus route.
(BER) is invading a big Lufthansa (DLH) market. From April 24, Germany's second-largest carrier will start up to four daily weekday flights from Zurich to Frankfurt. (BER) will launch a twice-weekly London Stansted - Sylt service via Berlin Tegel from May aboard an A320.
(BER) will launch a 12-times-weekly Belfast - London Stansted service on May 2.
(BER) announced that it is "ready for the stock market" and intends to go public. The timing of the flotation on the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange was not announced, and the airline said it was "impossible" to forecast the proceeds from the move. German media reported earlier this year that the Initial Public Offering (IPO) is designed to raise €700 million/$834.8 million. Commerzbank and Morgan Stanley were appointed as joint global coordinator and joint bookrunner.
In preparation, the company has transformed from a general partnership into a public limited company registered in London. Headquarters will remain in Berlin and it will continue to pay taxes in Germany. (BER) said it is aiming to place its shares with foreign institutional investors, although private investors also will have access.
"If we want to continue our growth within the context of tough European competition, we will have to be in an appropriate position as far as the capital side is concerned," CEO, Joachim Hunold said. "Our shareholders have now paved the way for this to happen. In the run-up to the company's flotation they have already increased the share capital by €130 million."
The carrier currently operates 54 airplanes and is scheduled to take delivery of six A320s this year. (BER) leased 3 used A319-100s (2383, D-ABGA; 2467, D-ABGB; 2468, D-ABGC), ex-Independence Air (BLR), from ILFC (International Lease Finance Corporation) (ILF) for 5 years.
The 15-year campaign to replace Berlin's fractured three-airport system with a single modern facility built to international standards gained a major victory, when a German court overruled environmentalists and local residents who objected to plans to replace Berlin Schoenefeld with a new Berlin - Brandenburg International (BBI). Work had been halted on the €2 billion/$2.42 billion project pending the decision. The new airport is scheduled to open in 2011. (BBI) will have an initial capacity of 22 million passengers annually and will be capable of being expanded to handle 40 million. Schoenefeld, Tegel and Templehof shared some 17.2 million passengers last year, according to Bloomberg. The new airport will have a curfew between 10 pm and 6 am.
A320-214 (2696, D-ABDE), delivery.
April 2006: Air-Berlin (BER) carried 2.75 million passengers in the first quarter, up +8.5% over the year-ago period. Highest growth was recorded at Nuremberg (up +24.4%), Paderborn (+24.5%) and Hannover (+12.7%). Top airports outside Germany were London Stansted (up +60%) and Milan Bergamo (+42%).
(BER) suffered a net loss of -€115.9 million/-$140.3 million in 2005, up from €2.9 million in 2004, largely owing to €100 million in one-time charges stemming from debt revaluation and deferred taxes, according to Reuters. The airline flew 13.5 million passengers last year, up +12.5%. CEO, Joachim Hunold, who owns 5% of the carrier, told reporters that (BER) is pressing ahead with its Initial Public Offering (IPO) and hopes to launch it prior to the start of soccer's quadrennial World Cup, which will kick off in Germany on June 9. He said he will not sell any of his stake but did not rule out listing more than 50% of the company, Reuters said.
(BER) may announce more details of its upcoming (IPO) this month. It is expected that the carrier's stock could begin trading as early as May 5. According to German daily, Boersen-Zeitung, a possible press meeting Friday will signal the start of the road show for the offering, which includes a visit by CEO, Joachim Hunold to the USA to attract interest from Wall Street in the German low-fare airline.
Another newspaper, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, is reporting that around 50% of the company will be floated, with a total transaction value of between €700 and €900 million/$858.6 million - $1.1 billion, which is higher than had been expected.
Later, (BER), as expected, began the road show for its initial public offering (IPO) that is expected to raise gross proceeds of €350 million with net proceeds to the low-fare airline of €290 million/$358 million. The subscription period begins April 28 and trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange will commence May 5. More than half of the offering comes from newly issued shares, with current shareholders providing the balance. Selling shareholders have agreed not to release or sell any further shares for a period of six months following the (IPO). CEO, Joachim Hunold does not plan to sell down his 5% holding and has agreed not to do so for 18 months, according to the company.
When the offering is completed, the free float is expected to be at least 50%. Members of (BER)'s Top Bonus customer loyalty program will receive preferential treatment in the allocation of shares but will not receive a discount.
According to the German DPA news agency, around 50% of the new capital will go toward the airline's recently ordered A320s, 40% will be invested to extend the current network and the remaining 10% will be used to refinance debt.
(BER) expects to return to the black this year on a 20% rise in turnover following a loss of €115.9 million in 2005, largely attributable to noncash special items. Commerzbank, which is a joint global coordinator with Morgan Stanley, forecast that the airline will earn €50 million in 2006. Nord/LB and Societe Generale are co-lead managers.
May 2006: Air-Berlin (BER) delayed the launch of its Initial Public Offering (IPO), owing to the market's concern over the share price, according to press reports. (BER) reportedly was asking for €15 - €17.5 ($19 - $22.10) per share. The (IPO) now is planned for May 10 with 42.5 million shares priced at €11.5 - €14.5, with (BER) hoping to generate €489 - €616 million.
(BER) operates low-fare flights on behalf of German tour operators to holiday resorts in the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands.
(IATA) Code: AB - 745. (ICAO) Code: BER (Callsign - AIR BERLIN).
Parent organization/shareholders: Reidun & Kim Lundgren (26%); Hans-Joachim Knieps (25%); Werner Huehn (15%); Severin Schulte (12.5%); Rudolf Schulte (12.5%); & Joachimm Hunold (5%); & Johannes Zurnieden (4%).
Owns: Niki (NKI) (24%).
Alliances: Germania (GER) Express; Hapagfly (HAP); & Niki (NKI).
Main Base: Berlin Tegel airport (TXL).
Hubs: Nuremberg airport (NUE); London Stansted airport (STN); & Palma de Mallorca airport (PMI).
Domestic, Scheduled Destinations: Berlin; Bremen; Cologne; Dortmund; Dresden; Dusseldorf; Erfurt; Frankfurt; Hamburg; Hanover; Karlsruhe/Baden Baden; Leipzig/Halle; Munich; Muenster; Munich; Nuremburg; Paderborn; Rostock-Laage; & Stuttgart.
International, Scheduled Destinations: Agadir; Alicante; Almeria; Amsterdam; Antalya; Barcelona; Bilbao; Bournemouth; Budapest; Catania; Faro; Fuerteventura; Funchal; Glasgow; Hurghada; Ibiza; Jerez de la Frontera; Lanzarote; Las Palmas; Lisbon; London; Luxor; Madrid; Malaga; Manchester; Milan; Monastir; Mulhouse/Basle; Murcia; Palma de Mallorca; Paris; Porto; Rome; Santa Cruz de la Palma; Santiago De Compostela; Seville; Sharm el Sheikh; Tenerife; Thessaloniki; Turin; Valencia; Vienna; & Zurich.
June 2006: Air-Berlin (BER) reported a first-quarter net loss of -€31 million/-$39.9 million, narrowed from a net loss of -€39 million in the year-ago quarter, and CEO, Joachim Hunold predicted a "positive net profit for the full year 2006." Revenues for a quarter that the carrier described as "seasonally weak" were €224 million, up from €216 million last year. Operating expenses totaled €284.8 million, an increase from €254.3 million in the year-ago quarter, producing an operating loss of -€57.8 million, widened from an operating loss of -€37 million in the year-ago period. In its quarterly report, the carrier said it is "rigorously continuing on its expansion path," noting that it carried +8.5% more passengers in the three months compared to the prior year and posted a +24.8% gain in passenger numbers for April. Load factor for the first quarter was up +1 point to 71.2% LF.
(BER) is expanding its presence in Zurich (ZRH), turning it into a minihub for flights to Spain and Portugal. From November 4, the carrier will start weekly flights from (ZRH) to Las Palmas, Tenerife, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and Madeira. A spokesperson confirmed that flights will be fed by services from Frankfurt, Berlin, Hamburg, Dusseldorf and Vienna. Air-Berlin (BER) will add a third daily flight from Zurich to Hamburg on November 1. It has become the No 2 carrier at (ZRH) behind Swiss International Air Lines (CSR), serving 700,000 passengers in 2005.
Lufthansa (DLH) Flight Training (LFT) placed its second (CAE)-built A320 simulator at its training center at Berlin Schoenefeld. The Level "D" device is equipped with an EP-1000CT visual system from Evans & Sutherland and will be used mainly by Air-Berlin (BER). It is the first simulator installed in (LFT)'s new simulator building. Total investment in the simulator and expansion of the facility amounts to more than €18 million/$22.9 million.
(BER) wins "Best Low-Cost Airline award worldwide in 2006; best Low-Cost Airline in Europe in 2005 and 2006," based on survey of 13 million+ airline passengers in over 90 countries.
(BER), the third biggest low-cost carrier (LCC) in Europe, announced it had won both the "best Low-Cost Airline 2006 worldwide" award from UK-based airline consultants Skytrax, as well as the "best European Low-Cost Airline" for the second year running. CEO, Joachim Hunold said: "Low-cost travel will only become more popular, and that means more competition. We always wanted to stand out from the rest with our high levels of customer service, and that is starting to feed back to us from surveys such as Skytrax. We are really delighted to have gone one better than last year and scooped the Worldwide award as well."
The World Airline Awards® are based on Skytrax's annual World Airline Survey which measures the customer satisfaction levels of over 13 million airline passengers from over 90 countries. Air-Berlin (BER) is Germany’s second largest airline and the third largest low-fare carrier in Europe. The airline was founded in 1978 and has been enjoying steady growth ever since. The airline has set new standards with its Euro Shuttle, which links European cities. The attractive price-performance ratio appeals equally to those travelling on business and for leisure. (BER) has over 2,800 employees. The fleet currently consists of 56 airplanes, and with an average age of less than six years it is one of the most modern in Europe. In 2005, the airline achieved a turnover of 1.22 billion euros and carried 13.5 million passengers.
Berlin Airports, which manages the city's three airports, finalized a €350 million/$439.7 million bridge loan with an international consortium of banks headed by Commerzbank, in another step toward transforming Berlin Schoenefeld into the larger and more modern Berlin Brandenburg International Airport. The consortium also includes Helaba, KfW/IPEX and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation as co-arrangers. Other members are the investment banks in the states of Berlin and Brandenburg.
Germany's leading carriers, in an effort to strengthen their lobbying position with political and economic institutions, have transformed the old Arbeitsgemeinschaft Deutscher Luftfahrtunternehmen into the Bundesverband der Deutschen Fluggesellschaften (BDF). The new association includes Air-Berlin (BER), Condor Airlines (CDF), dba (DBA), Eurowings/Germanwings (RFG), Germania (GER), Hamburg International (HAU), Hapagfly (HAP), (LTU) German Airlines, and Lufthansa (DLH). The carriers operate more than 500 airplanes, employ approximately 100,000 and serve nearly 100 million passengers annually. Air-Berlin (BER) CEO, Joachim Hunold was named (BDF) President.
A320-214 (2820, D-ABDF) delivery.
July 2006: A320-214 (2835, D-ABDG), delivery.
August 2006: Air-Berlin (BER), Germany's second-biggest carrier after Lufthansa (DLH), said that it will take over 100% of dba (DBA), the country's No 3 airline.
The contract was signed in Munich by dba (DBA) owner, Hans Rudolf Woehrl and (BER) CEO, Joachim Hunold after several weeks of secret negotiations and is subject to approval from competition authorities. Dba (DBA) acquired (LTU) German Airlines just two months ago and that carrier is expected to follow its new parent under the (BER) umbrella.
Hunold said the price was "a middle-double-digit euro million deal" and that no capital increase is necessary. He added that the airlines' respective networks fit perfectly with no overlaps. Dba (DBA) will operate independently from (BER) but airplanes will be repainted in (BER)'s white-and-maroon livery and read "powered by dba (DBA)." Martin Gauss and Peter Wojahn will remain as Managing Directors at dba (DBA) and a (BER) spokesperson said that "there is no cutting of staff planned."
Schedules should be integrated fully with the summer timetable starting April 1, with dba (DBA)'s domestic routes folding into (BER)'s European network. dba (DBA)'s slots at Munich and Dusseldorf, where (BER) could not grow any further, were a critical component of the deal. Additional synergies will be implemented through joint orders, yield management, logistics and the entree for dba (DBA) to 13,000 German travel agencies.
(BER) and dba (DBA) expect to transport 20 million passengers this year and (BER) has no plans to cancel dba (DBA)'s order for 25 737NGs scheduled to begin delivering in 2008, according to the spokesperson, who said that "dba (DBA) got a very good price for that deal from Boeing and we need those airplanes for further growth."
(LTU) German Airlines Managing Director, Juergen Marbach said the leisure airline's cooperation with dba (DBA) will continue after the latter is acquired by Air-Berlin (BER).
(LTU) will maintain its program of network expansion, focusing on the long-haul side. Marbach said that in the past six months, all synergies with dba (DBA) have been realized with savings expected to reach double-digit million euros.
(BER) partner, Niki Lauda said that (BER) has no plans to take over (LTU), which like dba (DBA) is controlled by Hans Rudolf Woehrl. "I don't believe that makes sense, because [long-haul] is not the core business for Air-Berlin (BER)," Lauda said. He added that (BER)'s acquisition of dba (DBA) will benefit his Niki (NKI) Low Cost Carrier (LCC) "because my partner Air-Berlin (BER) gets stronger. And that's good for us."
(BER) earned a +€30 million/+$38.4 million profit in the second quarter, Hunold said, following a first quarter in which it lost -€31 million.
It operates 58 airplanes and expects a profitable year. dba (DBA) operates 29 airplanes and transported 4.3 million passengers in its last fiscal year with turnover of €404 million.
2 A320-214's (2846, D-ABDH; 2853, D-ABDI), deliveries.
September 2006: Air-Berlin (BER) will begin six-times-weekly (daily except Thursday), Oviedo - Palma de Mallorca service on November 1. Oviedo will become the carrier's 12th Spanish destination.
Berlin-Brandenburg International (BBI), which aims to replace the city's fractured three-airport system with a single modern facility, was started yesterday as officials held a groundbreaking ceremony for the €2 billion/$2.57 billion project slated to open in 2011. "(BBI) will greatly enhance Berlin's ability to compete on an international level; it will bring more visitors to the city, create international air connections and generate more jobs," Governing Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit said. German Transport Minister, Wolfgang Tiefensee added: "(BBI) will be a modern, highly competitive airport and traffic hub, and will be fully equipped with the very best rail and road connections." It will have an initial capacity of 22 million passengers annually and will be expandable to as many as 40 million. Schoenefeld, Tegel and Templehof airports shared more than 17 million passengers last year.
(BER) said that competition authorities approved its takeover of dba (DBA) without restrictions. (BER) CEO, Joachim Hunold now will chair dba (DBA)'s board. Starting this week, dba (DBA) flights can be booked through (BER)'s website and call center.
French slot coordinator (COHOR) said it reallocated a pool of 2,460 slots at Paris Orly (ORY) to (BER), Elysair and Karthago Airlines (KAG) on an annual basis. The pool includes slots reserved for Public Service Obligations, especially the route to Epinal, that were returned by French authorities. It also includes slots made available for reallocation by other carriers, including Corsairfly (COR). (BER) benefited from its new-entrant status and received 1,248 slots for 12-times-weekly flights to Dusseldorf. Business class (C) carrier Elysair was allocated 624 slots for six-times-weekly service to Newark and Karthago (KAG) received 588 slots for flights to Tunisia.
(BER) said dba (DBA) passengers can earn miles with (BER)'s frequent-flier program beginning November 1. (BER) purchased dba (DBA) last month.
A320-214 (2865, D-ABDJ), delivery.
October 2006: Air-Berlin (BER) will launch Berlin Tegel - St Petersburg service from December 18. The airline will operate 2 flights a week, on Mondays & Fridays, using a 737-300. Air-Berlin (BER) will introduce weekly services from Zurich to Rhodes, Saloniki, Rostock, Ibiza and Heraklion from May 2007.
(BER) announced the launch of a thrice-weekly, Nuremberg - Moscow Domodedovo service from December 21 using 737-700s.
Although Ryanair (RYR) and other low-cost carriers (LCC)s generate large amounts of revenue from "nonticket sources," legacy airlines derive significantly more by selling frequent-flier miles to partners, typically via co-branded credit cards, says a recent study by IdeaWorks Co (ideaworkscompany.com).
According to the report, Europe's top four (LCC)s raised €470 million/$589.1 million in ancillary revenues last year, by charging for things such as seat assignments, checked baggage, credit card usage, onboard snacks and beverages, aswell as other items. IdeaWorks estimated that (RYR)'s "aggressive use of a la carte pricing" generated ancillary revenues of €7.76 per passenger in 2005, placing it well ahead of Aer Lingus (ARL) (€5.99), SkyEurope Airlines (SKP) (€4.38), easyJet (EZY) (€4.37), and Air-Berlin (BER) (€2.51).
Yet these performances were eclipsed by United Airlines (UAL), which generated €9.40 per passenger from its Mileage Plus frequent-flier program, and Alaska Airlines (ASA), which generated €8.55 from its Mileage Plan credit card. In fact, the consultancy estimated that 70% "of the miles earned by Mileage Plan members are now generated by charge activity tied to" Alaska (ASA)'s co-branded card. In total, USA frequent-flier programs generated "an estimated €2.5 billion."
IdeaWorks said the figures suggest that "even greater ancillary revenues may reside in an activity traditionally scorned by (LCC)s . . . frequent-flier programs." The full report is available at IdeaWorksCompany.com.
(BER) said joint check-in facilities with dba (DBA) will be available from November 2. "The integration of dba (DBA) into our company is completed. Now we have to repaint the airplane," (BER) CEO, Joachim Hunold said in an statement. (BER) acquired dba (DBA) two months ago.
(BER) will establish its own pilot (FC) training school in cooperation with Technic Flight Consulting Kaufer. Future flight cadets can earn their commercial pilot licenses in 24 months.
(BER) signed a 10-year contract with Snecma covering Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) on the (CFM56-5B)s powering its A320s. The Berlin Tegel-based Low Cost Carrier (LCC) eventually will deploy a fleet of 100 A320s.
November 2006: Air Berlin (BER) reported soaring financial results as third-quarter net income jumped +26.5% year-over-year to +€38.7 million/+$50.8 million compared to +€30.6 million in the year-ago quarter on a +28.5% increase in revenue to €510 million. "We have achieved our best quarterly result ever," Hunold said. (RASK) rose +9.5% to 5.87 euro cents.
For the first nine months, yield grew +12.1% to 5.38 euro cents. Nine-month revenues rose +19.6% to €1.14 billion and (EBIT) for the year's first three quarters lifted +76% to €41.4 million from €23.5 million last year.
(BER) will inaugurate nonstop service from Rimini to Amsterdam on May 12th and operate a weekly flight, on Saturdays, using a 737-700. (BER) will inaugurate nonstop service from Rimini to Berlin on May 12th and operate a weekly flight, on Saturdays, using a 737-700.
(BER) will inaugurate nonstop service from Rimini to Dusseldorf on May 12th and operate a weekly flight, on Saturdays, using a F 100.
(BER) will inaugurate nonstop service from Rimini to Munich on May 12th and operate a weekly flight, on Saturdays, using a F 100.
(BER) will resume nonstop service from Dusseldorf to Westerland on May 1st with an increased frequency on 5 flights a week, operating on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, & Sundays, using a F 100.
dba (DBA) 737-36Q (30333, D-ADIA) has been repainted in (BER) livery - see photo.
(BER) said that it intends to buy 60 737-800s and revealed that dba (DBA), which it agreed to acquire in August, placed an order earlier this year for 15 737-700s.
Boeing (TBC) said the combined value of the 75 airplanes is $5.1 billion and noted that (BER) also has 10 unfilled 737-700s from a dba (DBA) order announced in 2005. Overall, (BER) expects to take delivery of 85 737NGs valued at $5.7 billion from November 2007 through 2014. The manufacturer said it is "in the process of finalizing the order for the 60" 737-800s.
(BER) CEO, Joachim Hunold said the large order enables the airline to get "a favorable delivery price for the long term" and that "the new planes are meant to replace expiring leasing contracts and secure future growth." (BER) plans to "renew our fleet every six to eight years in order to be able to deploy the least noise-polluting and the most fuel-efficient and cost-efficient airplanes." It currently operates 62 airplanes, while dba (DBA)'s fleet comprises 29 planes.
December 2006: Air-Berlin (BER) lauches Nuremberg - Moscow Domodedovo (DME), 3/week with 737-700. Starting May 12, Rimini - Amsterdam, & Rimini - Berlin (TXL); both 1/week using 737-700s; Rimini - Dusseldorf, & Rimini - Munich, both 1/week using F 100s.
(BER) launched a twice-weekly, Berlin Tegel - St Petersburg service aboard 737NGs.
December 2006: 3 737-46Js (27826; 28038; 28867), returned to Boeing (TBC). A320-214 (2968, D-ABDK), delivery.
January 2007: Air-Berlin (BER) will start a weekly Munich - Ras Al Khaimah service from February 10 aboard 737-800s. It will be the first (BER) flight to the Persian Gulf and will be operated for a German tour company.
2 A320-214s (2991, D-ABDL; 3006, D-ABDM), deliveries. 2 A320-232s (1546, D-ANND; 1650, D-ANNF), Blue Wings (BLW) leased.
February 2007: Air-Berlin (BER) reported a 2006 net profit of +€50.1 million/+$65.9 million, a dramatic reversal from the -€115.9 million loss in 2005. "Despite the costs of going public and the integration of dba (DBA) . . . our net profit even exceeded the expectations of most analysts," (BER) CEO, Joachim Hunold said. Sales rose +28.6% to €1.57 billion and operating income was +€64.1 million, compared to a -€5.5 million loss in the prior year. The carrier will release detailed results on March 27.
(BER) said the dba (DBA) brand will disappear from the market by April 1, once the subsidiary is fully integrated. (BER) acquired dba (DBA) last summer. Dba (DBA)'s network, check-in facilities and administration already have been combined with (BER)'s. The airlines flew a combined 1.2 million passengers in January, up +8.7% from the first month of 2006. Load factor rose +1.9 points to 64.9% LF.
A320-214 (3021, D-ABDN), delivery.
March 2007: Seven months after solidifying its position in Germany with the purchase of dba (DBA), Air-Berlin (BER) established itself as the fourth-largest carrier in Europe with the acquisition of leisure carrier (LTU), for which it will pay €140 million. The deal, which is subject to approval from competition authorities, includes a provision requiring (BER) to assume €200 million in (LTU) debts. (BER) also announced its intention to buy 49% of Swiss carrier Belair (BLB). Its expansion gained traction with last summer's acquisition of dba (DBA) and speculation concerning (LTU)'s fate continued even as that airline explored a partnership with Condor (CDF). (BER) expects the merger to drive annual synergies of up to €100 million. (LTU) will remain independent and maintain its name and management personnel. In a statement, (BER) CEO, Joachim Hunold ruled out other job losses. (LTU)'s European routes will be integrated into (BER)'s network. "Many of our clients wanted (BER) to offer long-haul routes. Now we can do that, in addition to our German and European networks," Hunold said.
Condor (CDF) will be involved as a codeshare partner as (BER) ends its relationship with TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX). "Schedules of both carriers will fit perfectly together," Condor (CDF) Managing Director, Ralf Teckentrup said. (CDF) operates 36 airplanes and flew 7.8 million passengers last year. (LTU) operates 15 A320s/A321s and 11 A330s/A340s, employs 2,244 and transported 5.3 million passengers in 2006. (BER) carried 16.8 million passengers aboard 93 airplanes and has 4,000 staff.
No further details were offered about (BER)'s interest in Belair (BLB), a wholly owned subsidiary of Hotelplan Group, that in turn is a subsidiary of Migros. Belair (BLB) operates two 757-200s and one 767-300ER. It is suffering from competition from Low Cost Carriers (LCC)s and a small seasonal domestic market, especially for charter carriers.
Starting March 31st, Berlin Tegel (TXL) - Naples, using 737-300s. Starting May 2nd, 6x/week, (TXL) - Gothenburg. Starting May 6th, Frankfurt - Palermo, Munich - Palermo, using 737-300s, and Vienna - Palermo, using 737-700s.
2 orders (April 2007) 737-7Q8s (30629, D-ABBV; 30642, D-ABBW), (ILF) leased. A320-214 (3055, D-ABDO), delivery.
April 2007: Rockwell Collins said Air-Berlin (BER) selected the MultiScan Hazard Detection System, Multi Mode Receiver and Passenger Address Unit for 85 737NGs scheduled to begin delivering in April 2008.
A320-214 (3093, D-ABDP), delivery.
May 2007: Air-Berlin (BER) suffered a deepened -€41.3 million/-$55.6 million net loss in the first quarter compared to a -€31.1 million deficit in the year-ago period as it worked on integrating dba (DBA)into its operation. (BER) acquired dba (DBA) last summer for an undisclosed price, and said the recently completed quarter "progressed according to expectations." It pointed out that its first-quarter loss was an improvement from the combined -€46.8 million that (BER) and dba (DBA) lost in the first three months of 2006.
Revenue of €373.1 million marked a +66.6% improvement for (BER) alone from the year-ago quarter and a +10.9% rise over the combined companies' turnover. "The efficiency increases and synergies resulting from the integration of dba (DBA) have contributed to the positive earnings development in operations," (BER) said. An operating loss of -€60.7 million widened from (BER)'s -€57.8 million deficit, but was an improvement over the -€77.5 million lost by both airlines.
Starts Berlin Tegel (TXL) - Muenster, using 737s/A320s, - Stockholm, using 737s/F 100; Rimini - Amsterdam, - Berlin (TXL), using 737-700s, - Dusseldorf, - Munich, using F 100s; Munich - Athens, using 737-800s; Stuttgart - Vienna, using 737-400s.
A320-214 (3121, D-ABDQ), delivery.
June 2007: Air-Berlin (BER) announced executive changes at its dba (DBA) subsidiary. Former Lufthansa (DLH), Hapag-Lloyd (HAP), and TUI (TUG) executive, Wolfgang Kurth will Head the Technology & Finance Departments, and former Etihad Airways (EHD) VP Operations, Helmut Weixler will lead Flight Operations. Managing Directors, Martin Gauss (Operative Personnel & Commercial Department), and Peter Wojahn (Technology, Finance & Personnel) will leave the company.
737-808 (34969, D-ABBX), Icelandair (ICE) leased, and A319-111 (3139, D-ABGE), delivery.
July 2007: Air-Berlin (BGER) is expecting +12% passenger growth to 6 million this year at its Spanish hub in Palma de Mallorca (PMI). "Fifty percent of our passengers in (PMI) are transferring between our flights and Austrian partner Niki (NKI)," a (BER) spokesperson said in Mallorca. (BER)'s market share at (PMI) currently is 27%, while it holds 7% of the entire Spanish market. It established its (PMI) hub during the 1997 - 1998 winter schedule. "We are the biggest non-Spanish carrier [in Spain] and the fifth-biggest carrier in Spain in terms of passengers," the spokesperson added. (BER) serves 18 destinations in Spain and Portugal, and is exploring new markets on the Iberian Peninsula. This summer it operates 360 weekly flights from (PMI) to destinations throughout Europe, and will add service to Saarbruecken and Basel in the coming winter season. Spanish authorities are investing €54 million/$72.8 million to expand (PMI)'s Terminal C to 34 gates. It should be operational by fall and will be a "nearly" exclusive facility for (BER).
(BER) said the order for 25 787s placed during the weekend's 787 rollout festivities in Seattle, included 10 options and 15 purchase rights for a further 25, making it the largest 787 Dreamliner order from a European airline. Deliveries for the firm airplanes are scheduled for 2013 to 2017, (BER) said. "With this order, we want to secure the long-term future of the (BER) Group's long-haul capacity," CEO, Joachim Hunold said, adding that the order was "primarily a future fleet replacement exercise." The airline said it secured a "significant discount" from the $4 billion at list price, thanks to the size of the order, and that a pre-delivery payment in the "mid-double-digit million dollar amount" is due before 2011. (BER) is Europe's third largest low-cost carrier (LCC). Long focused primarily on the low-fare market, it plans to develop long-haul destinations, with the ultra-efficient 787 serving as the cornerstone of its twin-aisle, long-haul fleet.
2 A319-111s (3188, D-ABGF; 3202, D-ABGG), deliveries.
August 2007: Citing "the sluggishness experienced by the aviation industry in the 2nd quarter" and a "downturn in demand due to the weather and particularly noticeable in April," Air-Berlin (BER) reported a +€12.1 million/+$16.5 million profit, that fell -59.9% from net earnings of +€30.1 million in the 2006 June quarter. "Although we did not meet all expectations, we still created a solid base for further growth," CEO, Joachim Hunold said. (BER) said "weeks of bright sunshine in Germany and continuous rain around the Mediterranean" put a damper on charter and leisure demand, fueling a fare war that hit the company hard. "The utilization of our jets did not keep pace with increased [capacity]," Hunold said - - a capacity that was necessary to "secure future market shares and avoid losing slots at regulated airports," according to (BER). Another factor was the longer-than-expected investigation of (BER)'s takeover of (LTU), which meant the company was "unable to reap the benefit from synergies this year; that cost us a good €30 million at the bottom line," said CFO, Ulf Huttmeyer.
Revenue climbed +36.5% to €547.4 million, and expenses rose +47.6% to €526.8 million, dropping operating profit to +€23.5 million from the +€44.8 million earned in the second quarter of 2006. Passenger numbers were up +11.7% year-over-year to 6 million, and traffic rose +9.9% to 7.18 billion (RPK)s. Capacity increased +10.6% to 9.23 billion (ASK)s, dropping load factor -0.6 point to 77.8% LF. Fleet increased to 96 airplanes from 87 on June 30, 2006. (BER) did not report unit performance.
Six-month net loss of -€29.3 million widened from a -€960,000 deficit in the year-ago semester. (BER) suffered a heavy first-quarter loss as it worked to integrate dba (DBA).
Looking ahead, the company said it expects its full-year operating profit to exceed the +€64.1 million reported in 2006.
European low-cost carrier (LCC) seat capacity grew by +21% or 34 million seats in 2006 compared to 2005 and the sector accounted for around 30% of all intra-European seat capacity last year and 22% of departures, according to rdc's "Low Cost Monitor (LCM) 2007." Although the growth of (LCC) departing seats slowed compared to the +27% increase experienced in 2005, "the actual increase in volume of seats offered by low-cost carriers was greater in 2006 than 2005," according to the report. The number of airports served by (LCC)s rose to 280 from 270 in 2005. Also, the number of intra-Europe seats offered by conventional airlines actually declined, dropping -1% compared to 2005. This is the first year-to-year decrease since the (LCM) series began. The conventional airline share of departing seats is now below <70% versus 31% for (LCC)s.
Ryanair (RYR), easyJet (EZY) and (BER) accounted for 54% of low-cost capacity within Europe, down from 55% in 2005, while the top 10 (LCC)s accounted for 77%, down from 80%. Among other findings, the UK remained the largest (LCC) country with 56 million departing seats in 2006, but growth slowed dramatically to below <11% per year. Stansted (STN) was the largest low-cost hub with 14.1 million departing seats last year, while Wroclaw was the fastest-growing low-cost airport and Vueling (VUZ) the fastest-growing (LCC) in terms of departing seats. The analysis also shows that at current growth rates, more than half of all European point-to-point passengers will be carried by (LCC)s by 2011. (LCC)s will account for 43% of the estimated 1 billion intra-Europe seats on offer that year.
(BER) announced the conclusion of its first labor agreements with pilots (FC) and cabin staff (CA). The deals, covering members of both the Vereinigung Cockpit and ver.di unions, are effective from August 1, and were agreed to "on the basis of the present actual working conditions at (BER)," the airline said. The agreement, covering compensation, runs until December 31, 2008, with the accord on work rules expiring one year later. (BER) employs 805 pilots (FC), and 1,442 flight attendants (CA).
The contract does not cover pilots (FC) from (LTU), which was bought by (BER) in the spring. (LTU) pilots (FC) are seeking a +6% pay increase, and conducted brief walkouts Monday, with further work actions threatened for the weekend. Talks between the pilots (FC) and (LTU) are scheduled this month.
(BER), Germany's second-biggest carrier, said that the German Federal Cartel Office approved its acquisition of (LTU) "without any restrictions." (BER) reached a deal in March to buy (LTU) for €140 million and assume €200 million of the company's debt. (BER) CEO, Joachim Hunold said it was "regrettable that this process took so long" and that "synergies could not be exploited during this year as planned. We were not able to adjust summer flight timetables of both airlines." From next year, (BER) is expecting annual savings of -€70 to -€100 million, although Hunold said some of that depends on the outcome of negotiations with (LTU) pilots (FC). (LTU) has a fleet of 27 airplanest and reported revenue of €1.06 billion in 2006.
(BER) announced the creation of a new, independent maintenance and engineering company, that will combine its own Air-Berlin Technik (ABT) Berlin division, 600 employees working for (LTU) in Dusseldorf and Munich, (BER) employees in Dusseldorf, and 130 dba (DBA)-Technik workers in Munich. The new company, Air-Berlin (BER) Technik (ABT), will employ 1,100. The (LTU) workers and (BER)'s employees in Dusseldorf will comprise Air-Berlin (BER) Luftfahrttechnik Dusseldorf, a subsidiary of (ABT).
(BER) said (ABT) will service the airline's fleet of 130 airplanes and will look to develop third-party business. "(BER) is hoping that by merging these technical operations, it will achieve better utilization of the facilities at the individual sites, and a reduction in technical costs. The intention is also to separate these activities from seasonal flight operations," the airline said.
(BER) said both the European Commission (EC) and the German Federal Cartel Office have followed the Swiss Cartel Office in clearing its acquisition of 49% of Switzerland's Belair (BLB). A subsidiary of Hotelplan (HOT) Group, Belair (BLB) currently operates two 757-200s and one 767-300.
September 2007: Air-Berlin (BER) reported that a general agreement on employment conditions was accepted for the 133 pilots (FC) of its dba (DBA) subsidiary by the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) pilot union. Members of (VC) will vote on the accord by mid-September.
737-808 (34970, D-ABBY), Icelandair (ICE) leased, A319-111 (3245, D-ABGH), and A320-214 (3242, D-ABDR), deliveries.
October 2007: Air-Berlin (BER) will close some routes from its London Stansted (STN) hub next month. A (BER) spokesperson confirmed that twice-daily service to Manchester, Glasgow International and Belfast City will be shut down. (BER) handles 1.2 million passengers annually at the airport, its second-largest hub outside Germany, after Palma de Mallorca. (STN) will continue to handle (BER) flights from eight German destinations and Spain.
(BER) will launch its first long-haul route May 1, a five-times-weekly, Dusseldorf - Beijing - Shanghai Pudong service aboard A330s.
(BER) will launch twice-weekly, Hannover - Moscow Domodedovo flights by the end of this month, using 737-800s.
Moscow Domodedovo (DME) announced that (BER) is the first non-Russian airline to join the Domodedovo (DME) Transfer Service Project to offer special interline fares for passengers transiting the airport. Under agreements signed between Air-Berlin (BER) and Volga-Aviaexpress, VIM-Avia (MOV), SCAT, Tatarstan (TAK), Perm Airlines and Kuban Airlines, Russian travelers connecting at Domodedovo (DME) for onward travel to Berlin, Munich, Stuttgart and Dusseldorf from Volgograd, Aktobe, Taraz, Sochi, Barnaul, Magnitogorsk, Bratsk, Beloyarsky, Novy Urengoi, Omsk, Ufa, Vladivostok, Kazan, Perm, Krasnodar, Kogalym, Surgut and Chita, can receive special through fares.
Dnata, the Dubai-based airport services provider, said that it has acquired Jet Aviation Handling, the airport handling division of Switzerland-based Jet Aviation Group (JTA). Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. The acquired company will be Dnata's first airport handling business in Europe and is "consistent with its strategy of developing an international network," it said in a statement. With the buy, Dnata now has handling operations at 16 airports in seven countries: Australia, Singapore, China, Pakistan, the Philippines, Switzerland and the UAE. Jet Aviation Handling provides airline and cargo handling to more than >60 carriers at Zurich and Geneva. Its customers include British Airways (BAB), Air France (AFA)/(KLM), Emirates (EAD), Etihad (EHD), Qatar Airways (QTA), and Air-Berlin (BER). It employs about 1,100 workers across the two airports. "The sale by Jet Aviation Group (JTA) reflects its strategy to focus on its core activities in the private and business aviation sector," Dnata said.
A320-214 (3289, D-ABDS), delivery.
November 2007: Double-digit passenger growth rates helped Air-Berlin (BER) "claw back" from a disappointing second quarter, CEO, Joachim Hunold said as the German Low Cost Carrier (LCC) reported third-quarter earnings of +€60.8 million/+$89.5 million, up +57.2% from the +€38.7 million reported in the year-ago period. Hunold called the result "gratifying" - - the carrier had expected net profit of +€48 to +€57 million - - but said the figures still "put us in the lowest bracket of our planning for the nine-month period" owing to weather-related losses in the second quarter, and the delayed integration of (LTU), which is "costing us hard cash." He admitted that the realization of synergies is behind schedule and revealed that "(LTU) will be a zero-sum game on the bottom line in 2007." (BER) incurred €13.2 million in one-time integration and restructuring charges.
Third-quarter revenue rose +68.1% to €857.5 million, against a +73.3% increase in expenses to €791.9 million, sending operating result up +28.4% to +€69.8 million. Passenger numbers climbed +12% to 8.1 million, while traffic grew +10.5% to 12.42 billion (RPK)s, and capacity was up +8.5% to 14.85 billion (ASK)s. Load factor rose +2.3 points to 83.7% LF. At quarter's end, the (BER) mainline, (LTU), and dba (DBA) were operating 126 airplanes to 99 destinations. CFO, Ulf Huttmeyer said competition, new routes, increasing frequencies, and promotional pricing, combined to lower revenue per passenger by -4% to €106, and unit revenue by -1.2% to 5.77 euro cents. "Nevertheless, this development was significantly more stable than in the second quarter," he said.
Nine-month net profit of +€31.5 million represented a -16.4% decline from the +€37.7 million reported in the year-ago period. Operating profit fell -21.5% to +€32.5 million. "We have now laid the foundations for optimally positioning ourselves strategically for the future. As of now, we will concentrate on cutting additional costs. 2008 will be the year of increased profit for the Air-Berlin (BER) Group," Hunold said.
(BER) named dba (DBA) Flight Operations Head, Helmut Weixler as (LTU)'s Managing Director Flight Operations & Accountable Manager. CEO, Joachim Hunold also added the title of (LTU) Chairman. He ceded the duties of (BER) accountable manager to Karl Lotz.
Fresh from its acquisition of dba (DBA) and (LTU), (BER) has taken another major step towards consolidation in the German market by agreeing to take over Condor (CDF) as part of a share-swap deal with Thomas Cook (JMA). If the deal goes ahead, Air-Berlin (BER) will become Germany's second biggest carrier, and will be propelled into the European top five. (BER) will acquire a 75.1% stake in Condor (CDF) directly from Thomas Cook in February 2009, subject to regulatory approval. At the same time, Thomas Cook (JMA) plans to acquire the remaining 24.9% of Condor (CDF) from Lufthansa (DLH), and will pass this stake onto (BER) in February 2010. In return, Thomas Cook (JMA) will receive between 380 million/$533 million and 475 million worth of (BER) shares as well as about 120 million in cash, giving the tour operator up to a 29.99% stake in the German carrier. Thomas Cook (JMA) joint CEO, Manny Fontenla-Novoa says there are "categorically no plans" to further increase this stake in the future.
Condor (CDF) presently operates a fleet of 35 airplanes, comprising 13 737s, 9 767-300s, and 13 A320s. The carrier's network includes a range of short- and long-haul destinations, which it operates from its Frankfurt base and Munich hub. "This step makes sense, especially following the takeover of (LTU), since it will enable us to offer our clients a more tightly meshed long-haul flight network," said Air-Berlin (BER) CEO, Joachim Hunold.
In August, (BER) got the green light for its 140 million acquisition of (LTU). As part of the integration process, (BER) has decided to drop the (LTU) brand name on most of its routes. "We will continue to flu under the (LTU) logo on traditional long-haul leisure flights, for example, to South Africa, Cuba, Thailand, and the Dominican Republic. However, this will not apply to our medium-haul flights and our new long-hail business (C) flights," explained Hunold - see attached "German Market Chart Nov07."
737-76J (36114, D-ABLA), delivery.
December 2007: (ILFC) (ILF) announced a leasing deal with Air-Berlin (BER) for 3 787-8s, to be delivered in May 2011 under 12-year leases.
A319-111 (3346, D-ABGI), delivery.
January 2008: airberlin (BER) transported 1.9 million passengers in December, up +16.6% from the year-ago month. Load factor rose +3.2 points to 71.7% LF, and unit revenue climbed +2.2% to 4.55 euro cents.
(BER) said investment company Vatas has become the airline's single largest investor with a 15.4% stake.
(ARINC) announced the installation of its AviNet Type B business networking service for airberlin (BER) under a three-year service contract. The technology features protocol translation and (IATA) Type B messaging.
(BER) now is "airberlin" (BER) following the release of a revised identity and logo, that the airline said will be part of its repositioning as a global company. The first airplane with the familiar red color but new logo, featuring a red tail and stylized lower-case "a," will roll out this month, along with a new advertising campaign. Rapp Collins led the rebranding effort.
Niki (NKI), the Austrian low-fare airline that is part of the air-berlin (BER) group, converted 10 options on A320 family airplanes into firm orders, as its profits continued to rise. "We will take delivery of the new airplanes from 2010 onwards. For every airplane, a year ahead [of delivery] we decide if we need an A319, A320 or A321," Chairman, founder & owner, Niki Lauda said.
Niki (NKI)'s fleet will increase by 2014 to 20 airplanes. The value of the new order is €500 million/$734.7 million. Lauda said the carrier's 2007 profit doubled to more than >€1 million, as it transported 1.7 million passengers, up +30% from 2006. He expects a further revenue increase in 2008, to €220 million from €186 million, and a profit of +€2.1 million.
The carrier currently operates eight A320 family airplanes, increasing to nine in May. It will launch a twice-daily, Vienna - Milan Malpensa, and a daily Vienna - Belgrade service in March. "We will also increase services on some routes to thrice-daily to satisfy our business (C) customers," Lauda said.
The airberlin (BER) group holds 24% in the Austrian carrier (NKI). (BER) and Niki (NKI) have become No 1 for the first time for flights between Austria and Germany. They operate on nine routes with 300 weekly flights, ahead of both Lufthansa (DLH) and Austrian Airlines (AUL).
airberlin (BER) said Saudi Arabian investor, Kamal Abdullah purchased 3.1% of the carrier through Moab Investments. air-berlin (BER) said its largest single investor, Vatas, has increased its share from 15.4% to 18.6%.
German travel conglomerate TUI (TUG) announced that it signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) with Lufthansa (DLH) to combine their Low Cost Carrier (LCC) subsidiaries under one "joint and independent holding company." TUI (TUG) owns TUIfly, the combination of Hapag-Lloyd Flug (HAP) and Hapag-Lloyd Express (HLX), while Lufthansa (DLH) partners with Germanwings (RFG) and Eurowings (EWG), along with Albrecht Knauf Industriebeteiligung. The latter also signed the (MOU), TUI (TUG) said. "Agence France Presse" said a mid-2009 timeframe for finalization is TUI (TUG)'s target. No other details were released, and TUI (TUG) said a binding agreement will depend on "a due diligence process and negotiations of the specific details," as well as the approval of antitrust authorities. The combination is likely designed to counter the growing domestic influence of airberlin (BER), which has expanded with the acquisitions of (LTU) and dba (DBA).
February 2008: To see new airberlin (BER) livery, - SEE PHOTO - "BER-A320-FEB08."
March 2008: Air Berlin (BER)'s acquisition of (LTU) has proven to be costly, as the German Low Cost Carrier (LCC) reported a steep drop in full-year profit to +€11 million/+$16.9 million from the +€50.1 million earned in 2006. "We are right on track with the (LTU) integration," CEO, Joachim Hunold said as the carrier released preliminary financial figures. "Although the preliminary earnings for 2007 did not meet our expectations, we have reason to be optimistic for 2008." He said capacity utilization and unit revenue improved "significantly" through February, and he was "pleased" with bookings.
Full-year revenue rose +61% to €2.54 billion, but operating profit plunged -66.5% to +€21.5 million from +€64.2 million, owing to "one-time charges in the double-digit millions resulting from the delayed (LTU) integration, and issues associated with the technical integration of the Information Technology (IT) systems." (BER) also said that "the expected compensation from releasing certain reserves could not be realized," without elaborating. A detailed financial report is due March 31.
(LTU) airplanes are now being marketed in parent airberlin (BER) livery - SEE ATTACHED PHOTO - "BER-A330-322-MAR08."
These airplanes feature "Premium Business Class" with 30 fully flat contoured seats.
Hainan Airlines (HNA) provides connections to airberlin (BER)/(LTU) flights at Beijing.
Dusseldorf International will invest €300 million in infrastructure upgrades in order to offer shorter connecting times and compete more effectively with other European hubs. (DUS) is looking to increase the percentage of passengers flying long-haul to 20% from 10%. It is the third-busiest airport in Germany with 17.8 million passengers last year.
Bombardier confirmed that airberlin (BER) is the customer that placed a firm order for 10 DHC-8-Q400s plus 10 options last October. The airline had requested that its identity be kept confidential at that time. The firm order contract is valued at $267 million and would rise to approximately $540 million if all options are exercised. It marks the company's first turboprop order. (BER) expects to receive four DHC-8-Q400s this year, and the remaining six in 2009. The 76-seaters are intended primarily to replace F 100s, which Berlin-based Germania (GER) operates for (BER). "We will be deploying our DHC-8-Q400 airplanes on routes that do not require the capacity of our jet airplanes," airberlin CEO, Joachim Hunold said. "The DHC-8-Q400 airplane offers the combination of passenger capacity and comfort, speed, economy of operation and environmental compatibility that we require." The contract is being funded by HSH Nordbank. (BER) will lease the DHC-8-Q400s to LGW Walter, its Dortmund-based regional partner, which will fly them on (BER)'s route network "so there will not be an increase in the complexity of our fleet," Hunold said. LGW currently operates six Do-228s and has been providing regional lift to (BER) since October.
Founded in 1978, airberlin (BER) operates 124 jets serving more than >100 destinations in Germany, Europe, North America, and Asia. In May , it will launch its first long-haul route with five-times-weekly Dusseldorf - Beijing - Shanghai Pudong service aboard an A330.
A319-112 (3415, D-ABGJ), delivery and A320-214 (3422, D-ABDT), (GEF) leased.
April 2008: airberlin (BER) and its subsidiaries transported 2.2 million passengers last month, up +5.5% from the year-ago period. Load factor rose +3.9 points to 77.8% LF, and unit revenue was up +0.6% to €5.23 cents.
(BER) announced that Sapinda and Vatas Holding subsidiary Harlem One BV sold its 18.6% share in the airline group. It had bought a 15.4% stake in early January, becoming the company's largest shareholder, before raising its share shortly thereafter. (BER) said "an institutional investor has agreed to acquire shares in the same amount," but did not elaborate.
(BER) will launch weekend flights to Sylt from Dortmund and Hanover on May 1, aboard a Do-228.
(BER) said it reached a 10-year salary agreement with (BER), (LTU) and dba (DBA) pilots (FC) represented by Cockpit. It also covers promotions and training programs and is effective retroactively from April 1.
(BER) implemented mobile phone boarding passes and seat selection on flights departing from "many" German airports.
A319-112 (3447, D-ABGK), delivery.
May 2008: airBerlin (BER) narrowed its first-quarter net loss to -€59 million/-$92.5 million from -€66.4 million as rising sales and hedges helped offset the "significant" jump in fuel costs. Sales revenue for the group, which includes (LTU) and Belair, rose +4% to €654.5 million and its operating loss of -€67.7 million represented a +20% improvement from a -€85 million deficit in the year-ago period. (BER) said the revenue increase was "a result of the strong growth in the sale of individual seats for domestic and [European] flights." Unit revenue rose +4% to 5.1 euro cents and unit cost dropped -0.2% to 5 euro cents. (CASK) excluding fuel, fell -1.9 cents to 3.76 cents and load factor rose +3.9 points to 73.3% LF.
CEO, Joachim Hunold said AB has hedged 88% of its 2008 fuel requirements, but that the company still will have to budget €80 million more than it forecast in March. "We have worked out a comprehensive package of measures for adapting the airBerlin (BER) Group to the changed market conditions. Among other things, this program includes capacity adjustments and the elimination of unprofitable flight routes," he said, adding that he still expected to report a full-year operating profit. He told the "dpa" news agency that passengers should expect fare increases and that long-haul routes will come under close review. He said it was too early to consider deferring delivery of new airplanes.
(BER) will launch 12-times-weekly, Berlin Tegel - Paris Charles de Gaulle in November. Hunold said there is "great demand" for the service. The carrier already serves Orly. It also recently appointed former dba (DBA) Managing Director, Wolfgang Kurth to the board and made him responsible for airBerlin Technik as Head Engineering Group (BER)/(DBA)/(LTU).
(BER) launched its China service with five-times-weekly, A330 services from Dusseldorf to Beijing and Shanghai Pudong. (BER) will interline with Hainan Airlines (HNA) on connecting flights to other Chinese destinations, and will return the favor, when Hainan (HNA) launches its Beijing - Berlin flights on September 5. From November, (BER) will upgrade its business class (C) cabin on the routes to Premium Business Class with installation of 30 new lie-flat seats.
(BER) will switch its Milan service to Malpensa (MXP) from Orio al Serio beginning July 16. It will continue to serve Berlin Tegel and Dusseldorf from (MXP)'s Terminal 1 with 25 weekly flights.
(BER) will reduce its Dusseldorf - Shanghai service to thrice-weekly from five-times-weekly from the end of June, owing to a "drop in demand for the Chinese market and the high fuel costs," CEO, Joachim Hunold said.
(BER) announced the sale of its Dusseldorf-based, "(LTU) plus" service center to former (LTU) partners Jurgen Marbach (55%) and Rudolf Worhl (45%) for an undisclosed sum. The center employs 65 and provides services to (BER) under a two-year deal.
Gate Gourmet will purchase catering units in five cities from airBerlin (BER) and SCK Sky Catering Kitchen. Serving some 18,000 flights per year, the sites are located at Dusseldorf, Cologne/Bonn, Munster/Osnabruck, Leipzig/Halle, and Paderborn.
A320-214 (3516, D-ABDU), (GEF) leased.
June 2008: AirBerlin (BER) is reconsidering its acquisition of Condor Airlines (CDF) from Thomas Cook (JMA), CEO, Joachim Hunold said at (BER)'s annual shareholder meeting this week, according to "Reuters." The deal was announced last fall. "Because of the significant delays in the approval process and the changing economic circumstances, we are currently examining whether the Condor (CDF) transaction is still sensible," Hunold said. (BER) was scheduled to acquire 75.1% of Condor (CDF) next February and the remaining share in February 2010. Thomas Cook (JMA) would receive 29.9% of (BER) worth €475 million, plus an additional +€120 million in cash, the news service confirmed.
(BER) unveiled a cost reduction package that will include removal of 14 airplanes from service by year end and the closure of the Munich administrative offices of dba (DBA). "The organizational restructuring contributes significantly to lowering cost and maintaining competitiveness," CEO, Joachim Hunold said. (BER) reported a slightly narrowed -€59 million/-$91.5 million first-quarter loss.
Beginning with launch of the winter schedule, (BER) will reduce its operating fleet to 120 airplanes from 134, although it said that its "aim to increase its fleet capacity utilization does not necessarily entail a reduction in the anticipated number of passengers transported." In addition, it will remove three A330-300s from its long-haul network and place them on medium-range flights from Nuremburg, while a fourth will be used as a standby or to shuttle cruise passengers.
On the capacity front, fleet utilization will be reduced by -10% overall and -30% on its long-haul network. It will suspend flights to Beijing, Shanghai, Mauritius, and Sri Lanka, plus its Dusseldorf - New York (JFK) service, over the winter and reduce frequencies to Cape Town, Windhoek, and Bangkok. It will boost its schedule to Miami, Fort Myers, Cancun, Male, and Montego Bay and launch a weekly Nuremburg - Ponta Delgada flight on November 3.
The closure of the dba (DBA) office will result in -52 layoffs. Administration of the subsidiary will move to the capital. German press was reporting that capacity cuts for the summer 2009 schedule are under evaluation and that introduction of (BER)'s new long-haul business class (C) product may be delayed or cancelled outright.
737-86J (37740, D-ABFB), delivery, (GEF) leased.
July 2008: AirBerlin (BER)'s unit revenue in June rose +9% year-over-year to 5.32 euro cents/8.33 cents, as it transported 2.7 million passengers, down -0.05%. Load factor climbed +0.7 point to 80.9% LF.
(BER) announced that Stuttgart prosecutors have dropped insider trading charges against CEO, Joachim Hunold, Chairman, Johannes Zurnieden and three other executives "due to lack of evidence." Their offices and homes were raided 13 months ago when suspicion arose over stock purchases made prior to (BER)'s acquisition of dba (DBA). "At the time, the accused bought the (BER) shares, it was by no means sure whether the dba (DBA) takeover would actually succeed or whether the (BER) share price would rise as a result of dba (DBA)'s acquisition," (BER) said, adding that Hunold and Zurnieden bought the shares "in order to make a public statement of confidence" and still own them.
(BER) confirmed that it no longer is interested in acquiring Condor Airlines (CDF) from the Thomas Cook Group (JMA). It said the share swap deal, announced last fall, was "cancelled by mutual agreement," while the parties "have agreed to continue negotiations regarding the feasibility of alternative solutions." In a statement to the German Federal Cartel Office, (BER) and Thomas Cook (JMA) said the changing economic environment, including the soaring cost of fuel, was the "main reason" for the contract's cancellation.
Lufthansa (DLH) Systems said (BER) and (LTU) recently standardized flight planning for short- and long-haul fleets with its Lido Operations Center solution. The technology features flight planning and optimization capabilities expected to reduce fuel burn.
(BER) said it received permission from German authorities to carry out test flights using its satellite-supported, Ground Based Augmentation System (GBAS) installed on 737NGs delivered since June 2007. (GBAS) approaches will be used alongside standard Instrument Landing System (ILS) in Berlin and Malaga. (BER) said it is the only European airline using (GBAS).
(BER) will lease out 50 of its 1,436 pilots (FC) to other airlines in order to save around -€4 million/-$6.3 million in salary. (BER) is grounding 14 narrowbody airplanes by November 1.
Berlin Tempelhof will close for good on October 30. Final scheduled flight at the historic 85-year-old facility will be an 8 pm Cirrus Airlines (RUS) service to Mannheim aboard a Do-328.
August 2008: AirBerlin (BER)'s second-quarter net profit rose +38.3% to +€8.3 million/+$12.2 million compared to +€6 million in the year-ago period, if the 2007 results of (LTU), (BER)'s acquisition of which was approved in last year's third quarter, are included.
The company said the profit increase demonstrated the strength of its low-cost business model. "In light of the trying times that the airline sector is currently experiencing . . . we are pleased with our result," CEO, Joachim Hunold said. "Despite all the challenges stemming from the weakening global economy and the explosive development of kerosene prices, we remain optimistic about achieving a positive operating income for the current year." In a letter to shareholders, he pointed to (BER)'s fuel hedging program to explain how the carrier has "been able to handle the extreme price hikes for aviation fuel far better than some of our competitors." (BER) has said that 88% of its fuel is hedged for 2008. Hunold claimed that owing to hedging, (BER)'s fuel costs rose just +10% over the last 12 months, as fuel prices doubled.
He added that nonfuel optimization initiatives will yield -€35 million in cost savings in the second half, and that (BER) continues to attract an increasing number of business passengers by promoting itself as the "European quality airline with lower prices."
Consolidated second-quarter revenue, which includes (LTU) and Belair (BLB), rose +6.7% to €869.5 million, while expenses escalated +8.6% to €744.5 million. (BER) said operating (EBITAR) was €132.2 million, down -3.2% from €136.6 million last year. Traffic decreased -0.9% to 11.71 billion (RPK)s, on a -4.3% lowering of capacity to 14.59 billion (ASK)s, producing a load factor of 80.3% LF, down -2.8 points. Yield increased +12.2% to 5.44 euro cents.
Thomas Cook (JMA), Lufthansa (DLH) and TUI (TUG) subsidiary, TUI Travel are in "early discussions" regarding a merger of their subsidiary carriers Condor Airlines (CDF), Germanwings (RFG), and TUIFly Deutschland (HAP)/(HLX), Thomas Cook (JMA) announced. "No commercial terms have been agreed. There is no certainty that any transaction will result and a further announcement will be made if and when appropriate," the company said. (DLH) owns 24.9 % of Condor (CDF), with the remainder held by Thomas Cook (JMA). Last month, AirBerlin (BER) pulled out of a deal to acquire Condor (CDF) in a share swap. (DLH) and TUI (TUG) signed a merger Memo of Understanding (MOU) in January.
September 2008: Discussions about a potential three-way merger among German charter/low-cost carriers Condor, TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) and Germanwings (RFG) failed, following Thomas Cook (JMA) Group's decision to withdraw. It "became clear that the opportunity was not attractive," Thomas Cook (JMA) CEO, Manny Fontenla-Novoa said. The company holds 75% of Condor (CDF) (with Lufthansa (DLH) holding the remainder) and said the carrier remains "a strong and profitable business with significant potential on a standalone basis." It said Condor (CDF)'s performance has been "robust in light of the challenging market conditions, particularly compared with last year's strong performance," as it benefited from the decision to eliminate unprofitable city routes and a -9% overall capacity cut. The booked load factor is in line with last year at 87% LF. However, Condor (CDF)'s fleet size will be reduced, "to reinforce our position in both the tour operator and seat-only markets," it said.
TUI (TUG) Travel said it would seek other alternatives for TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX). German media have been speculating that it is negotiating a possible tie-up with (BER). Similar discussions between Thomas Cook (JMA) and (BER) failed earlier this year.
October 2008: S7 Airlines (SBR), AirBerlin (BER), and Niki (NKI) announced a code share agreement in Moscow and promised that "all three airlines intend to deepen their relationship in other areas in the future." The agreement initially covers flights from Moscow Domodedovo to Frankfurt, Hannover (both operated by S7 (SBR)), Dusseldorf, Munich (both operated by S7 (SBR) and (BER)) and Vienna (operated by Niki (NKI)). The airlines "plan to offer unrestricted sales of tickets for each others' flights" and passengers will have access to all three networks with one ticket. Talks among the trio began five months ago.
S7 (SBR) CEO, Vladislav Filev would not say whether the agreement might lead to an investment in either (BER) or Niki (NKI), saying that was "not on today's agenda." He also would not comment on S7 (SBR)'s interest in Austrian Airlines (AUL), saying only that "we have many invitations for partnerships." None of those offers have come from an alliance, however. "As of today, we have no invitation from any alliance. Everyone wants us, but we will see how hungry they are. Maybe Star (SAL) will become hungrier," Filev said.
Meanwhile, Niki (NKI) President, Niki Lauda expressed excitement about new opportunities in Russia. "The time is right to expand our Vienna - Moscow services to double-daily, starting in the spring of next year," he said. "As soon as we have traffic rights we will start Vienna - St Petersburg. (BER) CEO, Joachim Hunold and I created the first low-cost airline alliance. Now I am happy that S7 (SBR) will help in Russia."
(BER) confirmed that it is discussing a possible merger with TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX), whose effort to combine with Condor (CDF) and Germanwings (RFG) was scuttled, when Condor (CDF) parent, Thomas Cook (JMA) withdrew last month. "There are talks, but no results," a (BER) spokesperson told "Bloomberg News."
Lufthansa (DLH) Systems (LHS) reached a five-year deal with (BER) to provide its Traffic Flow Restrictions supplement for its Lido OC flight planning solution. The technology is expected to enhance route planning efficiency and reduce fuel costs.
(BER) confirmed that it will absorb its dba (DBA) subsidiary by November 30, ending branded flying by the carrier (BER) acquired two years ago. Dba (DBA) operates nine airplanes and three of its 737-300s will leave the (BER) fleet entirely. Dba (DBA)'s 120 pilots (FC) and 175 cabin crew (CA) will be transferred elsewhere within (BER) or offered buyouts.
A319-112 (3661, D-ABGN), delivery.
November 2008: AirBerlin (BER) will operate weekly, Dusseldorf - Jersey service May 16 - September 12 aboard a DHC-8-Q400.
December 2008: AirBerlin (BER) reported a +€45.6 million/+$57.7 million third-quarter profit, up +43.2% from the +€31.9 million earned in the year-ago period, on a +8.6% year-over-year lift in revenue to a company record €1.06 billion. The operating profit rose +57% to +€89.1 million from +€56.8 million. (BER) said its efficiency program "is bearing fruit," citing a -8.8% fall in passenger numbers to 8.6 million, but a +15.3% lift in unit revenue to 7.66 euro cents. Nine-month (EBIT) swung to a +€35.1 million profit from a -€9.5 million loss in the year-ago period.
Etihad Airways (EHD) is considering taking a stake in (BER), according to Munich's "Suddeutsche Zeitung," which cited sources from several unidentified banks. The size of the stake was not revealed. (EHD) management has been studying the plan for weeks, but has yet to come to a decision, the paper reported. It currently serves both Munich and Frankfurt, but (BER) does not serve the Middle East. (BER)'s capitalization is approximately €281million.
(BER) named German Federal Ministry for Transport, Construction & Urban Development Secretary of State, Matthias von Randow as its new Director Global Traffic Rights & Political Affairs. Von Randow also was a member of Fraport's supervisory board.
February 2009: Air Berlin (BER) January unit revenue climbed +23% to 4.99 euro cents/6.45 US cents. Passenger numbers fell -4.5% to 1.7 million on a -4.9% drop in capacity to 2.5 million seats. Load factor rose +0.3 point to 69.1% LF.
(BER) will launch four-times-weekly, Hanover - Stockholm Arlanda service and weekly, Stuttgart - Nice service on May 1. (BER) also announced increased frequencies from Nuremburg to Dusseldorf and Berlin Tegel.
A319-112 (3728, D-ABGP) and A321-211 (3749, D-ABCB) deliveries.
January 2009: Air Berlin (BER) said December unit revenue rose +17.6% year-over-year to 5.35 euro cents/7.22 cents. It transported 1.8 million passengers last month, up +5.4%, while capacity fell -6.4% (ASK). Load factor rose +0.8 point to 72.3% LF.
(BER)'s single largest shareholder, Dutch investment company (AI) Aviation Cooperatief, sold its 18.94% stake in (BER). (AI) is a subsidiary of Access Industries, which is controlled by Len Blavatnik, a Russian/American investor.
Speculation throughout the industry centered on Etihad Airways (EHD) as the buyer, although (EHD) denied it was involved, according to "Reuters." (EHD) was thought to have been seeking a European foothold and greater European traffic rights. The news service said that the sale was not made through the stock market.
Niki (NKI)'s partnership with S7 Airlines (SBR) continues to be delayed by Russian regulators, CEO, Othmar Lenz said. "(SBR) needs traffic rights between Moscow Domodedovo and Vienna. If (SBR) gets these rights, then we can implement code share operations," Lenz said. Bilateral talks should be completed next month. The partnership also includes Air Berlin (BER), which holds 24% of (NKI) and made news last week following the sale of lead investor Len Blavatnik's 18.94% stake. (NKI) President, Niki Lauda said he does not know who bought the (BER) shares and that Etihad Airways (EHD)'s potential involvement remains "a sort of rumor." Blavatnik owned the stake in (BER) through Dutch investment company AI Aviation Cooperatief.
Lauda expects a 2008 profit, but said 2009 "will be a horror year for all of us." Niki will take delivery of its first EMB-190 on schedule in May and operate it on routes from Vienna to Munich and Innsbruck, but on the whole it will "have to be flexible and make decisions . . . faster than other carriers," Lauda said, adding that a second A321 also has been financed and is due for delivery this year. (NKI) transported 2.2 million passengers in 2008, up +30% year-over-year, with 60% coming from scheduled traffic and the remainder from charter. It will operate 12 airplanes this year.
Meanwhile, (BER) CEO, Joachim Hunold said his airline will prepare an official complaint to the European Commission (EC) protesting Lufthansa (DLH)'s takeover of Austrian Airlines (AUL). Lauda said that Brussels may impose certain competition restrictions against the Star Alliance (SAL) partners.
(ACSS) said it was selected by (BER) "to launch a collaborative program to implement and certify its SafeRoute Merging & Spacing function in the European airspace." (ACSS) is a joint venture between L-3 Communications (ESM) and Thales (THL). SafeRoute uses ADS-B to improve situational awareness and enhance an airplane's operating efficiency during takeoff, flight, approach, landing and taxi, according to (ACSS). The Merging & Spacing Function "makes flying more efficient by providing the pilot (FC) with speed cues that enable an airplane to reach its approach point with greater precision . . . It will also allow (BER) to fly Continuous Descent Arrival procedures."
(BER) and Hainan Airlines (HNA) began code sharing on (HNA)'s thrice-weekly, Beijing - Berlin Tegel service and on (BER)'s connecting flights from seven German airports, Vienna, and Zurich, effective Sunday. (BER) and (HNA) linked their loyalty programs in November.
(BER) received approval from Germany's Federal Office of Civil Aviation to conduct CAT III-B approaches with 737NGs, which it said will enable landings when visibility in fog falls to 75 m.
737-76J (36117, D-ABLD), and 2 DHC-8-402 (4231, D-ABQC; 4234, D-ABQD), deliveries.
February 2009: Air Berlin (BER) said its executive directors and "top managers" will forego 50% of their bonus entitlements for 2008, or a combined €2 million/$2.6 million. (BER) will announce its full-year results on March 30 and said it expects to report an operating profit.
(BER) announced the launch of flights from Berlin Tegel to Krakow (four-times-weekly, beginning April 29) and Oslo Gardermoen (five-times-weekly on April 24).
737-86J (37742, D-ABKD), delivery.
March 2009: Air Berlin (BER) said February unit revenue rose +12% year-over-year to €5.28 cents/6.68 cents. Passenger numbers declined -8.5% to 1.9 million on a -6.3% (ASK) cut in capacity. Load factor fell -1.7 points to 72.5% LF.
(BER) and TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) confirmed that they are in discussions regarding a long-awaited alliance. (BER) said that negotiations regarding a cross-shareholding with the TUI Travel (TUG) subsidiary are well under way, while a (TUG) spokesperson in Hanover said that talks are in an advanced stage. Other sources close to the negotiations said that (TUG) will take 20% of (BER) through a capital increase, with (BER) acquiring the same percentage of (HAP)/(HLX).
If the deal goes through, (HAP)/(HLX) will transfer its loss-making scheduled shuttle services to (BER) along with 19 of its 38 operating airplanes, which will fly under the (BER) brand but with (HAP)/(HLX) crews. (HAP)/(HLX)'s fleet is too large for its needs and the reduction would allow it to concentrate on its profitable European charter operation.
Later, (BER) reported a -€75 million/-$99.6 million loss for 2008, reversed from a +€21 million surplus the prior year, but buttressed its long-term future with the sale of a 15.3% stake to Turkey's (ESAS) Holding and a share swap with TUI Travel (TUG)'s TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX). (ESAS), which operates Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen-based Pegasus Airlines (PGS), acquired the stake held formerly by Len Blavatnik. The shares were sold in January but the buyer was not revealed until Sunday. The deal is subject to approval by German competition authorities.
The long-rumored tie-up with TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) was finalized this month. Each airline will take a 19.9% stake in the other on October 1, at which point (BER) will operate TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX)'s scheduled services, while TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) will continue to operate its charter flights. (BER) will wet-lease 17 TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) airplanes. TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) will operate 21 planes on TUI Deutschland tourism flights. TUI Travel (TUG) Managing Director Central Europe, Volker Bottcher said the deal will result in "very few" job losses, while (BER) CEO, Joachim Hunold said the arrangement will "strengthen both companies" and give (BER) access to the "highly interesting markets" of Cologne, Stuttgart and Italy. (BER) said it expects €20 million in synergies.
(BER)'s 2008 revenue rose +6.7% to €3.4 billion and its operating profit fell -33.6% to +€14.2 million from +€21.4 million in 2007. It said efficiency programs implemented during the year resulted in "significant earnings improvement on the operating level" but that non-cash losses related to cross currency interest rate swaps and higher taxes led to the full-year deficit. Passenger numbers rose +1.2% to 28.6 million on a -4.9% decline in capacity to 56.48 billion (ASK)s. Load factor gained +1.1 point to 78.4% LF. It operated 125 airplanes at year end.
(BER) said it is targeting 27.3 million passengers in 2009 and a load factor of 77% LF to 77.6% LF, with improved (EBIT). Key to its search for "performance improvement on the ground and in the air" will be its new DHC-8-Q400s, two of which arrived last year. The remaining eight, which the airline said will be "of great importance," will be in service by August.
(BER) is evaluating the future of its long-haul network owing to the global economic downturn and a drop in bookings through tour operators. "We have implemented an internal (BER) efficiency program called 'jump.' This will include a look at whether our long-haul network can develop or whether we will focus on medium-haul routes in the future," a spokesperson said. (BER) is considering all possibilities, including canceling its long-haul flights or finding another platform for the operation. "The merger with (LTU) will continue, but maybe we will phase out the long-haul operation," the spokesperson added. (BER) is expected to provide further details on its long-haul plans at the ITB Berlin convention. (BER) currently operates 10 A330-300s that joined the fleet in 2007 via the merger with (LTU).
(BER) is operating its city-to-city routes under the "City-Shuttle" brand in cooperation with Austrian partner Niki (NKI). (BER) currently operates 117 airplanes.
737-76J (36118, D-ABLE) and 737-86J (37743, D-ABKE), A320-214 (3833, D-ABDV), and 1 DHC-8-402 (4245, D-ABQF), deliveries.
April 2009: Air Berlin (BER) said its March unit revenue grew by +4.2% year-over-year to €5.45 cents. It flew 2.1 million passengers during the month, down -5.6%, on a -0.8% fall in capacity to 2.8 million seats. Load factor dropped -2.7 points to 74.1% LF.
(BER) named former Condor Airlines (CDF) Managing Director, Christoph Debus to the board of executive directors, where he will be in charge of sales, network and Information Technology (IT).
TUIfly (HAP)(HLX) was hit by a wildcat strike at Hamburg, Hanover and Dusseldorf. Forty flights and 6,000 passengers suffered delays of up to 5 hours as some 190 employees stopped working, although no flights were cancelled. The ver.di union called the strike and is seeking a +5% pay increase for its members. (HAP)/(HLX) staff has been concerned over job security since the announcement of the carrier's alliance with (BER), which will begin operating 17 (HAP)/(HLX) 737s on scheduled routes.
Former (LTU) owner Hans Rudolf Woehrl said he is entertaining the idea of reacquiring the (BER) subsidiary, (LTU) which (BER) CEO, Joachim Hunold said last month is being considered for divestment. Speaking to "Handelsblatt," Woerhl said airline acquisition "is part of our business, and we were always very successful there," "Reuters" reported. He sold (LTU) to (BER) in March 2007 for €140 million/$186.5 million and said he has been in touch with (BER) management regarding his interest.
(BER) may face a pilots (FC) strike as 82.2% of voting Vereinigung Cockpit members voted to approve a walkout. The union board must confirm the move. Talks broke down after (BER) said the union's proposals would result in an additional +€30 million/+$39.6 million in personnel costs per year.
(BER) said the German Federal Cartel Office approved Pegasus Airlines (PGS) parent, (ESAS) Holding's acquisition of approximately 15% of the voting shares in (BER). It also announced the establishment next month of a Corporate Users Advisory Council that will "monitor the development of the business (C) travel sector" and "offer a more effective and flexible response to immediate market conditions." Former German Travel Management Association Chairman, Michael Kirnberger will head the council.
(BER) launched six-times-weekly, Berlin Tegel - Oslo Gardermoen service aboard a 737-700.
Low-cost carriers (LCC)s represented 35% of all intra-European capacity last year, virtually unchanged from 2007, according to the 2009 edition of "RDC Aviation's Low Cost Monitor." Growth across all sectors "slowed sharply toward the end of 2008," with aggregate annual capacity growing just +2.2% (ASK), the smallest increase this decade. Within this overall figure, however, the low-fare sector increased available seat capacity by +11% year-over-year while capacity in the non-low-cost sector dropped -2%. Significantly, the report noted that Ryanair (RYR) assumed the No 1 position for intra-European capacity (if Air France (AFA) and (KLM) are counted separately) by "overtaking Lufthansa (DLH) thanks to a +16.5% rise in seats available." EasyJet (EZY) is the fourth-largest intra-European carrier while Air Berlin (BER) moved up two places to the No 7 position in 2008 through the integration of (LTU). (RYR), (EZY) and (BER) accounted for just under 150 million seats in 2008, or 17.7% of total capacity within Europe. Seven of the top ten intra-Europe carriers are network airlines, but their combined capacity fell -4% last year. Interestingly, although the three largest (LCC)s fly 1,675 routes, competition among them remains small. "(RYR) and (EZY) go head-to-head on 28 routes while (BER) competes with (RYR) on two and (EZY) on five, according to the "Monitor." These three accounted for 54% of intra-European low-cost capacity last year, up from 51% in 2007. For more information about the Low Cost Monitor, contact email@example.com.
A319-112 (3865, D-ABGS), delivery.
May 2009: Air Berlin (BER) said April unit revenue grew +13% year-over-year to 5.86 euro cents/8.02 USA cents. Passenger numbers fell -3.4% to 2.2 million, capacity dropped -0.4% and load factor was down -2.4 points to 76.4% LF.
(BER) lost -€88.4 million/-$123.4 million in the first quarter, widened -48.3% from its -€59.6 million deficit in the year-ago period, although revenue and yield rose and its impending partnership with TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) appears to be on the verge of being finalized.
CEO, Joachim Hunold said in Salzburg that (BER) hopes to secure approval from European competition authorities for the tie-up this summer, with flights targeted to begin November 1. (BER) and (HAP)/(HLX) reached a deal in March on a 19.9% stake swap, and (BER) will operate 17 TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) airplanes on scheduled shuttle services. "With the (HAP)/(HLX) network, we also get all their markets in Italy and Austria [in addition to Germany], where nearly all of these routes are profitable," Hunold said.
That increasing focus on European service has relieved some pressure over what to do about its (LTU) subsidiary, which (BER) still has not fully integrated owing to unresolved issues with pilots (FC) and cabin crew (CA). Hunold said (BER) already has reduced long-haul flying by -30%, and if no solution is found, "we have other ideas, like wet-leasing the long-haul fleet." A joint venture (JV) with Turkey's Pegasus Airlines (PGS), whose parent ESAS Holding now is (BER)'s largest shareholder at 15.3%, also is possible, he revealed. (BER) has no plans to increase its share in Austria's Niki (NKI), and Hunold said it is not targeting any acquisitions in the near term.
Other measures to negotiate the downturn may include delivery deferrals and a greater focus on wooing business customers. He said that companies no longer willing to pay business class fares may turn to (BER). "We already have 868 corporate contracts with all kinds of companies and I believe this number will grow in 2009," he said.
(BER)'s first-quarter revenue rose +1.2% year-over-year to €661 million, which it said was the result of "improved" yield, but its operating loss deepened -27.3% to -€87.3 million from -€68.6 million in the first three months of 2008. Passenger numbers fell -6.2% to 5.5 million and yield jumped +15.4% to 8.33 euro cents.
CFO, Ulf Huttmeyer said "improved management" and a "higher-quality client mix" contributed to a +12.6% increase in unit revenue to 5.96 euro cents on a -1.8-point fall in load factor to 71.5% LF. "The growing price consciousness among business (C) and corporate clients has resulted in increased demand for (BER) flights," (BER) said.
In a statement, Hunold said (BER) was "able to increase our charter-business revenue, especially due to improved capacity management on our long-haul flights. Furthermore, despite a shrinking market environment, we have succeeded in keeping single-seat ticket sales relatively stable."
TUI Travel (TUG) is expecting annual savings of -€40 million/-$54 million thanks to the new alliance between its TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) operator and (BER), TUI (TUG) Chairman, Michael Frenzel said in Hanover. (BER) will take over 17 airplanes from TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) in order to operate scheduled shuttle services, while (HAP)/(HLX) will operate 21 airplanes on charter routes. Each company took a 19.9% share in the other and the cooperation is set to start on October 1, pending approval from competition authorities.
Pegasus Airlines (PGS) parent, (ESAS) Holding confirmed that its stake in (BER) is 15.3%, making it (BER)'s largest shareholder. (PGS) Chairman, Ali Sabanci will join the (BER) board.
(BER) will keep its order for 25 787s, and now expects the first airplane in 2013. Its long-haul plans remain in flux. (BER) management is talking with employees at its (LTU) subsidiary about a possible integration of its long-haul operation into B and the spokesperson said the future of both carriers' long-haul operations "depends on the results of these talks." Discussions with the Vereinigung Cockpit union are scheduled later this month. In March, (BER) CEO, Joachim Hunold said he was considering divesting (LTU) and that a dispute with its pilots (FC) was a key factor. (BER) has offered job security through 2010, a +3.5% pay increase and enhanced retirement provisions but the union's demands were "in no way economically in keeping with the times," he said.
(BER) will launch twice-weekly, Berlin Tegel - Tel Aviv flights on July 7.
DHC-8-402s (4250, D-ABQG; 4256, D-ABQH), deliveries.
June 2009: Air Berlin (BER) raised €23 million/$32.7 million from the issuance of approximately 6.6 million new shares (representing 10% of its share capital), which it said were placed with "institutional and professional investors" at €3.50 per share.
In addition, (ESAS) Holding, (BER)'s largest shareholder at 15.3%, agreed to purchase 4 million new shares at €3.50 under a separate increase while (BER) Chairman, Johannes Zurnieden and CEO, Joachim Hunold will buy 350,000 and 150,000 new shares respectively. Those transactions will raise an additional +€15.8 million. (BER) said the funds will be used for "general corporate purposes." Credit Suisse acted as sole bookrunner.
(BER) said May unit revenue rose +9.3% year-over-year to 5.8 euro cents. Passenger numbers fell -7.7% to 2.5 million on a -3.1% cut in capacity. Load factor dropped -3.8 points to 77% LF.
A320-214 (3945, D-ADBW), delivery.
July 2009: Air Berlin (BER) said June unit revenue rose +14% to 6.07 euro cents/8.63 cents. Passenger numbers fell -4.9% to 2.6 million on a -2.7% cut in seats to 3.3 million. Load factor slipped -1.8 points to 79.1% LF.
(BER) will begin serving Pristina from Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hanover and Munich up to twice-weekly, daily from Zurich and weekly from Geneva on November 4.
August 2009: Air Berlin (BER) CEO, Joachim Hunold expressed satisfaction that the carrier returned to profitability in the second quarter with net income of +€7.1 million/+$10.2 million despite the fact that the "sector continued to struggle." He cited "rigorously enhancing performance" as a primary reason (BER) had a relatively positive quarter during which expenses lowered -4.3% year-over-year to €825.5 million. Second-quarter traffic decreased -13.9% to 10.08 billion (RPK)s on a -10.8% cut in capacity to 13.01 billion (ASK)s, producing a load factor of 77.5% LF, down -2.7 points. (BER) ended the period with 128 airplanes, unchanged from June 30, 2008.
For the first half, net loss was -€81.4 million, widened -57.1% from a net loss of -€51.8 million in the prior year's first six months. Revenue decreased -1.3% to €1.5 billion. "(BER) has succeeded in improving its relative position with respect to flights within Europe," Hunold said. "Using different capital measures, (BER) has succeeded in improving its equity and liquidity, thus significantly lowering net indebtedness." Looking ahead, (BER) said the global economy appears to have "passed through the worst of the recession" but warned that "risks still remain" for airlines.
(BER) placed a €125 million/$177 million convertible bond with institutional investors outside the USA, Canada, Australia and Japan. Part of the inflowing capital will be used to repurchase existing bonds (€90 million nominal value), while the remaining €70 million will be used to refinance future airplane purchases and improve liquidity. Based on figures reported for the 2009 first quarter, the carrier's equity will improve by +€172 million to €504 million. Net indebtedness will decrease by €182 million. CFO, Ulf Huettmeyer said, "We have succeeded in improving (BER)'s equity and liquidity, and thus improved the entire financial position of the company." (BER) intends to include the convertible bond for trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange by the end of September. Morgan Stanley Bank and quirin bank acted as joint bookrunners and lead managers on the bond placement.
Pegasus Airlines (PGS) is planning an Initial Public Offering (IPO) for the second half of next year, Chairman, Ali Sabanci said on Turkey's "CNBC-e" network. (PGS) parent (ESAS) Holding is Air Berlin (BER)'s largest shareholder at 15.3%.
(GECAS) (GEF) announced that it has entered into an agreement with (BER) for the sale and leaseback of three A320-200s, which will be delivered in early 2010 from the airline's existing order book with Airbus (EDS). All will be equipped with (CFM56) engines.
A320-214 (3995, D-ABDX), delivery. DHC-8-Q402 (4264, D-ABQI), delivery.
September 2009: Air Berlin (BER) said August unit revenue rose +12% year-over-year to 6.21 euro cents/9.08 cents. It transported 2.7 million passengers, down -3.7%, and load factor rose +1.1 points to 84% LF.
(BER) will operate seasonal weekly service from Nuremberg to Araxos and Kalamata beginning May 4.
(BER) and Pegasus Airlines (PGS) started their cooperation by cross-linking their websites. Passengers will be able to book 17 additional connections from Germany to Turkey as well as 26 routes within Turkey. Pegasus (PGS) belongs to (ESAS) Holding, the second-largest industrial and financial group in Turkey. (ESAS) also is (BER)'s largest shareholder with an 18% stake.
(BER) announced that it will add 10 new destinations and 54 new nonstop services, especially from Cologne, Stuttgart and Memmingen/Munich West, starting November 1 following its takeover of TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX)'s scheduled flight operations. (BER) will add 13 (HAP)/(HLX) 737s to its schedule in the coming winter season and 14 in the summer 2010 schedule.
(BER) and (LTU) pilots (FC) represented by Vereinigung Cockpit went on strike for 3 hours and 16 hours, respectively. (BER) said the (LTU) pilots (FC) have demanded a +11.7% pay increase and the airline has countered with an offer of +2% with inflation adjustment plus redundancy protection until the end of 2010.
(BER) announced postponement of the sale of its Leisure Cargo subsidiary, which is based in Dusseldorf and manages freight activity for (BER), TUIFly (HAP)/(HLX) and Condor Airlines (CDF).
(BER) and TUI Travel will not implement the cross-shareholding agreement between (BER) and TUI's German aviation business (TUG) that was announced in March, although they will forge ahead on their commercial accord as planned.
TUI (TUG)'s German airlines, Hapag-Lloyd Fluggesellschaft (HAP) and Hapag-Lloyd Express (HLX), fly under the TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) brand. "TUI Travel will now either acquire a 9.9% stake in Air Berlin (BER) for a cash consideration of €33.5 million/$48 million, which it will sell over a period of time, or alternatively will pay (BER) €15 million [in compensation]. (BER) will no longer acquire a stake in TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX). TUI Travel will also no longer receive the right to nominate a nonexecutive director to the Board of (BER)," TUI (TUG) said, noting the amendment to the deal followed "discussions with the German Federal Cartel Office."
Whether TUI (TUG) will take the 9.9% stake in (BER) or pay compensation depends on the outcome of further talks with the competition authority, (BER) said. Under the initial agreement, TUI Travel was to acquire a 19.9% equity stake in (BER) for €64.8 million via a capital increase, while (BER) would buy 19.9% of TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) for €36.3 million in cash. The transaction was subject to antitrust clearances and had an effective date of October 1.
The Federal Cartel Office objected to the original cross-shareholding, and more specifically feared that TUI Travel would gain too much knowledge of (BER)'s strategic plans if it was allowed to appoint a director to the (BER) board, "Dow Jones" reported.
The German regulator, however, did approve the takeover of TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX)'s scheduled Flight Operations by (BER), which will operate 13 TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) airplanes in the coming winter season and 14 in summer 2010. (BER) CEO, Joachim Hunold said the expansion would be "extremely important for business (C) customers in particular."
Central Europe TUI Travel Managing Director, Volker Bottcher said the company would now concentrate on its tourist portfolio and that TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) would command "a better competitive position within the European air travel market."
TUI Travel will sub-charter one additional airplane to a third party this winter and will remove another airplane from the fleet next May. Accordingly, its German charter business will operate 23 airplanes from summer 2010.
737-86J (37745, D-ABKF) and 2 A320-214s (4013, D-ABDY; 4033, D-ABDZ), deliveries.
SEE WORLD TOP 10 SAFEST AIRLINES - -
October 2009: Air Berlin (BER) with its takeover of TUIFly (HAP)/(HLX)'s city routes, has a big wintertime expansion including 10 new destinations, 8 of which are in Italy or North Africa. New Italian cities are Bari, Cagliari, Naples and Palermo, wheras the North Africa cities are Cairo, Nador, Tangier, and Tunis. Other new cities are Memmingen in Germany and Klagenfurt in Austria. All of these cities will be connected to cities in Germany: Berlin, and/or Munich, Cologne and Stuttgart. A weekly flight between Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg and Catania begins in May.
(BER) has started the Frankfurt - Hamburg route, attacking a market dominated by Lufthansa (DLH). (DLH) is increasing its presence in this market to about 100 flights per week in each direction. (BER) will initially compete with just two daily flights each way but will eventually ramp up to about five, depending on the day of week.
November 2009: Air Berlin (BER) posted a +€95.2 million/+$142.4 million profit in the third quarter, more than double the +€45.1 million reported in the year-ago period, thanks in part to reduced foreign exchange losses and €20 million in proceeds from payments on a convertible bond.
Revenue fell -8.2% year-over-year to €974 million "due to planned capacity reductions," (BER) said, but operating profit rose +33.5% to +€118 million from +€88.4 million in the 2008 third quarter.
"Despite the remaining risks with respect to the economic environment and the development of the economy, (BER) confirms its previous forecast that it will achieve a better operating result than in 2008," it said. (EBIT) was €14.2 million last year.
In October, (BER)'s unit revenue dropped -1% year-over-year to €6.13 cents. (BER) transported 2.7 million passengers during the month, down -0.9%, against a -1.2% cut in capacity. Load factor rose +0.2 point to 80.2% LF.
(BER)'s partial purchase of Switzerland's Belair (BLB), whose fleet will triple to nine airplanes by next spring, will result in a summer 2010 timetable which will include a number of new Swiss routes: Zurich to Malaga, Basle to Ibiza and Catania, Zurich to Naples, Bari, and Palermo. A new flight from Munich to Constanta on the Black Sea, meanwhile, will mark (BER)’s first foray into Romania. Berlin Tegel to Corsica and Stuttgart to Bodrum in Turkey are other noteworthy additions. Perhaps more interestingly, (BER) continues to expand its longhaul offerings with new twice-weekly nonstops to San Francisco (SFO) starting in May. (SFO) joins New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Fort Myers and Vancouver in its portfolio of North American routes inherited from another purchase: that of (LTU).
Lufthansa Technik (DLH) (LTK) signed a Total Component Support contract with the Air Berlin Group and will manage component supply for (BER)'s 737s, A320 family airplanes, A330s and DHC-8-Q400s. (BER) will receive on-site service at its Berlin and Dusseldorf hubs and will have access to (LTK)'s warehouses in Hamburg and Frankfurt. A significant portion of (BER)'s inventory already has been transferred to (LTK).
(BER) said it is seeking to recruit 700 flight attendants (CA) and 120 pilots (FC). The new employees would be based in Berlin, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Munster/Osnabruck, Nuremberg, Paderborn-Lippstadt, and Stuttgart in Germany, as well as Basel/Muhlhausen and Zurich in Switzerland, (BER) said. (BER) currently operates 129 airplanes. It has retired all of its 737 Classics and plans to ground two 757s and one 767-300ER by the end of January. (BER) is expecting to take delivery of 26 airplanes in 2010.
(BER) said it became the first airline to receive approval from German aviation regulator (LBA) to deploy (GLS) technology on its flights.
A320-214 (4101, D-ABFA), delivery.
December 2009: Air Berlin (BER) said November unit revenue rose +1.7% year-over-year to €5.24 cents/7.55 cents. Passenger numbers fell -0.1% to 2.2 million and load factor was down -0.8 point to 71.9% LF on a +1.1% rise in capacity.
(BER) will add second daily flights from Berlin Tegel to Gothenburg, Helsinki Vantaa and Oslo Gardermoen in May, when it also will launch a new weekly service to the Swedish island of Visby.
SEE ATTACHED - - "BER-2009-12 GLS."
2 737-86Js (37746, D-ABKG; 37747, D-ABKH), and A320-214 (4128, D-ABFB) deliveries.
January 2010: Air Berlin (BER) said December unit revenue fell -6.5% year-over-year to €4.98 cents/7.06 cents. (BER) transported 2.1 million passengers, up +0.8% year-over-year, while load factor rose +0.5 point to 73.1% LF.
(BER) will launch weekly flights to Rimini from Hamburg, Munster Osnabruck, Baden-Baden, and Nurnberg on May 15, Stuttgart on May 16, and Berlin Tegel on June 5.
(BER) CCO, Christoph Debus told "Reuters" that (BER) plans to launch service to northern Iraq this year. Lufthansa (DLH) said it will begin flying to Erbil (as well as Baghdad) from Frankfurt and Munich this summer.
INCDT: A German Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accident Investigation spokesperson said results of the investigation into a recent Air Berlin (BER) 737-800 runway overrun in Dortmund will be available in March at the earliest, "Bloomberg News" reported. Dortmund Airport said the pilot (FC) aborted takeoff and the plane rolled into a nearby field. None of the 165 passengers was injured. The airport was closed for some 13 hours. A (BER) spokesperson cited "technical irregularities" as a contributor to the incident and said the airplane will undergo 3 to 4 days of checks before being returned to the fleet.
737-86J (37748, D-ABKI) and A320-214 (4161, D-ABFC), deliveries.
February 2010: Air Berlin (BER) will launch weekly, Munich - Erbil service aboard a 737-800. The flight initially will alternate between Erbil International and Sulaimaniyah International, (BER) said, adding that it plans to increase frequency beginning this summer.
(BER) announced the departure of Chief Maintenance Officer, Wolfgang Kurth, citing "differences of opinion concerning the future strategic positioning of the technical support companies and their integration in the Air Berlin Group." (BER) CEO, Joachim Hunold will handle Kurth's responsibilities in the interim. Later, Air Berlin (BER) named SR Technics (SWS) Senior Executive VP, Helmut Himmelreich as its new Chief Maintenance Officer.
Niki (NKI) is expecting to announce a capital increase in order to strengthen its position against primary competitor Austrian Airlines (AUL), and Air Berlin (BER) said that it is "in advanced negotiations" regarding an increase of its 24% stake in (NKI). Local media reports suggested that new capital could come from either (BER) or a new investor and that (BER) is considering raising its stake to as much as 49%. President, Niki Lauda is expected to address media, when (NKI) announces its 2009 results. Its passenger boardings rose +28.6% last year to 2.6 million. (BER) said no agreement with Niki (NKI) has been reached and the German airline's board has not approved any additional investment.
Niki (NKI) President, Niki Lauda said that he will remain in charge of (NKI) following Air Berlin (BER)'s move to increase its share to 49.9% and that the airlines will work together to create efficiencies that will allow them to compete with heavyweights Lufthansa (DLH) and Austrian Airlines (AUL). (BER) announced a €21 million/$28.8 million investment in an additional 25.9% share of Niki (NKI) and another €40.5 million in loans, but Lauda said he was "surprised by speculation in the media that I will leave the company . . . it is all nonsense. I am the boss and I will continue to be the boss."
Together the carriers hold more than a 20% market share in Vienna (VIE), and they have an agreement with the airport for exclusive use of the Pier West terminal once the new Skylink terminal is operational in 2012. In the meantime, (NKI) and (BER) will increase frequencies between (VIE), Berlin and Dusseldorf, while some (BER) flights from other Austrian airports could be absorbed by (NKI). Lauda denied rumors that (NKI) will launch a long-haul operation. "We will do what we do best and stay with it," he said. It plans to increase its fleet of 11 airplanes to 27 by 2014, comprising 20 A320 family planes and seven EMB-190s. He expects 2010 revenue of €380 million and 3.5 million passengers, "with a clear positive profit." The number of employees will grow this year to 600 from 520.
Mubadala Aerospace said it is launching an engine component and engine finance company in response "to the evolving landscape of the airline industry where economic conditions are putting increased pressure on liquidity." Sanad Aero Solutions' first two customers are Air Berlin (BER), which signed a $100 million deal for 12 spare engines, and Etihad Airways (EHD), which is receiving financing valued at more than >$30 million over a 10-year period. The Etihad (EHD) deal is part of a Total Component Solution contract between SR Technics (SWS) and the airline for Etihad (EHD)'s Airbus (EDS) fleet. The (BER) contract includes engine maintenance for a major part of (BER)'s fleet to be completed by (SWS), Mubadala said.
"Through SR Technics (SWS) and ADAT [Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies] we have two very strong Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) companies . . . We believe that by offering component and engine financing solutions for airlines and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)s in partnership with our existing network, we are able to provide a truly integrated service," stated Mubadala Aerospace Executive Director, Homaid Al Shemmari.
March 2010: Air Berlin (BER) posted a -€9.5 million/-$13 million loss in 2009, narrowed from a restated -€83.5 million deficit in 2008, it reported in a preliminary earnings statement. (BER) said full-year revenue dropped -4.4% to €3.24 billion and operating expenses were cut -6.2% to €2.78 billion. It said (EBIT) rose to €28.5 million from €2 million, while financial losses were reduced to €51 million from €72 million in 2008.
Alliance among Air Berlin (BER), Niki (NKI) and S7 Airlines (SBR) is "quiet" while the first two carriers await expanded traffic rights to Russia. "Without more traffic rights, we are not able to do much more in terms of cooperation," Niki (NKI) President, Niki Lauda said. (NKI) hopes to double its Vienna - Moscow Domodedovo (DME) service to twice-daily, and launch flights to St Petersburg. The (DME) expansion was scheduled to take place over the summer, "but we have had to reschedule," Lauda said. He is hoping that Austrian Airlines (AUL) will cede one of its frequencies to Niki (NKI) as part of its merger with Lufthansa (DLH). Russian authorities continue to express concern about whether the merger compromises current bilateral agreements between Russia and Austria. (DLH) Chief Officer Group Airlines & Corporate Human Resources (HR), Stefan Lauer told Austria's "Der Standard" that "it would be nonsense to give up grandfathered traffic rights to Russia after so many years developing the market." Russia will have the final word, however. (AUL)'s rights expire at the conclusion of the winter schedule.
(BER) will increase its Tel Aviv presence with new twice-weekly flights from Cologne and Munich (MUC) starting later this month, a third weekly frequency from Berlin Tegel (TXL) starting in May and twice-weekly service from Dusseldorf (DUS), beginning in June. Business class (C) seats will be available on the (TXL), (DUS) and (MUC) services, which the airline said will mark the first time it offers the premium product on medium-haul flights.
(BER) and pilots (FC) represented by Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) announced an agreement "to hold negotiations on unresolved issues of the framework collective agreement," forestalling the warning strikes the (VC) union threatened.
(BER) CEO, Joachim Hunold said that (BER) is focused on European expansion and increasing transfer traffic at Berlin Tegel (TXL), especially to destinations in Italy and Spain, as it looks toward the opening of the new Berlin Brandenburg International next year. "We are already optimizing our hub structure at Tegel for the summer of 2010, with the aim of generating even more transfer options and further growth in passenger numbers in Berlin," he said. (BER) is targeting more than >6,000 weekly connections to/from (TXL) with 22 airplanes operating in six waves each day.
Another source close to (BER) said that it already has secured check-in areas at the new airport that will help it increase the number of Berlin transfer passengers from the current 3% to 4% to the low double-digits. Hunold said (BER) already has proven it can run a low-cost hub operation at Palma, where it operates 322 weekly flights and holds a market share of 31%. He said it has not been contacted by any of the three major alliances regarding membership and is focused on strengthening its European network and leveraging its relationships with TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) and its Austrian partner Niki (NKI).
(BER) announced the cancellation of 10 firm 787 Dreamliner orders worth a combined $1.7 billion at list prices, along with five options, "to account for a change in market conditions and in order to meet . . . specific operative requirements."
(BER) still has 15 787 Dreamliners and five options remaining from its 2007 order. The cancellations represent the first for the program since TUI Travel (TUG) eliminated 10 of its 23 787 orders last fall. Boeing (TBC) sold 25 787s to United Airlines (UAL) last month but suffered 83 cancellations in 2009 compared to just 24 commitments.
(BER) CFO, Ulf Huttmeyer stressed that the cancellation was "mutually agreed" with Boeing (TBC) in a "partnership spirit." He said the airline still "believes in the future of the 787" and that the move "means a significant reduction of its financial obligations due to lower and much more distributed investment profile." (BER) also deferred the delivery of nine 737s from 2010 to 2011 to 2015. It expects to take its first 787 in November 2015.
CEO, Joachim Hunold said that (BER) is focusing on its European growth, perhaps a harbinger of a reduction in its long-haul investment.
(BER) said it is expecting a "noticeable increase" in 2010 profit compared to the €9.5 million loss suffered last year, while it simultaneously announced the sale of 11 airplanes to two separate parties. (BER) followed up its recent preliminary results announcement with additional details. It said the early implementation of a cost-reduction program prior to the recession "continued to show its effect in the 2009 financial year . . . The optimization of the flight network at an early stage and the consistent phase-out of destinations that were no longer justifiable in terms of profitability improved the quality of (BER)'s earnings."
The aforementioned loss compared to an -€83.5 million deficit in 2008, while operating profit rose to +€28.5 million from +€2 million on a +4.4% lift in revenue to €3.24 billion and a -6.2% reduction in expenses to €2.78 billion. Yield climbed +8.5% to €0.0757 and unit revenue rose +6.9% to €0.0586.
(BER) operates 152 airplanes, 42 of which are owned. It transported 27.9 million passengers last year and anticipates "significantly" more than >30 million in 2010. "Factors supporting this prognosis are that the TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) connections are contributing over an entire financial year and that Air Berlin (BER) has a competitive edge which includes the company's well-balanced product portfolio for business travel and leisure travel, and its attractive price-performance ratio, especially on short- and medium-haul routes," it said.
Meanwhile, (BER) announced airplane sale/financing deals with Jackson Square Aviation (JSA) of San Francisco and Lionhart of Toronto. The arrangement with (JSA) comprises the sale of three (BER)-owned 737-800s currently on lease to Shenzhen Airlines (SHZ) and the sale and leaseback of one A319 currently owned and operated by (BER) as well as four 737-800s scheduled for delivery in the first half of 2011.
Lionhart purchased four A320s outright from (BER) and will lease two to Virgin America (VUS) and two to Azerbaijan Airlines (AZB). The deal likely will be closed next month.
April 2010: A320-214 (4269, D-ABFE), delivery.
May 2010: 737-86J (37753, D-ABKK) and 3 A320-214s (4291, D-ABFG; 4294, D-ABFH; 4316), deliveries. 4316 leased to flyNiki (NKI).
June 2010: Air Berlin (BER) said it transported 2.9 million passengers in May, up +1.8%, as load factor fell -2.7 points to 74% LF.
737-86J (37754, D-ABKL), A320-214 (4329, D-ABFF), and A321-211 (4334, D-ABCC), deliveries.
July 2010: Air Berlin (BER) transported 3.02 million passengers in June, up +3.4% from the year-ago month, while load factor fell -3.7 points to 75.1% LF.
Air Berlin (BER) said it will join the Oneworld (ONW) alliance and develop cooperative agreements with several members of the alliance.
In line with German stock exchange regulations, it said that it has reached an agreement with (ONW) on “key aspects” of its membership and that it will work toward completing a full membership agreement under the sponsorship of British Airways (BAB). It added that “membership in (ONW) would strengthen Air Berlin (BER)’s competitive position and enable it to participate in the (ONW) alliance’s revenue enhancement and cost reduction activities.”
(BER) also said it entered into code share agreements with American Airlines (AAL) and Finnair (FIN) that are scheduled to take effect November 1. Responding to the (BER) statement, (AAL) said it "welcomes the news that Air Berlin (BER) has accepted an invitation to join the Oneworld (ONW) alliance and is delighted to be one of the first members of the alliance to announce a bilateral agreement with what is Germany’s second largest airline." The (AAL) accord will give (BER) passengers access to 15 destinations in the USA and two in the Bahamas. The Finnair (FIN) cooperation will apply to code share flights to Helsinki, within Europe and to Asia. The agreements are subject to regulatory approvals.
The (ONW) alliance is expected to officially invite (BER) to become a member. (BER) is Germany’s second largest after Lufthansa (DLH). In recent years, it has grown both organically and through acquisitions.
The Air Berlin Group includes Air Berlin (BER), the Austrian airline NIKI (NKI) (in which (BER) holds a 49.9% stake), the Swiss airline Belair (BLB) (49%) and the Dusseldorf-based airline (LTU) (100%). At the end of the first quarter, the group operated 150 airplanes with an average age of 5.3 years. It carried 27.9 million passengers last year.
(BER) is attempting to position itself between traditional mainline carriers and Low Cost Carrier (LCC)s, although several industry observers see it more as a hybrid between a charter carrier and an (LCC). Its membership in the Oneworld (ONW) alliance would mark the first time such a crossover carrier has joined a global alliance.
(BER) will operate twice-weekly service to Arvidsjaur (in the Lapland region of northern Finland) from Hanover and Stuttgart between November 29 and April 1. This region offers such novelties as ice hotels and snow scooter rides along with good skiing. Interestingly, Arvidsjaur is also home to numerous auto company facilities, which test their vehicles in the city’s extremely cold temperatures.
Air Berlin (BER) and Air Lease Corporation, a new leasing company led by former (ILFC) (ILF) Chairman, Steven Udvar-Hazy, signed a sale/leaseback agreement for one A320-200, one A321-200, two 737-800s and one used A320-200. All are equipped with (CFM) engines. The first delivery, which took place May 19, was for the A320-200. Delivery of an A321 and a used A320 took place in June. Delivery of the two 737-800s is scheduled for later in the year and early 2011.
August 2010: Air Berlin (BER) transported 3.7 million passengers in July, up +6.4% from the year-ago month. Load factor fell -2.1 points to 81.2% LF.
Frankfurt airport operator Fraport is urging Air Berlin (BER) to build a hub-and-spoke system at Germany’s largest airport.
“There are strong potential benefits from a Oneworld (ONW) hub in Frankfurt, not only for the airlines, but also for us,” CFO, Matthias Zieschang said. Air Berlin (BER) recently announced its intention to join the Oneworld (ONW) alliance in 2012. (BER) only has a limited presence in Frankfurt, mainly because of slot constraints. Also, Frankfurt is the hub for rival Lufthansa (DLH). Fraport’s plans to support a (BER) expansion will almost certainly be met with resistance by (DLH), which has a stake of around 10% in Fraport and
is represented on the board of directors.
Zieschang argues that “(BER) would form a good link to the Oneworld (ONW) alliance by taking over a feeder function” in Frankfurt and believes that this is not nearly as viable in Berlin where a new airport will open next year. Berlin does not have a significant long-haul network, however. While it will be difficult for (BER) to add any new services in Frankfurt in the near term, it could re-designate existing slots to business destinations that are currently used for leisure services that are unattractive as
feeder routes. Also, Frankfurt Airport opens its fourth runway in 2012, raising capacity from 83 movements per hour to 120. Linking up with Oneworld (ONW) carriers such as (LAN), American Airlines (AAL), Iberia (IBE), Cathay Pacific (CAT) and British Airways (BAB) could form a strong network, but it would be smaller than (DLH)’s offering on the same airport. Fraport also plans to build a third terminal once the current two buildings are full. Oneworld (ONW) members currently use Terminal 2, but they could move over to Terminal 3 which is likely to be bigger. An exact opening time is not yet confirmed.
(BER) said it was encouraged by the comments, and stated that the fourth Frankfurt runway will open new opportunities.
Air Berlin (BER) CEO, Joachim Hunold said (BER) has rebounded "slower than expected" from April's volcanic ash-related airspace closures in Europe, which cost it "about -€40 million"/-$50.6 million in lost revenue and forced the cancellation of "3,625 flights, resulting in a loss of -600,000 seats affecting 400,000 passengers," he said. Hunold noted that (BER) is considering joining with other airlines for a possible legal action but would not give details.
The CEO said (BER) is "working to reduce costs by -€20 million this year." He explained that (BER) is on track to reduce costs in the third quarter but warned the fourth quarter could see costs rise owing to possible losses on fuel hedges and foreign currency exchanges. He said code share agreements with Finnair (FIN) and American Airlines (AAL) should be in place by November 1. He added that (BER) is now starting talks with British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE) regarding code share agreements "for the summer 2011." (BER) currently operates a fleet of 149 airplanes.
2 737-86Js (37756, D-ABKN; 37757, D-ABKO), ex-(N1786B), deliveries.
September 2010: The German government approved a highly criticized air passenger duty tax, which will take effect for bookings beginning January 1, 2011.
The "ecological air travel levy" was included in a package of government spending cuts introduced earlier this year by Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has maintained that Berlin needs to slash spending by -€80 billion/-$101.5 billion by 2014 to alleviate the nation's shaky fiscal situation. The new tax is expected to raise €1 billion/$1.27 billion annually.
German Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble said he does not expect that airlines will suffer from the tax. Instead, he said, carriers will pass it on to their passengers. Passengers boarding flights in Germany will be charged €8 for domestic and intra-European short-haul flights, €25 for medium-haul flights and €45 for long-haul flights.
The German Airport Association criticized the new tax, which it believes could mean the loss of thousands of jobs in the country's aviation industry. Lufthansa (DLH) said the fee will weaken Germany's airlines by encouraging passengers to bypass the country. The Netherlands and Denmark both tried similar taxes before dropping them after seeing travelers bypass their airports in favor of lower cost alternatives in near-by countries.
From the 6th November 2010, (BER) will be operating one non-stop flight a week from Düsseldorf to Arbil in Northern Iraq. In addition (BER) will also be offering fortnightly flights from Düsseldorf to Sulaymaniyah. Many of the seats have already been booked by a tour operator for ethnic travel.
A320-214 (4433, D-ABFJ), delivery, ex-(D-AVVQ).
October 2010: Air Berlin (BER) managed to increase its operating
profit in the third quarter from +€118 million/+$164.5 million to €171 million, benefiting from the peak holiday season and Germany’s quick economic recovery. (BER) boosted revenues by +27% to €1.24 partly because of higher demand, which was due in part to its inclusion of FlyNiki (NKI) and the TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) city carrier
business for the first time. In spite of the improvement, (BER) remained in the red for the first nine months, posting a -€14 million net loss in the three quarters combined.
Finnair (FIN) and Air Berlin (BER) will begin code sharing from October 31.
November 2010: Airberlin (BER) launched thrice-weekly, Berlin Tegel - Dubai service, (BER)'s first year-round, regular non-stop service to the Middle East and the only direct link between Berlin and Dubai.
December 2010: 2 737-76Js (36873, D-ABLE - - SEE PHOTO - - "BER-737-76J-2010-12;" 36874, D-ABLF), deliveries.
January 2011: Air Berlin (BER) will increase seven-times-weekly, Berlin Tegel - St Petersburg service to 13-times-weekly for its summer 2011 schedule. High speed trains are now operating between Helsinki and St Petersburg in Russia. Russia is another important market for Finnair (FIN), with Finland sharing a border with the giant country. Air Berlin (BER) calls Russia one of its “most important markets” and this month announced more capacity in the Berlin - St Petersburg market. The city, with its Hermitage museum and resplendent cathedrals, is popular with German tourists. But it’s also the source of originating traffic to destinations throughout Europe and even the USA, which Air Berlin (BER) hopes to capture through its namesake hub. (BER) aims to take Russians to sunshine spots in Spain, ski resorts in Switzerland and Austria, tourist sites in Italy, business centers in Germany and as far west as New York City and Miami. As at other European airports, Air Berlin (BER) offers a transit area at Berlin Tegel that precludes the need for Russians to obtain European Schengen visas when traveling to the USA.
Sunny Fort Myers, Florida, USA has new non-stops to Europe. Low frequency service to the Danish cities Copenhagen and Aalborg will begin in June using two-class A330s crammed with 358 seats. The flights are marketed by the tour operator Comefly, but will be operated by Monarch Airlines (MON). The only other non-stop European destination from Fort Myers is Dusseldorf, flown by Air Berlin (BER).
(BER) announced it will increase the number of executive board members from three to four as it prepares to join the Oneworld (ONW) alliance at the start of 2012. (BER)’s future executive board will comprise (CEO), Joachim Hunold; (CFO), Ulf Huettmeyer; and (COO) Operations & Human Resources (HR), Christoph Debus as well as a yet-to-be appointed (CCO). Until the new appointment is made, Hunold will serve as acting (CCO) Network & Sales.
Frankfurt airport (FRA)’s fourth runway is to open in October; the new Berlin airport in June 2012.
Air Lease Corporation (ALE) mandated KfW IPEX-Bank as arranger and sole lender in a seven-year commercial debt financing of one new A321-200 operated by Air Berlin (BER).
The Association of European Airlines (AEA) expanded its membership to 36 with this month's addition of Air Berlin (BER).
February 2011: The Association of German Airlines forecast the new eco-tax, which took effect January 1, will prevent five million passengers from flying in 2011 and 2012, thus destroying the creation of 15,000 new jobs in the German aviation industry, BDF President, Ralf Teckentrup said at the Aviation Press Club in Frankfurt. Nevertheless, in the long term Teckentrup believes the German aviation industry can expect passenger growth. He said 200 million passengers could depart from Germany this year, up +5% compared to 2010 and by 2020 the number should grow to 300 million. Two of three passengers will board a German-registered airplane, he noted.
Passengers boarding flights in Germany are now charged €8/$10.80 for domestic and intra-European short-haul flights, €25 for medium-haul flights and €45 for long-haul flights. The German government is expected to raise €1 billion annually with the new tax.
March 2011: Air Berlin (BER) said it will completely integrate (LTU) International Airways, which it acquired in August 2007, into its operations. "This integration allows us to create the required preconditions to eliminate double structures, simplify work routines and increase the overall efficiency of the operation," CEO, Joachim Hunold said in a statement. "We not only expect noticeable savings, but also further integration of all employees, which is an important step for future challenges such as our planned membership in the Oneworld (ONW) alliance."
Air Berlin (BER) incurred a 2010 net loss of -€97.2 million/-$137.3 million, widened from a pro forma 2009 net loss (including Niki (NKI) and TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) city-to-city routes now operated by (BER)) of -€21.9 million, marking its third consecutive loss-making year.
CEO, Joachim Hunold said, "We are not satisfied with the way earnings developed in 2010." But he noted that the company has "taken significant strategic decisions to prepare itself for the future" including reaching agreement to join the Oneworld (ONW) alliance in 2012 and consolidating (NKI) fully within (BER). "The decision to join the (ONW) alliance is one of the most important strategic steps in the history of [BER] and with (NKI) attractive opportunities for growth, particularly in Eastern Europe, are opening up for us."
Full-year revenue generated by (BER) rose +1.1% compared to 2009 to €3.72 billion, while expenses increased +2.4% to €3.79 billion. (EBIT) was reported at negative -€9.3 million, reversed from positive (EBIT) of €29 million in 2009. (BER) said in a statement that its 2010 "operating result fell short of expectations due to the harsh winter in Europe, the air space restrictions imposed as a result of the April 2010 volcanic eruption in Iceland, the air traffic controller (ATC) strike in Spain and the announcement of strikes against (BER)."
Traffic in 2010 increased +3% compared to 2009 to 45.24 billion (RPK)s traffic on a +3.7% lift in capacity to 58.78 billion (ASK)s, producing a load factor of 76.8% LF, down -0.7 point. (BER) operated a fleet of 169 airplanes at the end of 2010 led by 76 A320 family airplanes and 65 737NGs.
The Air Berlin (BER) Group said it plans to hire +300 additional flight attendants (CA), to be based in Berlin Tegel, Nurnberg, Munster/Osnabruck, Dresden, Dusseldorf, Cologne, Frankfurt, Basel, and Zurich.
SR Technics (SWS) expanded its 10-year engine maintenance contract with the Airberlin (BER) Group to cover exclusive maintenance services for more than >300 engines, including (CFM56-7B), (CFM56-5B) and (PW4168) engines, for their entire Airbus (EDS) and Boeing (TBC) fleet. (SWS) is now responsible for providing maintenance services for 95% of Airberlin (BER) Group engines.
Air Berlin (BER) CEO, Joachim Hunold said that (BER) is busy completing the necessary requirements to join the Oneworld (ONW) alliance by April 2012. "This is a very challenging year for us. All of our resources are focused on the work [necessary] for future (ONW) membership," he said. "We are on track." To join the (ONW) alliance, (BER) will have to update its Information Technology (IT) system and upgrade its long-haul product.
Hunold said (BER) will invest around €10 million/$13.9 million to become Oneworld (ONW)-ready. It will reconfigure 10 A330-200s with new business (C) and economy (Y) seats starting in November.
(BER) also plans to expand its services from Berlin Tegel, Dusseldorf, and Palma de Mallorca. In May, (BER) will add new flights from Berlin (TXL) to New York (JFK) and Linz. "This move should increase our presence in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria together with our partner airline Niki (NKI) [in which (BER) owns a 49.9% stake]," Hunold stated.
He said (BER) will likely take delivery of the first of 15 787s it has on order in the fall of 2014. It was originally supposed to receive its first 787 Dreamliner next year. (BER) also holds 10 787 options. Last month, it took delivery of the first 737-700, outfitted with the new Sky Interior cabin.
(BER) is expecting to report a net loss for its fiscal year ending March 31 but predicts a positive operating result.
(BER) announced an agreement with (GE) Capital Aviation Services (GEF) for the financing of 12 new airplanes, comprising five A320s, three A321s and four 737-800s, all equipped with (CFM) engines. This sale-and-leaseback transaction, worth $1 billion at list prices, is covering deliveries due in the first three quarters of 2012.
April 2011: Air Berlin (BER) announced that founder and CEO of former British Low Cost Carrier (LCC) Go Fly (GFL), Barbara Cassani and former easyJet (EZY) CCO, Saad Hammad are joining the board of Air Berlin (BER) as new non-executive directors, effective May 1. (BER) also named Wolfgang Grimus as Head Network Management & Development.
May 2011: Air Berlin (BER) launched four-times-weekly, A330 Berlin Tegel – New York (JFK) service. (BER) announced it will increase the number of flights it operates to the Canary Islands for winter 2011/12, with the addition of 30 nonstop services from “various German airports” to Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, La Palma, Gran Canaria, and Tenerife South. The extra capacity is equivalent to 290,000 seats, (BER) said.
June 2011: Air Berlin (BER) and British Airways (BAB) reached a code share agreement. Beginning July 5, (BER) will place its code on (BAB) flights from "various" German airports to London Heathrow, as well as (BAB) flights from Frankfurt and Zurich to London City, and from Salzburg to London Gatwick (LGW). (BAB) will place its code on (BER) flights from (LGW) to Nuremburg and from London Stansted (STN) to Paderborn and Munster/Osnabruck. The cooperation agreement applies to flights to more than >40 European destinations served by the two airlines.
(BER) and Adria Airways (ADR) have expanded their code share partnership to include (BER)’s new four-times-weekly, Berlin Tegel - New York (JFK) flights.
July 2011: Air Berlin (BER) will start weekly, Dusseldorf - Curacao A330-200 service on January 15. Iberia (IBE) reached a code share agreement with Air Berlin (BER), under which (BER) will place its code on (IBE) service to Madrid from Berlin Tegel (SXF), Dusseldorf (DUS), Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, and Geneva. (IBE) will place its code on (BER) routes from (SXF), (DUS), Hamburg and Stuttgart to Barcelona as well as from (DUS) to Bilbao and from Cologne/Bonn to Valencia.
SEE LATEST "AIRLINER WORLD" REVIEW OF AIR BERLIN - - "BER-2011-07-A/B/C/D/E/F/G/H/I/J."
August 2011: Air Berlin (BER) CEO, Joachim Hunold announced he is stepping down September 1 as (BER) embarks on a steep cost-cutting program that will include cutting -7,500 flights this year. Hunold, who has been with (BER) since 1991, will remain as non-Executive Director. (BER) board member, Hartmut Mehdorn was named interim CEO.
Joachim Hunold has been under pressure from shareholders to present better returns and that (BER) needed restructuring. "Nevertheless, the announcement [of Hunold's resignation] came as a complete surprise." Difficulties within the board were likely one of the reasons for his move. Pressure also came from (BER)'s largest shareholder, (ESAS), parent company of Pegasus (PGS), which holds about 16.5%, he said.
There is already speculation regarding a possible successor. Former Lufthansa (DLH) Manager, Thierry Antinori could follow Hunold and Mehdorn should stay on for one year, according to several German media reports.
(BER) said its cost cutting program, referred to as "shape & size," aims to make the company profitable again. Measures include slashing 7,500 flights in the second half of 2011, reducing capacity by more than >1 million seats, cutting its fleet by eight airplanes, canceling unprofitable routes, reducing flight frequency and partially withdrawing from regional airports to concentrate on the Berlin, Düsseldorf, Palma de Mallorca and Vienna hubs. In 2012, (BER) will slash -2.2 million seats and 16,000 flights.
Joachim Hunold said in Berlin that an improved capacity utilization, increase in the revenue per passenger, and cost reductions were not able to offset the higher costs resulting from aviation tax and increased kerosene prices. He also said that Egypt-related business, which traditionally forms an important contribution to (BER)'s revenue, had declined because of the unrest in Egypt and northern Africa. "In order to become profitable, we need to make cuts in our flight routes and in our fleet," Hunold said.
FlyNiki (NKI) President, Niki Lauda said that (NKI) was fully incorporated into the group as of July 1, 2010. He said he was deeply sorry that Hunold left. “We worked very well together in the past eight years. But Niki is very well-positioned and there will be no changes for us,” Lauda said.
Air Berlin (BER) and S7 Airlines (SBR) have extended their code share to cover 47 routes. New code share flights include Berlin Tegel (TXL) via Moscow Domodedovo (DME) and on to Irkutsk, Samara, Kazan, Perm, Ufa or Rostov, as well as Yekaterinburg. The code share also covers connections from Dusseldorf, Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt or Hanover.
Since the code share arrangement began in 2009, passenger volume has increased to 75% on the (DME) and (TXL) service. The proportion of transfer passengers exceeds >30%.
Air Berlin (BER) appointed Marcus Puffer as Manager Loyalty & Partnerships Department. He will take up his post on November 1.
September 2011: Pegasus Airlines (PGS) and Air Berlin (BER) reached a code share agreement under which passengers can book flights between Dusseldorf, Cologne/Bonn, Munich and Berlin, and Istanbul (IST) — as well as services between (IST) and Izmir and Ankara, in combination with flights from Germany to (IST). The two airlines plan to launch a charter partnership on November 1.
American Airlines (AAL) and Air Berlin (BER) have expanded their code share agreement to include (AAL) service from New York (JFK) to Montreal and Toronto.
(BER) CEO, Joachim Hunold stepped down September 1 as the airline began its steep cost-cutting program.
(BER) appointed Martin Biesel Director International Traffic Rights. He formerly served at the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
(BER) interim CEO, Hartmut Mehdorn said (BER) needs to be rebuilt quickly and is considering various measures. "The Financial Times" reported that the (BER)'s business model could be significantly changed, including possible network and fleet adjustments. Mehdorn did not rule out job reductions among (BER)'s 9,000 employees, if necessary.
(BER) has already committed to reducing its fleet by eight airplanes this year. It has been said that eight airplanes will not be enough and the number to be phased out could increase.
(IATA) Director General & CEO, Tony Tyler blamed government taxation for (BER)'s troubles. "The recent downsizing of Air Berlin (BER) is a clear reminder of the high cost of the German departure tax on the economy, jobs and communities," he said.
Air Berlin (BER) announced it will reduce its fleet size by -10% as part of its Shape & Size program to improve earnings by +€200 million/+$273.2 million.
By the summer of 2012, (BER) said it aims to cut its current fleet of 170 airplanes to 152 airplanes. “In this context, flight performance would only be lowered by -4%; productivity per airplane would therefore be increased by approximately +200 hours per year.”
According to (BER), the core of the program announced in August focuses on process organization, marketing and distribution, cost reduction, flight routing and maintenance. “To secure (BER)'s future for the long term and to restore (BER) former strength, every single company division will be scrutinized over the coming months,” said interim CEO, Hartmut Mehdorn.
(BER) is still on track to become a full member of the Oneworld (ONW) alliance in spring 2012.
(BER) partner Niki (NKI) said it is working to establish a (BER)/(NKI) hub in Vienna. President, Niki Lauda said (NKI) is working out the details and is evaluating whether to increase its Airbus (EDS)/Embraer fleet from 21 to 23 airplanes in 2012. He said (NKI) will announce a 2011 profit and is not affected by (BER)’s cost-cutting measures.
INCDT: A330-223 (PW4168A) (828, /07 D-ALPI), on a flight from New York (JFK) to Berlin on September 25th experienced cabin air contamination which resulted in flight crew (FC) and cabin attendant (CA) sickness. SEE ATTACHED - - "BER-2011-09 - INCDT - A330."
October 2011: Air Berlin (BER) and Malev (HGA) have reached a code share agreement beginning October 30 on routes to Budapest from Berlin Tegel, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, and Zurich. In a next step, both carriers plan to extend the cooperation to each other's frequent flyer programs.
(BER) will launch 3X-weekly Berlin Tegel (TXL) - Los Angeles service at the end of March. It will increase 4X-weekly, (TXL) - New York (JFK) service to daily from May.
Air Berlin (BER) is strengthening its Eastern Europe network for the winter schedule to prepare for upcoming membership into the Oneworld (ONW) alliance.
(BER) and Austrian partner, Niki (NKI) will synchronize schedules by offering flights up to 3X daily from Vienna (VIE) to Bucharest Otopeni, Sofia, and Belgrade, connecting (via (VIE)) to Berlin Tegel (TXL), Dusseldorf (DUS), Hamburg, Hanover, Nuremberg, and Zurich.
(NKI) President, Niki Lauda said that “Niki (NKI) will operate 23 airplanes next year. We [will] switch our check-in area to [the] main Terminal 1 in (VIE) from the second part of 2011 and locate all Air Berlin (BER) and Oneworld (ONW) alliance members there.” The switch will be possible when (VIE) opens its new terminal, SkyLink, in June 2012, when most of the Star (SAL) Alliance carriers move to the new facility.
(BER) said a capacity increase of almost +35% from the Russian market has enabled better connections to Europe and long-haul flights. Passenger boardings have increased by more than >+50%.
Starting from the winter schedule, (BER)/Niki (NKI) will offer 50 flights per week to Moscow Domodedovo and St Petersburg from (TXL), (DUS), Munich, St Thomas, (VIE), and Salzburg.
As of May 1, (BER) will triple flights to Krakow and will link Gdansk to (TXL) with 2X-daily connections per week during off-peak times and one flight connection Saturdays and Sundays.
November 2011: Air Berlin (BER) believes it will be profitable again in 2012, having battled through this year’s crises in Europe and the introduction of Germany’s new aviation taxes.
CEO, Hartmut Mehdorn said that the ecological air travel levy that took effect January 1, costs (BER) “€180 million/$248 million annually and we get no benefit out it.” “Without this burden, we would operate [in the] positive,” said Mehdorn. He added that 2012 would not be not easy but, “If everything works well next year, we will make a profit again.”
Mehdorn said that if necessary (BER) will extend its cost-cutting program, "Shape & Size," which is expected to reduce its fleet size by -10% and improve earnings by +€200 million. By the summer of 2012, the aim is to cut (BER)’s fleet from 170 to 152 airplanes. Mehdorn also said that employee layoffs could be possible at smaller- and medium-sized airports where (BER) has reduced its operations.
(BER) is in the final stages of joining the Oneworld (ONW) alliance in early 2012. Mehdorn is hopeful that some (ONW) alliance members will operate to Berlin.
(BER)’s main hub will be the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport, which opens in June 2012.
Mehdorn, interim CEO since September when Joachim Hunold stepped down, expects to stay long enough to bring (BER) out of its financial crisis. Mehdorn said that so far, (BER) is keeping its order commitment for 15 787s and still expects first delivery in 2014, “but you never know,” he said.
Financially troubled, Air Berlin (BER) said it is in talks with Boeing (TBC) and Airbus (EDS) to delay airplane deliveries as part of its Shape and Size cost-cutting program. These deliveries, originally scheduled for 2012 - 2013, have been moved to 2015 - 2016. The delivery delay affects eight 737NGs and 11 A320 family airplanes.
(BER) had planned to add 50 airplanes during this timeframe but will now integrate 31 into its fleet. The volume of investments will be lowered accordingly. Originally (BER) planned to invest $508 million next year and $1.1 billion in 2013. The delivery delay reduces (BER)’s current total fleet from 170 to 152 airplanes.
(BER) announced Helmut Himmelreich has been named COO, replacing Christoph Debus, who is leaving the company Dec. 31. Himmelreich is former AB chief maintenance officer. Longtime AB Technik management board member Marco Ciomperlik will replace Himmelreich.
737-86J (36879, D-ABMA), sold to (JSA) International Aircraft.
November 2011: Air Berlin (BER) is looking for strategic investors and has contacted Etihad Airways (EHD) and the Haikou-based (HNA) Group, parent of Hainan Airlines (HNA), the German daily "Sueddeutsche Zeitung" has reported. (BER) operates a code share agreement with (HNA).
(BER) CEO, Hartmut Mehdorn said that (BER) may extend its cost-cutting program, "Shape & Size" into 2012. Shape & Size is expected to reduce its fleet size by -10% and improve earnings by +€200 million/+$266.6 million.
Air Berlin Turkey (ABT), the new joint venture (JV) between Air Berlin (BER) and Pegasus Airlines (PGS), began operating flights between Antalya and Stuttgart from November 1.
(BER) and (PGS) will embark on a charter partnership and dedicate two 737-800s for these services. The airplanes will carry its own logo, featuring the word "Turkey" in cursive above the Air Berlin (BER) script.
Its network is set to expand to 14 German cities, which will be served with 31 weekly flights during the Northern Winter schedules. Destinations include Berlin, Bremen, Cologne/Bonn, Dresden, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hanover, Leipzig/Halle, Munich, Münster/Osnabrück, Nuremberg, and Paderborn.
Pegasus (PGS) and (BER) started code share flights in September.
Air Berlin (BER) and Royal Jordanian (RJA) signed a code share agreement between Berlin Tegel, Frankfurt, Munich, and Vienna to Amman, starting NovEMBER 1.
FlyNiki (NKI) founder, Niki Lauda has resigned as CEO of (NKI) and has been appointed to the Air Berlin (BER) administrative board as non-Executive Director. Since July 2010, (BER) has held a 49.9% stake in Niki (NKI).
In the restructuring process, (BER) and Lauda have agreed that the Lauda Private Trust (LPT) will soon withdraw from Niki (NKI), in accordance with company law. As a result, the (LPT) will repay the loan it received from (BER) by transferring its 50.1% stake in (NKI). This will not involve any cash payments.
To ensure Austrian control of (NKI), a new exclusively Austrian private trust will hold a majority stake.
“I am pleased that, as a member of the board, I will be able to contribute to the successful development of the entire (BER) group,” Lauda said. He confirmed that Niki (NKI) will operate under its own name. Its position as a legally independent Austrian company, with its own management board, will remain unchanged.
In 2010, FlyNiki (NKI) reported a net income of +€5.7 million/+$8 million, down -68% from a +€18 million profit in 2009, on a +25.2% increase in revenue to €337.4 million. Passengers carried in 2010 rose +31% year-over-year to 3.38 million.
January 2012: Air Berlin (BER), soon to be the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance’s German representative, is taking a gamble on Dusseldorf flights to Las Vegas.
December 2011: Etihad Airways (EHD) will increase its shareholding in Air Berlin (BER) to 29.21% for €72.9 million/$95 million as part of an agreement that includes far-reaching commercial cooperation and debt financing.
(EHD) built up a 2.99% holding in (BER) between January and August and will become (BER)’s largest single shareholder upon completion of the deal. As of September 30, (EHD)’s largest shareholder was Turkey’s (ESAS) Holding, owner of Pegasus Airlines (PGS).
(EHD) will augment its shareholding through a new share issue by (BER). It will subscribe to 31.6 million new shares issued under exclusion of the pre-emptive rights of (BER)’s existing shareholders on the basis of a set share price of €2.31, (BER) said. (EHD) will also provide financing of up to $255 million to support fleet development and future network growth through December 31, 2016.
The commercial cooperation includes integrating (EHD)’s frequent flyer programs, an extensive code share agreement, with (EHD) initially adding its code on 36 of (BER)’s 171 destinations and (BER) adding its code on 24 of (EHD)’s destinations.
(BER) stressed it “further continues to plan joining the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance by spring 2012.”
(BER) CEO, Hartmut Mehdorn said the deal opens up “enormous opportunities for the future of (BER). This applies especially to future market development and the realization of synergies.”
(BER) will move its operation from Dubai airport to Abu Dhabi to connect to (EHD)’s network to Asia and Australia. It will operate four weekly flights using an A330-200 between Berlin and Abu Dhabi from January 15.
The companies will seek anti-trust immunity (ATI) to allow greater coordination of route networks and of sales and marketing activities. They will also set up a joint procurement task force to look for cost efficiencies across the two companies, including areas such as fleet procurement and deployment, maintenance, repair & overhaul (MRO) and general procurement.
The transaction closing is planned for the first quarter of 2012.
Air Berlin (BER) Technik said it will perform a transit check on an Emirates (EAD) A380 each day it is in Munich.
January 2012: Air Berlin (BER) is introducing some new routes:
Berlin Tegel - Abu Dhabi International: 4x weekly A330-200 service starting on January 15 (replacing route to Dubai);
Berlin Tegel - Los Angeles: 3x weekly A330-200 service starting on May 11;
Cologne/Bonn - Heringsdorf: weekly seasonal DHC-8-400 service starting on May 5;
Dusseldorf International - Las Vegas McCarran: 2x weekly A330-200 service starting on May 10;
Frankfurt International - Heringsdorf: weekly seasonal DHC-8-400 service starting on May 26;
Frankfurt International - Jersey - Guernsey - Frankfurt International: weekly seasonal DHC-8-400 between April 28 and September 22;
Friedrichshafen - Ibiza: weekly seasonal 737-700 service starting on May 12;
Hanover - Arvidsjaur: 2x weekly seasonal A319-100 service has resumed on November 28;
Leipzig/Halle - Split: weekly seasonal DHC-8-400 service between May 5 and October 6;
Zurich - Kerkyra - Araxos - Zurich: weekly seasonal A320-200 service between July 10 and September 18 (operated by Belair Airlines (BLB), adding Araxos as a new destination).
Air Berlin (BER) has announced a major restructuring program that includes the cancellation of a wide range of routes and a cut of its total number of airplanes from 170 to 152. It has already terminated its routes from Amsterdam to Palma de Mallorca; from Berlin Tegel to Jerez de la Frontera and Klagenfurt; from Cologne/Bonn to Casablanca, Nador, Tangiers, Tunis and Valencia; from Dusseldorf International to Bilbao, Klagenfurt and Pristina; from Erfurt to Fuerteventura, Heraklion, Lanzarote, Las Palmas, Nuremberg, Rhodes, Tenerife Sur and Thessaloniki; from Frankfurt International to Naples; from Hamburg Fuhlsbüttel to Frankfurt International, Klagenfurt, Naples and Pristina; from Hanover to London Gatwick and Zurich; from Munich to Cairo; from Münster/Osnabrück to Catania, Faro, Lanzarote, London Stansted, Malaga, Olbia, Rijeka, Vienna and Westerland; from Paderborn to London Stansted and Rhodes; and from Palma de Mallorca to Murcia by the end of October. Air Berlin (BER) will terminate its weekly, Dusseldorf International - Dubai route by March 8 as a result of its new partnership with Etihad Airways (EHD). It has also temporarily suspended its routes from Basle/Mulhouse to Palma de Mallorca; from Berlin Tegel to Naples; from Cologne/Bonn to Naples and Palermo; from Erfurt to Palma de Mallorca; from Frankfurt International to Alicante; from Karlsruhe/Baden Baden to Palma de Mallorca; from Munich to Alicante; from Nuremberg to Malta; and from Zurich to Alicante and Malaga for the winter season.
(BER) and its minority shareholder Pegasus Airlines (PGS) have entered into a bilateral code share agreement for services between Germany and Turkey and some domestic flights in Turkey. It has also entered into additional code share agreements with more Oneworld (ONW) Alliance partners by adding new partnerships with Malev (HGA) and Royal Jordanian (RJA).
Etihad Airways (EHD) and airberlin (BER) technik signed a reciprocal agreement, under which airberlin technik will undertake maintenance of (EHD) airplanes in Dusseldorf and (EHD) will be responsible for all transit checks on Air Berlin (BER) airplanes in Abu Dhabi (AUH).
(EHD) in December launched daily A330-300 service and signed an agreement with Air Berlin (BER) to increase its stake in the German airline group to 29.1%. As part of the agreement, Air Berlin (BER) switched its four weekly A330-200 flights from Berlin to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from Dubai to (AUH).
(EHD) will sign code share agreements with the airberlin (BER) group for all European activities, including Air Berlin (BER), FlyNiki (NKI) and Swiss (CSR) subsidiary, Belair (BLB).
February 2012: Air Berlin (BER) has responded quickly to the demise of its former code share partner Malév (HGA) by launching daily flights from Berlin Tegel (TXL) to Budapest (BUD) from 6 February using A320s. Malév (HGA) was operating daily flights between the two airports before it ceased operations. (BER) has previously operated non-stop flights to Budapest from Berlin (2004-05), Düsseldorf (2004-06), Hamburg (2004-06), Hannover (2005-09), Munich (2004) and Nuremberg (2004-2009). Lufthansa (DLH) has also started Berlin – Budapest services, while easyJet (EZY) operates daily flights from Berlin Schönefeld to Budapest. Thus, when Berlin Brandenburg opens in June (?), all three carriers will be competing head-to-head.
Etihad Airways (EHD) will have a significant hand in the management of Air Berlin (BER), in which it is the largest single shareholder following an increase in its holding to 29.21% late last year.
(EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan, who will serve as Vice Chairman of (BER)'s board, said (EHD) had "in fact been tracking Air Berlin (BER) for some time" and decided to make a strategic play to gain a foothold in Germany and surrounding markets, where (EHD)'s reach had been minimal.
"We took the industry by surprise, but most commentators think [taking such a large stake in (BER)] was a smart move," Hogan said during a visit to Washington to announce (EHD)'s planned new Abu Dhabi - Washington Dulles service.
He said Boeing 787 operations for both carriers will be jointly managed as part of a network integration plan that will extend both airlines' reach. (BER), for example, is now operating flights to Abu Dhabi, he said.
Hogan acknowledged that (BER) has had trouble earning positive net income. "As we move to profitability, we think they'll move to profitability as well," he said. (EHD) earned its first-ever annual profit in 2011.
Air Berlin (BER) has received the green light to join the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance March 20 after completing a review by British Airways (BAB), which is sponsoring its entry. (BER) as Europe's sixth largest carrier, will also bring in Austrian partner FlyNiki (NKI) as an affiliate member.
(BER) (CEO) Hartmut Mehdorn said joining the (ONW) Alliance will “strengthen our competitive position considerably, enabling us to offer our customers a truly global network together with our partners who include some of the best and biggest airlines in the world, while enabling us also to tap into all the financial benefits that come from being part of a global alliance, through additional passenger feed and participation in various efficiency programs.”
Former (BER) (CEO), Joachim Hunold said last March that (BER) invested around €10 million/$13.9 million to become (ONW)-ready.
(BER) and (ONW) Alliance partners will move to Berlin Brandenburg airport (BER), which will open June 3, eventually carrying 27 million passengers a year. Since accepting an invitation to join the (ONW) Alliance in July 2010, (BER) has established code share agreements with seven (ONW) Alliance partners: American Airlines (AAL), (BAB), Finnair (FIN), Iberia (IBE), Malev Hungarian Airlines (HGA), Royal Jordanian (RJA), and S7 (SBR).
The (ONW) Alliance includes 11 carriers and around 20 affiliates.
Air Berlin (BER) has increased its capacity utilization rate for January to 75%, up +2.6% points, compared to 72% in the year-ago month. (BER), which attributed the results to its efficiency-increasing program “Shape & Size,” has reduced capacity by -14.4%. According to (BER), the number of passengers transported decreased by -11.3%, from 2.14 million passengers in January 2011 to 1.9 million passengers in January 2012.
Shape & Size, which was implemented in September 2011, is expected to reduce (BER)’s fleet size by -10% and improve earnings by +€200 million/+$261.8 million. (BER) is targeting a profit in 2013.
Separately, (BER) said that as part of its strategic partnership with Etihad Airways (EHD), it is launching daily, Dusseldorf (DUS) - Abu Dhabi (AZI) services March 25. (EHD) will also operate this route daily from summer 2012. Berlin Tegel - (AZI) flights will increase from 4X weekly to daily from March 25.
“By adding new daily connections from Berlin and Dusseldorf to Abu Dhabi, we are reinforcing our hubs and strengthening our strategic partnership with Etihad (EHD),” (CEO), Hartmut Mehdorn said.
Air Berlin (BER) completed its first successful satellite-based landing at Bremen Airport, following the accreditation of Ground Based Augmentation System (GBAS) as a primary landing system.
According to (BER), the new satellite-based landing system is much more precise than the instrument-based landing system (ILS) formerly used. (GBAS) landings reduce noise pollution on the ground because approach angles can be varied. It will eventually be possible to use the system in mountainous areas.
The German Air Traffic Control Authority (DFS) has been working closely with (BER) on the development of the new system since 2008. In November 2009, (BER) was the first airline worldwide to receive approval for its 737NG fleet to use (GBAS) on landings up to a visual range of only 550 m.
Air Berlin (BER) and Japan Airlines (JAL) have reached a code share agreement under which (JAL) will place its code on (BER)’s 6X-weekly Frankfurt - Berlin service on February 12.
March 2012: Air Berlin (BER)’s (BER) passenger boardings fell -4.1% in February as the airline continued to reduce capacity. (BER) has reduced capacity by -9.4% (ASK)s as a result of its cost-cutting Shape & Size program.
Accumulated fleet capacity utilization increased by +4.2% to 75.6% (ASK)s compared to 71.4% in the year-ago month.
Air Berlin (BER) reported a 2011 net loss of -€271.8 million/-$358.2 million, widened from a net deficit of -€97.2 million in 2010.
In explaining the deepened 2011 loss, (BER) cited taxes, high fuel prices, Europe's severe winter, the Arab Spring and air traffic control (ATC) strikes and strike threats. (BER)'s 2011 revenue increased by +13.7% year-over-year to €4.23 billion. It carried 35.3 million passengers last year, up +1.2%.
“Despite record figures for turnover and passenger numbers, we cannot be satisfied with the 2011 results,” interim (CEO), Hartmut Mehdorn said. In particular, the introduction of an air traffic tax (€165.6 million) and the rise in fuel costs (€229.2 million) added €395 million to the company’s expenses in 2011 compared to 2010. (BER) has not posted an operating profit since 2007, and has said previously it is difficult to predict whether it will break even in 2012 given the uncertain global outlook.
(BER), 29.2%-owned by Etihad Airways (EHD), has implemented an efficiency improvement initiative, "Shape & Size," that aims to make (BER) profitable by 2013.
"Shape & Size," which was implemented in September 2011, is expected to reduce (BER)’s fleet size by -10% and improve earnings by +€200 million/+$261.8 million. (BER) is targeting a profit in 2013.
(BER) will discontinue Berlin Tegel - Bangkok (BKK) and Dusseldorf - (BKK) services at the end of March. The move is part of a strategy to strengthen its partnership with Etihad (EHD) and the Abu Dhabi hub.
Etihad Airways (EHD) and Air Berlin (BER) have announced plans to integrate their 787 programs, saving millions of dollars for both carriers. The deal affects 56 airplanes, according to the company, which said the joint order is the biggest worldwide for the 787.
A combined (BER)/(EHD) team will oversee the integration program, in which the two airlines will share infrastructure, pool maintenance and develop joint training programs. They will also streamline purchasing activity for engines, rotables, avionics and in-flight entertainment systems. The two airlines will also work jointly on product development for the new airplane type.
“This program is the first of a range of initiatives that will bring significant cost synergies and savings for both airlines,” (EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan said. He said it is an ideal solution for reducing the costs associated with the introduction of a new airplane type, and an excellent example of the value of our partnership . . . to achieve economies of scale and avoid duplication in areas like design and certification.”
Hogan said he expects the synergies through this integration will result in significant efficiency benefits for both airlines. “We will also be able to deliver a level of commonality across our 787 fleets in relation to onboard cabin specifications, which will provide passengers with a consistent product experience when they travel across the airlines’ extensive networks.”
(EHD) has a total of 41 787-9s on order, with 25 options and purchasing rights. (BER) has 15 787s on order with options and purchase rights on a further 15 airplanes. Deliveries will begin in 2015.
Air Berlin (BER) became a member of the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance in a joining ceremony at the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER), which will serve as (BER)’s home base and be Europe’s newest hub when it opens June 3. (BER)'s Austrian partner, FlyNiki (NKI), became an affiliate member of the alliance.
(BER), Germany’s second biggest passenger airline, has a 40% domestic market share. (BER)’s entry into the (ONW) Alliance more than triples the number of cities served by the alliance in Germany to 25. FlyNiki (NKI) doubles its coverage of Austria to six airports. “Becoming a member of the (ONW) Alliance is one of the most significant [achievements] for (BER),” (CEO), Hartmut Mehdorn said.
The International Airlines Group (IAG) (CEO), Willie Walsh said during the joining ceremony that (BER)'s entry, British Airways (BAB)'s acquisition of British Midland International (bmi) (BMA) and the launch of Iberia (IBE) Express will boost the (ONW) Alliance's presence in Europe.
“Maybe our alliance is not very well known in this part of Europe, [but] now we will change that,” American Airlines (AAL) Chairman & (CEO), Tom Horton added during the ceremony.
(BER) serves 162 destinations in 40 countries. It carried more than >35 million passengers in 2011. The (ONW) Alliance now has 11 full members.
April 2012: Air Berlin (BER) became the first German airline to perform satellite-based precision landings using Required Navigation Performance (RNP). The (RNP) operations took place at Innsbruck with equipment installed on (BER)’s Boeing (TBC) airplanes.
Air Berlin (BER) as well as Condor (CDF), germanwings (RFG), Pegasus Airlines (PGS), Sun Express (SNS), Sun Express Deutschland (SXD) and TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) will all have to adjust their schedules at Cologne/Bonn Konrad Adenauer airport (CGN) after a decision by the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia to impose a night flight ban on passenger flights between midnight and 5 am. Cargo flights will not be affected by the ban and an effective date has not yet been set. All of the carriers mentioned have made extensive use of the 24 hour operations at the airport, especially for leisure flights targeting less time sensitive travellers.
May 2012: Oneworld (ONW) alliance member Air Berlin (BER), Germany’s second largest carrier, reported a first-quarter net loss of -€102.9 million/-$132.4 million, narrowed from a loss of -€120.6 million in the year-ago quarter.
“We made a good start, better than expected,” (BER) (CEO), Hartmut Mehdorn said. He said (BER) will “concentrate on our Shape & Size cost-reduction program. “I think we made some good steps and we are optimistic for 2012.”
Despite systematically reducing capacity by -10.5%, (BER) said it increased sales figures in the traditionally hardest quarter for the German airline industry by +4% to €812.9 million from €781.6 million in the year-ago quarter. “We reduced about one million seats, but we lost just -500,000 (-5.8%) passengers to 6.5 million. Our fleet of 152 airplanes will be reduced significantly and there will be a smaller fleet number in the second quarter but we will produce nearly the same hours thanks to increased efficiency,” (CFO), Ulf Huettmeyer reported. He said (Ber)’s load factor went up +3.9 points to 76.4% LF. “These are the best results recorded for the first quarter since (BER) was listed on the stock exchange,” he said.
Nevertheless, (BER) still faces a difficult year, especially due to the German Aviation tax, which “makes it difficult to compete,” Huettmeyer said. Fuel costs increased +18% and generate €35million in additional costs for the carrier.
Mehdorn said he is expecting additional +€20 million of income this year through the Oneworld (ONW) alliance and the cooperation with partner Etihad (EHD).
Mehdorn said he still has a cautious outlook for 2012. “There is no reason to celebrate [until we] complete our plan,” he said.
Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER), which was scheduled to open June 3, will postpone its opening to late summer due to technical issues concerning fire protection installations. Matthias Platzek, head of the Brandenburg government said that the opening is now planned for the second part of August.
The delay creates additional costs of €15 million/$19.5 million per month. The decision to delay the opening on fire safety issues preliminarily stops the move of air traffic from Schonefeld and Tegel to (BER) airport.
Reacting to the news, Germanwings (RFG) said it will continue to operate from Schonefeld. Air Berlin (BER) expressed its disappointment. “We have to reschedule everything, which is a big logistical challenge and creates massive additional costs,” (CEO) Hartmut Mehdorn said.
Air Berlin (BER), the biggest airline customer at Berlin Tegel Airport (TXL), has asked officials to reduce its night curfew, as it scrambles with other German airlines to deal with the logistical dilemma caused by the delayed opening of Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER).
Air Berlin (BER) wants (TXL) to adjust its night closure to midnight to 5 am, from 11 pm to 6 am.
(BER) airport, which was scheduled to open June 3, postponed its opening to late summer due to technical issues concerning fire protection installations.
“To do it well [the delayed opening] this has to take some time. When the summer travel time is over, all airlines change from summer to winter schedule,” (CEO), Hartmut Mehdorn said during the opening ceremony of its new 3X-weekly, Berlin Tegel – Los Angeles, California service.
Later, it was stated that the opening of Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) has been delayed again, this time to March 17, 2013, to allow more time to complete fire safety systems, the supervisory board announced. (BER) airport was originally scheduled to open next month, a date that was then postponed to August because of technical issues concerning fire protection installations.
(BER) (CEO), Hartmut Mehdorn has called the new plan to only open Berlin Brandenburg International airport (BER) on March 17, 2013 "unacceptable" voicing strong concerns that Berlin Tegel (TXL) will be able to handle all of the additional traffic and connecting passengers by both Air Berlin (BER) and Lufthansa (DLH). A lot of additional services were scheduled by both carriers based on the planned opening date of June 3, 2012 and Air Berlin (BER) had started to sell much more connections via the new airport than it had offered at Tegel before.
The supervisory board also announced that Manfred Koertgen, Managing Director Operations & Construction, will leave the company. The airport will also terminate its contract with Planungsgemeinschaft Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg International (PG BBI), the consortium responsible for project management and site supervision.
(BER) airport planners had decided to complete a partially automated version of the fire protection and control system by June 3 as a transitional solution, and to introduce a fully automated system over the following months. However, they now say that pending work on the fire safety and control system, and operational ramp-up of its central component system, will take until December. The new timeline should allow for inspections, approvals and certifications.
airberlin (BER) expanded with three routes this month, of which two were to the USA. On 10 May, (BER) connected its Düsseldorf (DUS) hub with Las Vegas, NV (LAS). Flights operate twice-weekly with 303-seat A330-200s. (BER)’s (CEO), Hartmut Mehdorn commented: “Los Angeles is a major route expansion for our Berlin hub. Attractive destinations such as Los Angeles make our hub an engine of growth for (BER), for tourism and the economy. With this offer, we particularly want to attract connecting passengers from our German and European route network.” (BER) also launched an intra-European route. From Friedrichshafen (FDH) in southernmost Germany, (BER) began serving Ibiza (IBZ) with weekly 737-700 flights on 12 May.
(BER) started flying from Frankfurt to Jersey via Guernsey. (BER) increased 4X-weekly, Düsseldorf - Miami service to 6X-weekly.
June 2012: Air Berlin (BER) said it has exceeded the first-quarter target set by its cost-cutting "Shape & Size" program and has increased its full-year target by €25 million/$31.3 million to €225 million at the (EBIT) level.
(CEO), Hartmut Mehdorn said (BER) has reduced costs, increased turnover and yield, and achieved the best capacity utilization for the first quarter since the company was listed on the stock exchange. He hopes to bring the company back to profitability in 2013.
The "Shape & Size" program aims to enhance turnover, improve performance and increase efficiency. The program includes introducing a new three-tier fare structure, "YourFare" integrating Austrian airline FlyNiki (NKI), making changes in the revenue management and reservation systems, and scrutinizing its route network and fleet.
Mehdorn said the collaboration with Etihad Airways (EHD) has gotten off to a very good start, and he hopes the synergies will achieve turnovers in the tens of millions euro over the next two to three years. He predicts (BER) will gain more than >240,000 passengers through its Oneworld (ONW) alliance membership.
Regarding the delayed opening of Berlin Brandenburg International airport (BER) from June 3 to March 2013, Mehdorn said, “It will be a challenge to operate our expanded flight schedule, which was planned for our new home base at (BER) airport, from Tegel Airport.”
Air Berlin (BER) is currently looking for pilots (FC) willing to operate on behalf of Sunwing Airlines (SWG) next winter season indicating that it now also plans to dry-lease some of its airplanes to (SWG) next winter season. Many European carriers provide additional capacity to Canadian and USA charter carriers during the winter season, while Canadian and US airplanes operate in Europe during the summer. While the highest demand for typical beach vacation packages in Europe is during the summer, the opposite is true in Canada allowing carriers to make optimal use of capacity by essentially sharing the airplanes based on demand.
July 2012: Air Berlin (BER) said it will adjust its winter schedule down by -2% by cutting -40 weekly flights from Hamburg (HAM).
(BER) has ceased (HAM) flights to Zurich, Barcelona and Karlsruhe, and has eliminated frequencies from various airports. As a result, (HAM) is expecting to lose -4,000 (BER) flights and -500,000 (BER) passengers annually.
(BER) has announced it will launch 3X-weekly, Berlin - Chicago O’Hare flights from March 23, 2013. From May 2013, frequencies should increase to 5X-weekly.
Last month, (BER) said it has exceeded the first-quarter target set by its cost-cutting program.
Etihad Airways (EHD) has taken stakes in several airlines, a policy its President & (CEO) James Hogan said is already yielding benefits for the participants and one that he preferred for its flexibility over becoming a member of a global alliance. (EHD)'s 29% stake in Air Berlin had enabled (BER) to find around €100 million/$123 million of economies through such measures as using (EHD) for training on its forthcoming fleet of 787s, rather than investing in its own simulators for the type. (BER) plans to buy 15 787s, whereas (EHD) has orders for 41.
(GE) Aviation (GEC) booked an order from Air Berlin (BER) to supply (GEnx-1B)s for 15 787-8s on order in a deal valued at more than $1.2 billion that includes as OnPoint solution support agreement.
Air Berlin (BER)) will equip the 14 A320/A321 airplanes it has on order with Sharklet wing tip devices, cutting its fuel burn by up to -3.5%.
NIKI (NKI), which is part of the Air Berlin (BER) group, will take delivery of its first Sharket-equipped A320 in spring 2013. (BER) said the move will slash its carbon dioxide emissions by about 1,000 tonnes per airplanes annually, which is the equivalent of 55 flights from Berlin to Palma de Mallorca.
It describes the Sharklet order as a “major step” in its Eco-Efficient Flying program, which in 2012 aims to cut average specific fuel consumption from 3.5 liters to 3.4 liters per 100 passenger kilometers flown.
737-86J (37768, D-ABMG), delivery.
August 2012: Air Berlin (AB) increased load factors for the period from January 1 to July 3, but said the postponed opening of the Berlin Brandenburg International Airport (BER) to March 2013 and aviation taxes prevented an increase in capacity utilization.
From January to July, (ASK)s fell -7.2% to 24,430,737, producing a load factor of 78.35% LF, up +1.5 points, which corresponds to an overall reduction of -7.2% compared to the first seven months of the previous year.
Several German media outlets said the opening of (BER) Airport, which was postponed from August 2012 to March 2013, could be further delayed. A status announcement is being made on August 16.
(BER) has named Stefan Magiera as VP Corporate Sales for the (DACH) region, which covers Germany, Austria and Switzerland, effective August 1.
Air Berlin (BER) will sell eight narrow body airplanes to increase its core capital, enhance liquidity reserves and reduce debt by -€300 million/-$369.2 million by year end.
(BER) expects to improve its full-year target from €200 million to €230 million in savings from its cost-cutting Shape & Size program.
By the end of June, (BER) reduced its fleet to 152 from 165 in the year-ago period. By year end, its fleet will be reduced to 144 airplanes.
High fuel prices resulted in a second-quarter net loss of -€66.2 million, worsened from -€43.9 million year-over-year. Revenue increased +1.7% to €1.13 billion.
(CEO), Hartmut Mehdorn confirmed that (BER) aims to return to an operating profit in 2013.
(BER) fears that yet another delay in the opening of Berlin Brandenburg International Airport (BER) will further affect its yearly financial performance. Several German media outlets report the latest opening date of March 2013 is unlikely to be met and delays could go into the summer or even fall of next year. (BER) was originally supposed to open in November 2011. Latest news is opening in October 2013.
Air Berlin (BER) and Finnair (FIN) have extended a code share under which (BER) will place its code on (FIN) flights from Helsinki to Tallinn, Turku, Tampere and Oulu. (FIN) will place its code on (BER) flights from Oslo Gardermoen, Gothenburg, Stockholm, and Copenhagen to Berlin (BER) and from (CPH) to Dusseldorf (DUS) on October 28. (FIN) is also adding its code to (BER)-operated daily flights from (DUS) and (BER) to Abu Dhabi.
(BER) has announced plans to sell another eight narrow body airplanes, either from its fleet of A320 or 737NG airplanes, by the end of the year to increase its core capital which had fallen to levels causing concerns by investors recently.
September 2012: airberlin (BER) and airBaltic (BAU) have a code share agreement under which (BER) will add its code to (BAU) flights to Riga from Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt, and Berlin.
Former British Midland International (BMA) (CEO), Wolfgang Prock-Schauer will join Air Berlin (BER) as its Chief Strategy & Network Planning Officer as part of (BER)’s management reorganization under (CEO), Hartmut Mehdorn. Prock-Schauer will join (BMA) on October 1.
Mehdorn said in today’s “increasingly challenging environment” (BER) will benefit from “Wolfgang’s experience and management expertise.”
(BER) Chief Human Resources Officer, Martina Niemann will join the management board.
(BER) will also downsize its (BER) (PLC) board from 15 to 10. “Three executive directors, (CFO), Ulf Hüttmeyer; (CCO), Paul Gregorowitsch; and (COO), Helmut Himmelreich will relinquish their positions, while retaining their roles as the airline’s (CFO), (COO) and (CCO), respectively,” it said. Mehdorn will retain his seat on the (BER) (PLC) board.
Peter Oberegger and Saad Hammad, who hold non-executive roles, will also step down.
Board Chairman, Hans-Joachim Körber said, “The board and management team are more committed than ever to maintaining the momentum of our Shape and Size Program, which is expected to deliver better results in the third quarter”
Recaro Aircraft Seating was selected by Air Berlin (BER) to supply BL3510 seats for its A320 and 737 economy (Y) class by the end of 2014.
October 2012: Air Berlin (BER) will launch 3X-daily, Berlin Tegel - Warsaw service on March 23.
SkyTeam (STM) Alliance member AirFrance (AFA)-(KLM), Oneworld (ONW) Alliance’s Air Berlin (BER) and Etihad Airways (EHD) have announced a strategic partnership to strengthen their route networks. The agreement includes code shares between (BER) and (AFA)-(KLM) from October 28.
The expansion in France allows (BER) to consolidate its market position from three to nine destinations via Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and Paris Orly to Bordeaux, Lyon, Montpellier, Marseilles, Nantes and Toulouse.
(AFA) will add its code on (BER) flights via Berlin-Tegel (TXL) to Krakow (KRK), Gdansk (GDN) and Graz as well as from Dusseldorf - Dresden and Nice - Vienna. (KLM) and (BER) will exchange codes between Amsterdam-Schiphol (AMS) and (TXL) as well as to (KRK), (GDN) and Kaliningrad. (BER) will add its code via (AMS) on (KLM) to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester.
Also from October 28, (KLM) will code share with (EHD) on its (AMS) - Abu Dhabi (AUH) flights and (EHD)’s daily, (CDG) - (AUH) service with (AFA). (EHD) gains access to 10 additional European destinations with (AFA) - (KLM), while (AFA) and (KLM) gain access to five further destinations in Asia and Australia.
"The partnership between (AFA) - (KLM), (EHD) and (BER) reflects our Group’s strategic positioning to ensure the best possible services between Europe and the rest of the world, by developing our network and airline partnerships,” (AFA) (CEO), Jean-Cyril Spinetta said.
(BER) (CEO), Hartmut Mehdorn said the cooperation “considerably strengthens our presence in the European market and link our Berlin hub to even more destinations.”
“This is (EHD)'s 40th code share agreement. It reflects the core elements of our 10-year master plan, driven by organic network growth, combined with the forging of strategic code share partnerships and minority equity investments in other airlines,” (EHD) (CEO), James Hogan said. The deal gives (EHD) a combined network of 321 destinations. Hogan confirmed talks with (AFA) began in July.
Air Berlin (BER) has been urged by its largest shareholder, Etihad Airways (EHD), to join cooperation talks with AirFrance (AFA) and (KLM) Royal Dutch Airlines that (EHD) has been holding for several months already. According to statements by (EHD) (CEO), James Hogan published by "Süddeutsche Zeitung" in Germany, (EHD) would have asked (BER) to start operating joint flights with (AFA)-(KLM).
(AFA) claims it is “far too early” to discuss whether Air Berlin (BER) might switch alliances from the Oneworld (ONW) to the SkyTeam (STM) alliance, following comments made by (AFA) (CEO), Alexandre de Juniac. Earlier this month, SkyTeam (STM) alliance member, (AFA) signed a strategic partnership with Etihad (EHD) and its equity partner (BER). The agreement includes code shares between (BER) and (AFA) - (KLM) from October 28.
In an interview with "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung," de Juniac indicated a change of alliances could ultimately be in the cards for (BER). “If we further work closer together along the way, (BER) must decide if it would stick to the Oneworld (ONW) alliance or switch to the SkyTeam (STM) alliance of (AFA) - (KLM),” de Juniac said.
However, (AFA)’s Public Relations (PR) team is playing down the comments, saying the cooperation between (EHD), (BER) and (AFA) is already “a very ambitious first step.” “It is too early to speak about the next phase, meaning the alliance, at this stage.”
November 2012: Air Berlin (BER) reported a third-quarter net income of +€66.6 million/+$84.8 million, more than doubled from a +€30.2 million profit in the year-ago period. (BER) said the results were due to external cost increases being partly offset by efficiency improvements. “We were able to increase revenue, improve capacity utilization and yield and we were able to reduce cost significantly. The journey is not complete; however, we are on the right track. Our target to return to profitability in the coming year remains unchanged,” (BER) (CEO) Hartmut Mehdorn said.
Revenue rose +1.4% to €1.4 billion and, although (BER)’s ‘Size & Shape’ cost-cutting program yielded €70 million in savings, higher fuel prices added €35 million to the airline’s bottom line. However, (BER) still delivered an operating profit of +€101.2 million, up +4.5% from a +€96.8 million operating profit in the prior-year quarter.
Despite the improved results and the prospect of "Size & Shape" delivering €230 million in full-year savings, Mehdorn said (BER) must go further still under a plan dubbed “Turbine 2013.” Reports have been circulating this could involve up to -900 job cuts. “We have come to the conclusion that we need to implement an additional turnaround program, Turbine 2013,” Mehdorn said. “With "Turbine 2013" we concentrate fully on our core competences. Only in this manner, will we be able to further improve our operating performance in this negative environment and to sustainably be in the black from next year onwards.”
(BER) said its partnership with Etihad Airways (EHD), which began just over a year ago, contributed €50 million in revenues and “significant cost savings” in the year to date. Mehdorn added that (BER)’s Oneworld (ONW) Alliance membership brought “considerable benefits”, although (BER) is under pressure to leave the (ONW) Alliance to join the new AirFrance (AFA) - (KLM) in the SkyTeam (STM) Alliance.
Passenger numbers fell -5% to 10.7 million on -5.4% lower capacity, producing a load factor of 84.54% LF, up +0.4 of a point. Revenue per passenger rose +6% to €121.79.
(BER) could cut workforce -10%, which is about -900 jobs, several German TV and newspapers are reporting.
The financially troubled carrier, which announced a new "Turbine 2013" cost-cutting program last month, would not comment on the reports and said it would provide details within several weeks. However, a leading member of (BER)’s management team said: “But the fact is clear: (BER) reduced its fleet already, but not the number of employees. It seems to be clear that there are adjustments [reducing workforce] on high priority.”
(BER)'s current cost-cutting program "Shape & Size," which includes a fleet reduction from 170 to 152 airplanes, was expected to improve its full-year target from €230 million/$291.9 million.
(BER) has taken legal action against Berlin Brandenburg Airport operator Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH (BER) for damages resulting from the airport’s delayed opening.
(BER) said it is sustaining considerable damage that cannot be fully quantified at this stage and estimated additional costs and other losses have already run into the tens of millions of euros.
(BER) said the airport operator failed to comply with the agreed-upon June 3 opening date and has since postponed the opening several times. The new opening date is planned for October 2013. “We have decided to bring our claim for damages through the courts,” (BER) (CEO), Hartmut Mehdorn said. “Over the course of the last several months, we held many intensive discussions with the airport operator in which we strove to find a mutually acceptable solution. Unfortunately, no such agreement could be reached despite extensive efforts on the part of (BER).” Mehdorn said legal action is now the only feasible route open to (BER) to safeguard its interests. “It is our duty both to the company and to its shareholders to prevent losses,” he said.
(BER) said it added more than >230 additional flights per week to its Berlin schedule this summer with the aim of expanding its international hub. All of these flights operate out of crowded Berlin-Tegel Airport, necessitating considerable additional costs.
(BER) also said October passenger numbers were down -5% to 3.18 million as it cut capacity by -6.6%, compared to October 2011. Load factor rose from 79.71% LF by +1.3 points to 81% LF in the same period.
(BER) has detailed plans to revamp its network to better-align its schedules with Emirates (EAD), American Airlines (AAL) and its other Oneworld (ONW) Alliance partners.
(BER) is restructuring its North American network, “selectively weeding out” low-frequency routes, strengthening “strategically important, high-turnover routes” and maximizing its “strong network of partners.” The move comes as (BER) redoubles its efforts to cut costs and restructure its business.
From March, (BER) will introduce new non-stop, Berlin Tegel - Chicago O’Hare flights to cement its relationship with (AAL). It will also step up frequencies to New York (JFK), Los Angeles (LAX) and Miami (MIA). (BER) will boost Dusseldorf (DUS) - (JFK) service from seven to 10 flights per week, (DUS) - (MIA) from five times weekly to daily, and (DUS) - (LAX) from three to four per week.
However, it will axe seasonal flights from (DUS) to (LAX), San Francisco and Vancouver, instead using a year-round code share with (AAL) to some of these destinations.
(BER) is also adding +12% capacity from Germany, Austria and Switzerland to Majorca, growing its schedule to 402 weekly flights. “The summer will also see new additional flights to Palma de Mallorca from Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich,” (BER) said.
But it will drop flights to Barcelona, Madrid (MAD) and Santiago de Compostela via Majorca (PMI). Instead, it will offer (PMI) - (MAD) in cooperation with its Oneworld (ONW) Alliance partners.
Through Niki (NKI)'s Vienna (VIE) hub, it will add a number of new Greek holiday destinations, including Kalamata, Karpathos, Kavala, Lesbos and Volos. It will also increase frequencies to Egypt, Spain and Turkey.
Finally, (BER) is dropping its non-stop flights from (VIE) to Sofia, Bucharest and Belgrade next summer. These flights will be “increasingly transferred to Berlin,” (BER) said.
Air Berlin (BER) has announced plans to sell a majority stake in its "topbonus" frequent flyer program (FFP). “We have decided to migrate "topbonus" into a new entity and sell the majority of it,” (BER) (CEO), Hartmut Mehdorn said. (BER) is aiming to complete the transaction in the fourth quarter, delivering a “significant improvement” to its earnings and balance sheet ratios for 2012.
The "topbonus" scheme has over >3 million members and more than >120 partners.
(BER) is planning to further cut its operational fleet from 158 to 135 airplanes as part of a new drive for more cost cutting. (BER) had already decided to trim its fleet from 175 airplanes, but (BER) (CCO), Paul Gregorowich said, “If we want to be an alternative to Lufthansa (DLH), then we need an additional (cost cutting) program. There are no taboos anymore.”
Gregorowich was in Istanbul for delivery ceremonies of Austrian partner Niki (NKI)’s first re-branded airplane from (THY) Technik.
“Operations-wise Air Berlin (BER) is doing better every day, but we are not where we want to be, and that’s why "Turbine 2013" is necessary,” he said. Gregorowich dismissed media speculation that (BER) might leave the Oneworld (ONW) global alliance and join the SkyTeam (STM) Alliance. (BER) is cooperating with (STM) Alliance member AirFrance (AFA) in code share agreements. "We will not switch alliances,” Gregorowich said. “The fact is that we like to work together with (AFA), but we are clearly committed to the (ONW) Alliance. So far, we have gained 305,000 additional passengers through the (ONW) Alliance.”
Gregorowich hopes to extend (BER)’s code share with Etihad (EHD), a majority shareholder in (BER), via Abu Dhabi on to China and Japan before the end of the year.
December 2012: Etihad Airways (EHD) has acquired 70% of Air Berlin (BER)’s "topbonus" frequent flyer program (FFP) for €200 million/$263.7 million, further strengthening their partnership.
Last month, (BER) announced plans to spin off topbonus, which has 3.1 million members. The (FFP) will be acquired by a new entity called topbonus Limited, which will be 30% owned by (BER) and 70% owned by (EHD). “The entity will become part of a new loyalty management company being established by (EHD). This company will allow (EHD) and its partners to target the fast-growing, profitable global loyalty management market more effectively.”
(EHD) "Guest," which includes partner carrier, Air Seychelles (ASY)’s (FFP), will also cooperate with the new company. Combined, (EHD) Guest and topbonus have nearly five million members worldwide.
(EHD) will fund the €200 million purchase price via a €50 million equity injection and €150 million in debt financing. Meanwhile, (BER) will benefit from improved liquidity and a strengthened balance sheet. “This deal helps us to financially restructure our business,” (BER) (CEO), Hartmut Mehdorn said. “Our annual result will improve significantly, as well as our liquidity and equity capital resources.”
(BER) and (EHD) joined forces a year ago. (BER) and (EHD) claim the partnership has fed more than >300,000 passengers into their networks and generated €100 million in revenues over the 12-month period.
The two carriers have also cooperated on procurement (fuel purchasing, ground handling, ground services, as well as 787 training, specifications and maintenance) which the airlines claim will deliver multi-million dollar savings. “Through revenues generated, and cost-saving initiatives, (EHD) has already recouped its initial investment of $105 million,” (EHD) (CEO), James Hogan said. “There is still a long way to go as the partnership develops, but these results show we’re on the right path.”
Air Berlin (BER) will establish a regional subsidiary as part of its restructuring process. Its fleet would include 10 Bombardier DHC-8-Q400s and seven Embraer EMB-190s, to be transferred from Austrian-based low-cost carrier (LCC) partner, FlyNiki (NKI) to Air Berlin (BER) in exchange for A320 family airplanes.
(CCO), Paul Gregorowich confirmed that all seven Embraer (EMB) airplanes will remain within the Air Berlin Group. Three Embraers will be based in Berlin and three will be based in Dusseldorf.
Maintenance on the EMB-190s will remain in Vienna.
Air Berlin (BER) (CEO), Hartmut Mehdorn and Etihad Airways (EHD) (CEO), James Hogan, a majority share holder, held a December 18 press conference to detail the first year of cooperation and outlook for 2013.
(BER) will launch a daily Berlin - Madrid 737-800 service on February 25.
INCDT: An Air Berlin (BER) A330-223 (PW4168A) (288, /99 D-ABXA), was forced to return to Phuket International Airport, Thailand, when a fire broke out in one of its engines shortly after take-off.
According to media reports, the A330-223 took off from Phuket at approximately 21:30 local time on 20 December and was bound for Abu Dhabi. However, it made an emergency landing an hour later after the flight crew (FC) reported that one of the airplanes's two engines was on fire.
During the landing, three tires blew out. This prevented the A330-223 from being moved for several hours, and the 249 passengers and crew on board disembarked via stairs. The airport was subsequently closed until the early hours of 21 December, when the airplane was moved on to an apron.
The airplane is leased to Air Berlin's parent, Airberlin, and is managed by (ILFC) (ILF).
January 2013: Air Berlin (BER) has named Wolfgang Prock-Schauer as its new (CEO), replacing Hartmut Mehdorn, who has been interim (CEO) since September 1, 2011. Prock-Schauer is (BER)’s former Chief Strategy & Planning Officer. He will also become Executive Director of the board of directors; Mehdorn will remain a member of the board.
A (BER) source said the news came a bit earlier than expected, as Prock-Schauer was projected to take over the position at the end of the month. “This is the right time for the change in management and it sends the right signal that Prock-Schauer, as the new (CEO), is leading the "Turbine" turnaround program, which is so vital for the company,” Mehdorn said.
“Air Berlin (BER) is facing huge challenges,” Prock-Schauer said. “We must continue to push our process of change forward rapidly to become lean and smart, so that we can be successful in the global competitive environment.”
Prock-Schauer is the former (CEO) of Jet Airways (JPL) and British Midland International (BMA).
Austrian-based low-cost carrier (LCC) FlyNiki (NKI) founder, Niki Lauda has left the Air Berlin (BER) board to devote more time to his role as Chairman of the Mercedes Formula 1 racing team. Industry veteran and former British Midland International (BMA) (CEO), Austin Reid will succeed Lauda, effective immediately.
“Austin Reid is a boost for the board of directors of Air Berlin (BER) PLC,” Air Berlin (BER) Board Chairman, Hans-Joachim Koerber said in a statement. “He will make an important contribution to the strategic direction of the company with his many years of experience in the industry.”
Lauda said in October he expects the brand FlyNiki (NKI) to disappear in one to two years’ time.
Air Berlin (BER) has begun to implement its "Turbine 2013" turnaround program, cutting around -900 jobs of its 9,300 to save -€400 million/-$534.9 million by the end of 2014. According to (BER), the comprehensive plan will focus on optimizing profitable routes in the key markets of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and expand long-haul service through its Berlin and Dusseldorf hubs. “The airports in Vienna, Hamburg, Munich, Zurich and Stuttgart will retain their function as principal stations within the Air Berlin (BER) route network,” (BER) said.
The two-year program will also seek to further reduce its fleet to 142 airplanes.
Air Berlin (BER) will launch a daily Berlin - Madrid 737-800 service on February 25. (BER) will launch 3X-weekly, Dusseldorf - Chicago service on March 23, increasing to 5X-weekly in May 2013. (BER) and American Airlines (AAL) have also expanded their code share to include 43 new connecting flights within the USA and one of the daily Dusseldorf - Chicago flights. This will boost the code share to a total of 99 routes. (BER) is expanding code sharing activities with Etihad Airways (EHD) via Abu Dhabi to Chengdu, Beijing and Shanghai, as well as to Tokyo Narita and Nagoya. It will launch daily, Berlin service to Sofia and Bucharest Otopeni on January 28. (BER) will also launch Berlin - Moscow service on March 23.
(BER) commenced daily flights on two routes from Berlin Tegel (TXL) to south-eastern Europe on 28 January, and now serves both Bucharest (OTP) in Romania and Sofia (SOF) in Bulgaria, each with daily flights. A319s are deployed on both routes. While Lufthansa (DLH) provides competition on the Romanian route, on which it operates six weekly services, Bulgaria Air (LSB) operates five weekly flights to the Bulgarian capital. Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, (BER)’s (CEO) commented: “We have a clear goal to strengthen our network in 2013. The new routes increase our presence in Central and Eastern Europe to nine destinations, creating new transfer opportunities for travellers.”
The European Commission (EC) has approved a €1.2 billion/$1.6 billion capital injection by the public owners of much-delayed Berlin Brandenburg airport. The funds will be used to complete construction of the airport, which racked up €1.2 billion in extra costs after a German court judgment tightened noise protection rules.
The airport has also been plagued by planning and construction problems, leading to multiple delays to it planned opening. “Since the intervention would be made on terms that a private investor operating under normal market conditions would accept, it does not involve any state aid as defined by (EU) rules,” the (EC) said. “Since [airport manager Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg] is unable to finance these costs through internal resources, the public owners plan to increase its equity by the same amount.” The opening of the airport is slated for October 27, 2013; it was originally scheduled to open in June.
The airport originally had a budget of $3.2 billion, but is now likely to cost twice as much. Air Berlin (BER), the carrier most affected, has sued for damages. And four people have died during construction.
The supervisory board of the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) has dismissed the (CEO) & Commercial Director, Rainer Schwarz, effective immediately. The dismissal is due to the much-delayed opening of the airport, which was scheduled for October 27 and will most likely be delayed again. The airport opening has been delayed three times and is two years behind schedule.
Brandenburg Prime Minister, Matthias Platzeck, who has been appointed as the new chairman of the supervisory board, said interviews would be held shortly to fill the (CEO) and (CFO) posts.
Announcing the board and management reshuffle last week, Platzeck said: “The supervisory board meeting today demonstrated the common will of the three shareholders (the German government, Berlin and Brandenburg) to haul the company back out of the deep water it is currently in: We are all pulling together.”
Originally scheduled to open in June 2012, the airport has suffered a series of delays that have pushed the opening date back into 2013. Earlier this month, (COO), Horst Amann announced that even the rescheduled opening date of October 27 “is no longer viable.”
Problems with the fire protection system, in particular the fresh air supply in the case of a fire and the complexity of the system as a whole, continue to haunt the project. Based on the previous timetable, construction work was due to be completed by May 2013 to allow a five-month period for trial operations before the official opening.
Earlier this month, the European Commission (EC) approved a €1.2 billion capital injection by the public owners of the airport.
Announcing the additional delay, Amann said it was “too early to discuss a new opening date.”
Platzeck said Amann needed “to perform an in-depth analysis of the problems before he can name a date. This is going to take some months.” This has led to some speculation that the opening date could now be pushed back into 2014.
In the meantime, Platzeck said: “We clearly need to invest, especially in Tegel [Airport]. What we are talking about here is definitely a euro figure in the two-digit million range. Berlin Airports is now set to compile a proposal package for approval by its airline customers, which will shortly be presented to the public.”
Vienna International Airport has opened the first phase of its dedicated terminal for Air Berlin (BER) and its subsidiary, FlyNiki (NKI), as well as for its Oneworld (ONW) alliance partners. The 3,500 sq m terminal, named "Check-in 1," has 30 check-in counters and eight self-check-in terminals. Within the next 12 months, the gate areas will also be completely renovated.
Vienna Airport (COO), Julian Jäger said: “The investment of the refurbishment of ‘Check-in 1’ has been about €9 million/$11.8 million. Between 2011 and 2015, we will have invested nearly €600 million in our airport infrastructure.” “This year, we will operate a 23-strong, all-A320 family airplane fleet, a capacity increase of about +8% because we have exchanged our seven Embraer EMB-190s with [A320s],” FlyNiki (NKI) (CEO), Christian Lesjak said.
In 2012, (NKI) transported around five million passengers. Lesjak said 10% of FlyNiki (NKI) passengers change airplanest in Vienna. He hopes to increase Vienna - Moscow Domodedovo services to double daily in 2013. FlyNiki (NKI) is aiming to become the preferred airline to Greece, where it will fly to 19 destinations this summer. “Last year, we had a passenger increase of +41% on routes to Greece,” he said.
Lesjak said the latest delay of Berlin Brandenburg Airport is another disappointment for the Air Berlin group, as it “does not allow us to operate our hub system more efficiently.”
Vienna Airport handled 22.2 million passengers last year, an increase of more than >+1 million passengers compared to the year before.
(BER) will consider A321 modifications to operate new routes to Abu Dhabi with its Etihad (EHD) partner.
February 2013: Air Berlin (BER) reported a 2012 net profit of +€6.8 million/+$9 million, reversed from a -€271.8 million loss in the year-ago period. This marks (BER)’s first profitable year since 2007.
Revenue increased to €4.31 billion, up slightly from €4.23 billion in 2011, producing an operating profit before interest and tax (EBIT) of +€70.2 million, reversed from an operating loss of -€247 million in 2011.
(BER) said its "Shape & Size" efficiency program contributed €250 million to its income, enabling (BER) to offset an increase in fuel prices of +€80 million. “We were able to conclude the past year with an operating profit … we are also pleased to have returned a net profit,” (CEO), Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said. “Nevertheless, we have not yet reached our target and are mindful that non-recurring events also contributed to the result of the 2012 financial year.”
Passenger numbers fell -5.5% to 33.3 million, but load factor was up +1.6 points to 79.80% LF. This was achieved by a further fleet reduction of 15 airplanes to 155 airplanes and optimizing schedules. Yield improved +7.7% to €120.05.
“We are confident that our recently launched turnaround program, "Turbine" will enable Air Berlin (BER) to be competitive in the future and achieve sustainable profitability. One of the program’s key elements is a focus on cost efficiency which involves implementing a range of initiatives, including a staff reduction,” he said.
(BER) said its strategic partnership with Etihad Airways (EHD) brought 219,000 passengers into the network and delivered €50 million in additional revenues, with synergies and cost savings starting to take effect. By combining flight networks and the frequent flyer programs, the number of available flights for both airlines increased to include 239 destinations in 77 countries. (BER) said it gained +€184.4 million from the sale of its 70% in the "top bonus" frequent flyer program to (EHD).
(EBITDA) improved to €144.3 million from a loss of -€161.6 million in 2011. (EBITDAR) improved +72.9% to €736.4 million from €425.9 million year-over-year. “In 2013, we are confident that we’ll achieve further revenue enhancements and, above all, further cost synergies with our partner Etihad (EHD),” Prock-Schauer said.
Air Berlin (BER) and Air Seychelles (ASY) have reached a code share agreement, further tightening the bonds between Etihad Airways (EHD)’s strategic equity alliance partners. Under the agreement, passengers will be allowed to fly between Germany and the Indian Ocean archipelago connecting through Etihad (EHD)’s Abu Dhabi base.
(EHD) holds a 40% stake in (ASY) and 29.21% of (BER).
(ASY) will place its HM code on four of (BER)’s daily return services between Abu Dhabi and Berlin and Düsseldorf. The 4X-weekly connections to Germany complement (ASY)’s existing 26 weekly code share connections with Etihad Airways (EHD) to Frankfurt, Munich and Düsseldorf.
(BER) will initially place its AB code on four of (ASY)’s weekly return flights to Abu Dhabi from the Seychelles, complementing the German carrier’s existing four code share connections to Seychelles with (EHD) providing passengers a daily connection from Germany to Mahé.
The number of flights between Germany and the Seychelles will increase to 54 flights per week when (EHD) and (ASY)’s schedules begin March 24.
Subject to regulatory approval, the airlines plan to expand the scope of the agreement to include more destinations on their respective networks and implement frequent flyer program reciprocity.
(BER) launched daily, Berlin Tegel - Madrid 737-800 service.
Air Berlin (BER) has raised its "Turbine 2013" cost-cutting goal from -€400 million/-$534.9 million to -€450 million by the end of 2014. According to (BER)’s staff magazine, (CEO), Wolfgang Prock Schauer was quoted as saying, “It is necessary that all parts of the Air Berlin (BER) Group, from management to operations, are included within the cost-cutting measures.”
(BER) announced last month it would cut -900 jobs and reduce salaries as part of the restructuring program. (BER) will reportedly ask employees to temporarily stop a 13th month salary. The plan also calls for a -10% salary cut for senior management and a -5% salary cut for all remaining employees. The company said 85% of the -€450 million cost-cutting goals should be reached through negotiations with suppliers, airports and operational improvements. Its fleet could also be reduced from 159 to 142 airplanes.
(BER) will eliminate several crew bases as part of its cost-cutting program, Turbine 2013. A source from (BER) management said that in addition to optimizing network and crew bases in Germany, (BER) will eliminate some of its 15 crew bases. It is expected that affected airports will include Munster/Osnabruck, Paderborn, and Dortmund.
(BER) announced earlier this week it has raised its Turbine 2013 cost-cutting goal from €400 million/$534.9 million to €450 million by the end of 2014.
German airports Hamburg and Cologne faced more flight disruptions and cancellations on February 15th, the second day of strikes by security staff over pay, Trade union Verdi said. The strike started February 15th and continued through the day.
Dusseldorf Airport said it had to cancel 200 flights, affecting several thousand travelers as 400 workers walked off the job. Hamburg airport announced 103 cancellations.
Verdi called for a +33% increase in pay for around 1,000 security personnel employed by private firms at the two airports. It said talks with the Federal Association of Security Industry had not reached an agreement. German airports were also impacted in January by strike action.
Air Berlin (BER) has begun performing satellite-based approaches (RNP-AR) into Salzburg. (BER) already uses (RNP-AR) procedures for its approaches and take-offs at Innsbruck Airport.
March 2013: Air Berlin (BER) added services from its Berlin Tegel (TXL) hub to Madrid (MAD) on February 25, in anticipation of Iberia (IBE)’s withdrawal from the market at the end of March. (BER), which now operates to a total of ten airports in the Spanish mainland and islands, provides daily flights on the 1,900 km route, half the frequencies offered by (IBE). All services are carried out using 737-800s.
(BER) will increase Dusseldorf service from New York (JFK) (7x weekly to 10x weekly); Los Angeles (3x to 4x weekly); and Miami (5x weekly to daily).
(BER) inaugurated two routes, as it increased its offering from Berlin Tegel (TXL) with two destinations, one long- and one short-haul, on 23 March. (BER) now offers thrice-weekly flights to Chicago O’Hare (ORD), carried out using A330-200s, as well as thrice-daily services to Warsaw (WAW). The latter is operated using DHC-8-Q400s in competition to (LOT) Polish Airlines’ 11 weekly departures.
The planned code share agreement between Oneworld (ONW) alliance member, Air Berlin (BER) and AirFrance (AFA) - (KLM), a SkyTeam (STM) alliance member, should be in place by April.
(BER) (CCO), Paul Gregorowitsch said that the process has been delayed as the two alliances work out partnership details. “But we have the commitment from (AFA) and (KLM) board of managers as well as from Etihad Airways (EHD). I hope from April we can implement it,” he said.
Code share agreements with majority owner (EHD) to Japan and China via Abu Dhabi have been implemented. “We are working on code share connections to India and, I hope, in two to three months, we can also establish a code share with Virgin Australia (VOZ) to cover the total Australian market,” Gregorowitsch said.
Former Air Berlin (BER) (CEO), Hartmut Mehdorn has been named the new head of Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER).
German minister of transport Peter Ramsauer said that Mehdorn has “excellent management skills and economical and technical competence” to head the new airport. In February, the airport’s supervisory board dismissed (CEO) & Commercial Director, Rainer Schwarz after the much-delayed opening of the airport. The (BER) airport opening has been delayed four times and is two years behind schedule.
Air Berlin (BER) and its major shareholder, Etihad Airways (EHD), are in talks with Boeing (TBC) to switch its 787-8 order to the bigger 787-9 version, (CEO), Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said onboard (BER)’s first flight from Berlin to Chicago O’Hare. “Our current [Airbus] A330 fleet will continue to operate the next three to four years,” he said. (BER) has 15 787-8s on order. It currently operates a wide body fleet comprising 13 A330-200s and one A330-300.
Prock-Schauer, who was named (CEO) in January, said its cost-cutting program, "Turbine," is a must. “Our net debt is €770 million/$990.4 million. Our aim is to reduce this level to €500 million by the end of 2013. So far, we are on course to reach this target.”
He said there are 30 airplanes on (BER)’s balance sheet. “To sell some of these airplanes is a possible asset,” he said.
The fleet, which will be reduced from 170 airplanes as of two years ago to 143 by the end of 2013, operates 11.4 hours daily throughout the summer. (BER), which will cut -900 jobs, is also offering temporary employment at Etihad Airways (EHD) and has 100 positions available. “These includes pilots (FC), flight attendants (CA) and technicians (MT),” he said.
Asked if Etihad (EHD) wants to increase shares in (BER), he said, “For non-European investors, there are limits [to finance in European airlines]. The fact is, (EHD) also became our most important cooperation partner. We want to improve our long-haul service to (EHD) standards.”
Prock-Schauer explained that (BER) has the benefit of not being one of the classical legacy carriers based in Europe. “(BER) has existed for a while, but it does not have old burdens like other carriers. Even our structure is big; we operate in a very good market.” Will (BER) be able to survive? “Absolutely. But we must learn to bring the energy that exists in the company to a flow. We have to use it,” he said.
April 2013: Airberlin (BER) expanded its network from its Zurich (ZRH) base with the resumption of flights to Naples (NAP) in Italy on 19 April. The 900 km route, which was last served in 2010, is now operated twice-weekly, using various narrow body equipment and the seasonal service is scheduled to terminate at the end of October. This will be (BER)’s eighth route to Italy from Zurich this summer, joining Brindisi, Cagliari, Catania, Lamezia Terme, Olbia, Palermo, and Rimini.
According to (BER) it has four hubs, which form the basis of its pan-European network. These are Berlin Tegel and Düsseldorf in Germany, Palma de Mallorca in Spain, and Vienna in Austria. During the peak summer month of August, Berlin and Palma are the biggest bases for weekly departures, while Düsseldorf is tops if capacity Available Seat-Kilometers (ASK)s are measured, thanks to (BER)’s long-haul operations from that airport. Zurich in Switzerland however, is (BER)’s biggest, non-German, non-hub airport, and ranks eighth for weekly seats this summer (but slips to 12th when ranked by (ASK)s). Although lagging well behind Swiss (CSR), airberlin (ber) and its partner airlines (niki (nki) and Belair (BEL)) rank second at Zurich with around 8% of weekly seat capacity.
SEE ATTACHED "Innovata Data" CHART PROVIDED BY "anna.aero" - - "BER-2013-04 - AIRBERLIN TOP 12 AIRPORTS."
airberlin (BER) first began operations at Zurich in early 2003, when it started multiple daily flights from Berlin Tegel and Hamburg, followed by Düsseldorf in November 2003, and Palma de Mallorca and Hannover in November 2004. Between summer 2005 and summer 2008, the number of destinations served, increased from five to 25, with the addition of many low frequency, summer-only, leisure markets in and around the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands.
The number of weekly departures and destinations served peaked in the summers of 2010 and 2011, since when, airberlin has gradually been cutting back services. Hannover flights ceased at the end of the summer 2011 season, while Hamburg flights were stopped at the end of October 2012.
In addition to the 25 destinations served non-stop by airberlin using its own “AB” flight code, it also serves Vienna thanks to its fully-owned Austrian subsidiary niki (flight code “HG”), and several non-EU destinations, such as Antalya, Pristina, and leisure resorts in Egypt, using the “4T” flight code of Belair. airberlin first took a 49% stake in Swiss-based Belair in 2007, before taking complete control in 2009.
The number of weekly departures and destinations served peaked in the summers of 2010 and 2011, since when, (BER) has gradually been cutting back services. Hannover flights ceased at the end of the summer 2011 season, while Hamburg flights were stopped at the end of October 2012.
In addition to the 25 destinations served non-stop by (BER) using its own “AB” flight code, it also serves Vienna thanks to its fully-owned Austrian subsidiary niki (NKI) (flight code “HG”), and several non-European Union (EU) destinations, such as Antalya, Pristina, and leisure resorts in Egypt, using the “4T” flight code of Belair. (BER) first took a 49% stake in Swiss-based Belair in 2007, before taking complete control in 2009.
The April 19th resumption of services to Naples, a route that was last served by BER) in the summer of 2010. The route will again be served with two weekly flights, and will be joined in May by two completely new routes. From May 18, (BER) will be starting twice-weekly flights to the Sardinian city of Cagliari (a destination it also serves non-stop from Düsseldorf and Munich), while on the same day (a Saturday) it will launch weekly flights to Westerland, on the island of Sylt in Northern Germany, using an Embraer EMB-190. This will be Sylt’s only international service this summer. In total, (BER) will serve 31 destinations in 10 countries from Zurich this summer.
Of the 159 weekly departures operated by (BER) this summer, 60% are to (BER)’s four hub airports of Berlin Tegel, Düsseldorf, Palma de Mallorca and Vienna, with the rest of the flights spread across a flexible network of leisure destinations, with the focus on Greece, Italy, and Spain.
(BER) begins 3x-weekly, Berlin - Chicago A330-200 service, increasing to 5x-weekly on May 1.
A new opening date for the much-delayed Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) is expected to be announced in June. “To say an opening date earlier makes no sense. We are working intensely to get an overview of this scenario,” Berlin Brandenburg Airport (CEO), Hartmut Mehdorn said.
In the meantime, Berlin Tegel Airport will get an investment of between €10 and €20 million/$12.8 and $25.6 million for service upgrades. “But Berlin is a city that can also operate two airports,” Mehdorn said. “It is important to evaluate if two airports can be operated further.”
Governing Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit said there would be no need to continue with Berlin Tegel once the new airport is opened. He said the investment in environmental issues would cost billions of euros. “Also, to get the certification to run the old airport takes years,” Wowereit said.
In the meantime, Air Berlin (BER) has taken legal action against Brandenburg Airport operator, Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH for damages resulting from the airport’s delayed opening. “To operate our extended hub operation, we have to make the best out of the infrastructure in Berlin Tegel,” Air Berlin (BER) (CEO), Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said.
The airport opening has been delayed several times due to planning and construction problems since its originally planned opening of October 2011.
May 2013: Air Berlin (BER) reported a first-quarter net loss of -€196.3 million/-$254.8 million, widened from a -€163.6 million loss in the year-ago period.
In the first 4 months of 2013, airberlin (BER)'s (ASK) capacity was -12%, whereas (RPK) traffic was -8%.
airberlin (BER) resumed flights on 1 May on the 1,800 km route from Leipzig (LEJ) to Kos (KGS), which it last served in the summer season of 2011, and now offers thrice-weekly departures in competition with Condor (CDF)’s service of the same frequency. In addition, (BER) inaugurated thrice-weekly seasonal services from Düsseldorf (DUS) to Jersey (JER) on 4 May. Unlike the Greek route, which is operated using 737-800s, EMB-190s are deployed to serve the 700 km service to the British Channel Islands. Lufthansa (DLH) and Germania (GER) also offer four and single weekly frequencies between Düsseldorf and Jersey.
The much-delayed opening of the Berlin Brandenburg Airport costs an additional €35 million - €40 million ($46 million - $52.4 million) per month, the German newspaper "Handelsblatt" reported. Costs include airport maintenance work as well as necessary improvements at Berlin Tegel Airport, which has to operate longer than planned.
Berlin Brandenburg Airport (CEO), Hartmut Mehdorn said recently he will announce a new opening date by June. He also said a city like Berlin needs a second airport such as Tegel.
According to the newspaper, costs for the new airport have reached €4.3 billion. If the airport opening is further delayed to the end of 2014, costs could rise to more than >€5 billion. The opening of the new airport, which was originally scheduled for June 2012, has been delayed four times.
Air Berlin (BER) named Oliver Lackmann as new Head Flight Operations, succeeding Ralf Nagel. Lackmann has been with (BER) since 2001.
(BER), which is cutting -900 jobs as part of its "Turbine" savings program, will transfer more than 50 pilots (FC) to Etihad Airways (EHD) as (BER) reduces its fleet and its majority shareholder prepares for international expansion.
(BER) inaugurated low-frequency services on four new routes from airports in Germany and Switzerland. Typically for (BER), each is operated using a different airplane type. (BER) faces competition only on the 1,900 km route from Nuremberg (NUE) to Kos (KGS), which it previously operated until October 2011. See as follows:
Launching May 14th, Munich (MUC) - Tivat (TIV), 1x weekly, 737;
May 15th, Nuremberg (NUE) - Kos (KGS), 1x weekly, 737-800, with competition from TUIfly 1x weekly;
May 18th, Zurich (ZRH) - Cagliari (CAG), 1x weekly A320;
May 18th, (ZRH) - Westerland (GWT), 1x weekly EMB-190.
June 2013: Air Berlin (BER) (CEO), Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said (BER) will operate from just one airport in Berlin, as delays continue for the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport. The airport, which was originally planned to open in 2011, has experienced continuous delays. “For us operating from one airport in Berlin is essential. We can’t have a split operation,” he said.
Air Berlin (BER) appointed four board members to another term: board Chairman, Hans-Joachim Körber; (CEO) and board Executive Director, Wolfgang Prock-Schauer; board member Joachim Hunold; and board member Austin Reid.
737-86J (37780, D-ABMQ), A320-214 (6168, D-ABCL), ex-(D-AVXU) deliveries and A319-112 (3728, D-ABGR) returned from FlyNiki (NKI).
July 2013: airberlin (BER) returned on the 2,400 km route from Düsseldorf (DUS) to Karpathos (AOK) in Greece on June 25. (BER) offers weekly A319-operated services on the route, which are scheduled to terminate on September 24.
Air Berlin (BER) and (JAT) Airways will enter code share operations from August 1, subject to government approvals. Under the agreement, (BER) will add its code on (JAT) flights between Belgrade and Berlin, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, and Stuttgart. (JAT) will add its code on Air Berlin (BER) flights from Berlin Tegel to prime destinations in Northern Europe.
“The code share with (JAT) supports our strategy of strengthening the network through targeted expansion of code shares . . . it will further expand our presence in the growing market of Southeast Europe,” Air Berlin (BER) (CEO), Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said.
“This step is also particularly important (for JAT) . . . while ensuring sound business operation and repossession of the position of regional leader for itself,” (JAT) (CEO), Velibor Vukasinovic said.
Airberlin (BER) is planning to merge two of its service operations and is preparing the new unit for sale. “This step is part to improve our efficiency, leading to a single contact for our clients,” a member of the Airberlin (ber) management confirmed.
In December, (BER) sold 70% of its topbonus frequent flyer program to Etihad Airways (EHD).
The new single department will reportedly be called the Customer Interaction Center and the newly created company should be sold to Bertelsmann AG by October 1. Following the sale, around 300 (BER) n service center employees will be incorporated into Bertelsmann's customer service and logistics unit Arvato AG, "Reuters" reported.
Arvato has an existing partnership with airberlin (BER).
737-86J (37781, D-ABMR), ex-(N5515X), and A320-214 (1775, D-ABNH), ex-(OE-IDF), (GEF) leased deliveries.
August 2013: airberlin (BER) recorded improved second-quarter figures year-over-year, but warned that difficult market conditions were making the chances of reaching its targets “increasingly challenging.” (BER) recorded a second-quarter net loss of -€38 million/-$50.4 million compared to a loss of -€99.8 million for the same period last year. Revenue was flat, at €1.11 billion, but this figure was achieved despite a -8% reduction in capacity.
Airberlin (BER) - Air Seychelles (ASY) code share agreement now offers 4x-weekly service to Praslin via Mahé.
(BER) increases from 7x-weekly to 10X-weekly, Berlin - Madrid beginning September. New services begin this winter from Frankfurt, Munich, Stuttgart and Zurich to Alicante. From November 1, Berlin - Alicante increases from 3 to 4X-weekly, and Dusseldorf - Alicante from 5x-weekly to daily. On Costa del Sol service from - Berlin increases from 3 to 4X-weekly; from - Dusseldorf flights will increase from 6x-weekly to daily; from - Stuttgart from 1 to 2x-weekly.
(BER) offers increasing service to Antalya on the Turkish Riviera. Beginning September 1 - November 3 the following will be added: 1x-weekly, Berlin, Frankfurt, Leipzig, Munich, and Nuremberg; 2x-weekly Cologne - Bonn.
(BER) is adding 13 additional flights per week from Germany to the Canary Islands vs the 2012/13 winter schedule. Also for the upcoming winter schedule, airberlin (BER) will offer 2x-daily, Berlin - St Petersburg. It is also increasing by one flight, Berlin - Moscow to offer 14x-weekly.
Airberlin (BER) says it has suspended bookings for its flights to Sharm el Sheikh, Hurghada and Marsa Alam in Egypt until September 15 at the earliest, but will continue to operate scheduled flights to Red Sea resorts in the meantime. (BER) made the announcement in response to a German Foreign Ministry assessment of the security situation in the North African country. Condor (CDF) and TUIfly ((HAP)/(HLX)) have gone a step further and suspended their Egyptian operations completely until September 15 with the exception of flights to bring back tourists already in the country. Sweden's foreign ministry led Swedish tour operators to stop all trips to the resorts of Sharm el-Sheikh, 400 km/250 miles from Cairo on the Sinai Peninsula, and Hurghada on the Egyptian mainland. Belgium followed suit, extending a travel warning to tourist resorts that led to travel agencies Neckermann and Jetair cancelling all trips to Egypt until August 31. Transaero Airlines (TRX) says it will not suspend flights to the country though Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency has now ordered air carriers to prepare for a massive evacuation of its nationals from Egypt in case of a force-majeure. The airlines have been directed to work out evacuation plans should it prove impossible to use the African country’s airports, the authority said. The United States warned Americans against travelling to Egypt and urged USA citizens living in Egypt to leave the country.
The Lufthansa Group subsidiaries, Austrian Airlines (AUL) and Swiss International Air Lines (CSR) said they are continuing operations to Cairo, but passengers can rebook flights free of charge.
Airberlin (BER) will launch additional flights to Antalya on the Turkish Riviera owing to the political unrest in Egypt. The additional weekly flights to Antalya will run between September 1 and November 3 from Berlin, Frankfurt, Leipzig, Cologne-Bonn, Munich, and Nuremberg. “During a normal week, [airberlin (BER) subsidiary] FlyNiki (NKI) alone operates 20 weekly flights from Austria to Egypt. Currently, there are only three or four weekly flights,” FlyNiki (NKI) (CEO), Christian Lesjak said. He added that all FlyNiki (NKI) flights to Egypt are operating on behalf of tour operators.
“During the summer period [which runs through the end of October], it is easier to offer passengers an alternative destination in Southern Europe instead of Egypt, because the climate is still fine [in southern Europe],” Lesjak said. But during the European winter, destinations such as Turkey or Cyprus are becoming less attractive.
“Egypt is not possible to exchange as a winter destination for many tourists, because not everyone likes to make long-haul flights to a warmer place,” Lesjak said, adding, if the political situation changes, bookings would quickly recover “because tourists who like to travel to Egypt, also book on short notice.”
The new Berlin Brandenburg Airport could start minor operations in the first half of next year with about 10 flights per day, handling around 1,500 passengers daily, according to several German media reports. No details have been given about which airline would operate into the new airport. Air Berlin (BER) (CEO), Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said that easyJet (EZY) has been mentioned in the past.
Berlin Brandenburg Airport (CEO), Hartmut Mehdorn has reportedly said commercial services would begin in March or April. This is the fifth proposed opening date for the much-delayed airport, which was originally planned to open in October 2011.
Meanwhile, German TV (ARD) said the cost of the Brandenburg hub has risen from at least €2.4 billion/$3.1 billion to €4.3 billion over the course of the project. Brandenburg State Premier, Matthias Platzeck resigned from his post as Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH supervisory Board Chairman. According to company bylaws, his deputy, the governing mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, will take over his functions.
As a result of the chaos surrounding the new Berlin airport, airlines will continue to operate out of Tegel and Schoenefeld airports for the foreseeable future. That is a particular problem at Tegel, which has been operating beyond its design capacity for years and has used temporary terminals to ease congestion. Tegel also is ill-suited for connecting traffic that home carrier Air Berlin (BER) has been heavily promoting, based on the assumption that it could operate from the much-larger Brandenburg International.
California-based Air Lease Corporation (ALE) announced a long-term lease agreement with airberlin (BER) for one new 737-800 airplane scheduled for delivery in February 2016, as well as lease extensions on six airplanes. The extensions average five-year additional terms on four 737-800s, one A320-200, and one A321-200.
(ALE) leased its first new airplane to airberlin (BER) in May 2010.
Airberlin (BER) (CEO), Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said recently (BER)’s fleet, which will be reduced from 170 airplanes two years ago to 143 by the end of 2013, “operates 11.4 hours daily throughout the summer. Even as we shrink the fleet, we are adding new A320 family airplanes and 737-800s.” Around 30 airplanes are on (BER)’s balance sheet. To sell some of these airplanes are a possible asset, Prock-Schauer added.
(BER) said its targets were becoming more difficult to reach and that its shareholder equity declined further in the second quarter. (BER) has previously said it is targeting break-even this year. “As a result of the generally muted economic conditions and the market environment, the ability to reach our targets is becoming increasingly challenging,” (CEO), Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said.
The finances of (BER), which is almost 30% owned by Etihad (EHD), have been deteriorating for years as it struggled to halt losses and manage its debts following a period of aggressive growth. Its total equity came in at -116.3 million euros at the end of June, shrinking further from the -53.1 million euros reported at the end of March.
Negative shareholder equity means its liabilities exceeded its assets.
Some analysts have kept a close eye on the size of its equity compared with its debt as a key indicator of financial health.
(BER), which in May said it did not need further financial help from Etihad (EHD), reduced its debt pile to 706.5 million euros against 728.2 million euros at the end of the first quarter. “We expect the equity capital to increase over the following quarters,” Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Ulf Huettmeyer said. (BER) added that its liquidity grew to 436.8 million euros, up one-third from the same time last year.
(BER) narrowed its second-quarter operating loss to -8.1 million euros/-$10.8 million from -29.4 million one year ago. Its net loss also narrowed to -38 million euros, against a restated -99.8 million loss for the same period last year, as efforts to shrink its business took effect. Analysts had been expecting an operating loss of -26 million euros and a net loss of -39 million.
Air Berlin (BER) is cutting about -900 jobs or -10% of its workforce, downsizing its fleet and slashing unprofitable routes (all part of its “Turbine” cost cutting program).
In the quarter, it cut capacity (the number of seats it offers) by -8.4%.
Ruili Airlines (based at Kunming Changshui) has signed an agreement with Boeing (TBC) for the purchase of eight 737-700s and six 737-800s, complimenting a recently announced sale-and-lease-back deal between Air Berlin (BER) and Chinese lessor, Minsheng Commercial Aviation, in which Minsheng will have an option to buy two 737-700s and two 737-800s from (BER) for onward placement with Ruili. Once all modalities are in place, a maiden flight is expected during the first quarter/early second quarter of 2014, Mr Dong Lecheng, (CEO) of the Jingcheng Group, the sponsor of Ruili Airlines, disclosed. Ruili is aiming for a fleet of up to 45 airplanes by 2020.
(BER) currently serves 36 countries, 125 destinations and 415 routes.
September 2013: Airberlin (BER), which set a €200 million/$265.1 million cost-cutting goal for 2013, is 80% there, (CEO), Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said.
(BER) is expanding it flight frequencies to Turkey in response to the political crisis in Egypt. The German government is among those that have advised its citizens to not travel to Egypt following a recent eruption of violence and political instability across the country.
“This is (BER)’s reaction to the current situation in Egypt and, as such, offers its guests another alternative to holiday destinations on the Red Sea.”
(BER) offers increasing service to Antalya on the Turkish Riviera. Beginning September 1 - November 3, the following will be added: 1x-weekly, Berlin, Frankfurt, Leipzig, Munich, and Nuremberg; 2x-weekly Cologne-Bonn.
Airberlin (BER) announced Henkel AG (CFO), Lothar Steinebach and airline industry veteran, Andries van Luijk are new non-executive directors on its board of directors. Andries Van Luijk is a former (KLM) Royal Dutch Airlines Executive VP Passenger Sales & Services, as well as a (KLM) - (NWA) joint venture (JV) Chairman.
October 2013: Airberlin (BER) begins daily, Dusseldorf - Madrid service on January 13. It also increases Berlin Tegel - Vienna and Dusseldorf - Vienna from 5x- to 6x-daily on November 1.
Etihad Airways (EHD) has strengthened its links with Air Berlin (BER) by opening a new European headquarters in the German capital. The office houses not just Etihad (EHD)'s regional sales and marketing teams, but also joint reservation and ticketing counters for both (EHD) and its local equity partner (BER), in which it holds a 29% stake. "While much of Europe continues to face challenges linked to the prevailing euro crisis, the German inbound and outbound travel is performing well for us," said (EHD) (CEO), James Hogan. "It makes sound business sense to be based in Berlin, and close to our strategic equity partner."
Joost den Hartog and Philip Lewin will lead (EHD)'s Europe and Germany teams, respectively, at the new Berlin office, at which (EHD) has a staff of 35.
(EHD)'s passenger numbers to and from Germany grew +47% last year, says Hogan, citing "strong feeder traffic from Air Berlin (BER)" as a factor in this.
November 2013: Airberlin (BER) reported third-quarter earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of +€115.6 million/+$154.5 million up +14% from +€101.2 million in the year-ago period.
(BER) expanded its code share with Etihad Airways (EHD) placing its AB code on flights from Berlin and Dusseldorf via Abu Dhabi to Ho Chi Minh City and from other points in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
airberlin (BER) increased its winter sun offering at three German airports, when it launched a total of four routes from Düsseldorf (DUS), Frankfurt (FRA) and Hannover (HAJ). All services are offered with low frequencies and operated using narrow body equipment. All but one, face competition from at least one carrier.
Dusseldorf (DUS) to Agadir (AGA), weekly, using 737-800s vs TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX); to Tenerife Norte (TFN), weekly, using 737-800s; Frankfurt (FRA) to Fuerteventura (FUE), weekly, using A320s, vs TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) 4x weekly & Condor (CDF) 3x weekly; and Hannover (HAJ) to Gran Canaria (LPA), 2x weekly vs (HAP)/(HLX) 7x weekly, & (CDF) weekly.
(BER) (CCO), Paul Gregorowitsch announced he will leave the company on December 1. Gregorowitsch, who has been in the position since September 2011, said he plans to return to the Netherlands to take up a new professional challenge in March 2014.
(CEO), Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said Gregorowitsch has “significantly contributed to the restructuring of airberlin (BER).” He also worked on airberlin (BER)’s strategic cooperations; (BER) has 16 code share agreements. Prock-Schauer will take over his responsibilities until a new (CCO) is appointed.
Thales (THL) and the airberlin (BER) Group have signed a long-term component services agreement for 64 A320s.
December 2013: Airberlin (BER) which is undergoing a "Turbine" restructuring program, continues to focus on saving -€400 million/-$542.8 million and eliminating about -900 jobs by the end of the year.
(BER) will offer three additional flights Berlin - New York (JFK) in summer 2014 for a total of 10x-weekly service. Also 10x-weekly, Dusseldorf - New York (JFK) will be resumed for summer.
Airberlin (BER) announced that former Lufthansa(DLH) Head European Sales & Services, Götz Ahmelmann will join (BER) as Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), effective July 1, 2014. Ahmelmann will be responsible for the Sales & Marketing departments within the airberlin group. Ahmelmann has worked for Lufthansa (DLH) for over >20 years.
(BER) expects to take delivery of its first Boeing 787-9 in 2018.
737-86J (37786, D-ABMX), ex-(N377AB), delivery and A320-214 (2003, D-ABNE), ex-(G-KKAZ), (GEF) leased.
January 2014: airberlin (BER) commenced daily flights on two routes from Berlin Tegel (TXL) to south-eastern Europe on January 28th, and now serves both Bucharest (OTP) in Romania, and Sofia (SOF) in Bulgaria each with daily flights. A319s are deployed on both routes. While Lufthansa (DLH) provides competition on the Romanian route, on which it operates six weekly services, Bulgaria Air (LZB) operates five weekly flights to the Bulgarian capital. Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, (BER)’s Chief Strategy & Network Planning Officer, commented: “We have a clear goal to strengthen our network in 2013. The new routes increase our presence in Central and Eastern Europe to nine destinations, creating new transfer opportunities for travellers.”
Airberlin (BER), which has taken legal action against Berlin Brandenburg airport operator Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH (BER) for at least €48 million/$66 million in damages over continued delays in the opening of the airport, is still amenable to an out-of-court settlement. The case was heard in Potsdam on January 15 and a decision will come at a later date.
The much-delayed opening of the new (BER) airport is creating a “high double-digit million euro amount of damage” to airberlin (BER), (CEO) Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said earlier this week.
The total amount of damages has not yet been finalized because it depends on the final date of the airport’s opening, Prock-Schauer confirmed. The airport, which was originally scheduled to open in October 2011, has been delayed several times and is not expected to open before 2015, due to ongoing construction problems and technical issues.
(BER) Airport (CEO), Hartmut Mehdorn, who was formerly Airberlin (BER) (CEO), was quoted in several German media outlets as saying that construction (repair) work at the new airport could be completed in 2014. However, no details about a possible opening date are available.
Finnair (FIN) is considering using Vienna as a hub to leisure destinations in Southeastern Europe, connecting with Oneworld (ONW) Alliance affiliate member and airberlin (BER) subsidiary, FlyNiki (NKI).
(FIN) Director Central Europe, Jan Pellinen said in Vienna (FIN) has not considered the Austrian market over the last few years due to its restructuring, “but now we want to invest in our presence here again. The idea is to use Vienna as a connecting point to FlyNiki (NKI) leisure routes.”
(ONW) Alliance member, Finnair (FIN) operates 2x-daily, Helsinki - Vienna flights. FlyNiki (NKI) has established a hub in Vienna to destinations such as Greece, connecting with airberlin (BER). “Our hub operation works very well. On routes to leisure destinations like to Greece, we enjoy load factors of more than >90%,” (NKI) (CEO), Christian Lesjak said.
Vienna International Airport last year opened the first phase of its dedicated terminal for airberlin (BER) and subsidiary, FlyNiki (NKI), as well as for its Oneworld (ONW) alliance partners.
Pellinen also said Finnair (FIN) can invest in markets again and has “increased our flights from Dusseldorf as well as from Zurich to Helsinki from double daily to 4x-daily flights.”
In addition, Helsinki airport is undergoing a major €900 million/$1.2 billion investment, which includes a new premium lounge.
Finnair (FIN) is working to establish a third bank (a third wave for takeoffs and departures) at its Helsinki hub. Its two banks, which currently operate at 5 pm and about midnight, are already operating at high levels, connecting Europe with its 13 destinations in Asia.
airberlin (BER) remains something of an oddity among Europe’s biggest carriers. Founded as a charter/leisure airline back in the late 1970s, it has grown both organically and through acquisitions (dba (DBA) and (LTU)), evolved from a low-cost carrier (LCC) into a full-service carrier, joined the Oneworld (ONW) alliance and now has Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways (EHD) as its major shareholder. However, (BER) has struggled to be consistently profitable, and still appears to be trying to be all things to all people by operating short-haul, medium-haul and long-haul routes, having a fleet that ranges from DHC-8-Q400s to A330s, operating year-round high frequency business routes, as well as low-frequency, seasonal, leisure routes.
In 2013, (BER) cut its fleet by 12 airplanes (to 143) and saw passenger numbers drop by -5.4% to 31.54 million. However, load factor reached an impressive 84.9% LF, an increase of +1.3% points on 2012. Looking at planned capacity data for 2014, suggests that airberlin (BER) hopes to grow once more this year, although at a modest rate.
Airberlin (BER) and Etihad Airways (EHD), which have been in a strategic partnership for two years, have unveiled an A320 airplane in a specially designed joint livery at Berlin Brandenburg International Airport. (EHD) is a 29.21% stakeholder in Oneworld (ONW) Alliance member, (BER). “The comprehensive commercial partnership with (EHD) has brought many benefits to (BER), including our shares of joint revenues of €200 million/$273.4 million, which is integral part of our turnaround program,” (BER) (CEO). Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said. He added that this strategy not only provides an expanded offering of destinations and services, but, “We also have developed synergies through the entire value chain, as well as continuously improved productivity and lower costs.”
Both airlines said they will deepen their commercial partnership in 2014.
The two carriers’ network serves 228 destinations in 84 countries. “We are operating 100 code share routes (two-thirds of them by (BER), one-third by (EHD)),” Prock-Schauer added. “Since the launch of the partnership two years ago, commercial ties between (EHD) and (BER) has deepened significantly . . . it enables both airlines to carry nearly 900,000 guests across the two networks,” (EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan said.
He added that (BER) is operating in a tough environment. “We continue our full support behind the airline and its management. We are confident that (BER) is on the right path back to profitability.”
Hogan said (EHD) “invested in (BER) because we see its potential. It is carrying more than >30 million passengers each year. To make the equity investment and establish the commercial partnership (and this long-term commitment) remains key to the (EHD) business strategy.”
Hogan, who said he is confident with (BER)’s (restructuring) development, said (EHD) invested $105 million (in airberlin (BER)) and recouped that amount in six months.
(BER) and (EHD) operate 42 weekly flights between destinations in Germany and Abu Dhabi, which will increase to 49 weekly flights in February when a second daily Munich flight commences. The two carriers are evaluating Vienna - Abu Dhabi service. “We will also increase (airberlin (BER)) frequencies in our (European) key markets by +8% this year,” Prock-Schauer added. (BER) will add new code share destinations in India, Australia, and South Korea.”
In 2013, 563,000 common code share passengers flew across the two networks, a +74% increase over the previous year.
Airberlin (BER), the second largest airline in Germany, carried more than >31.5 million passengers in 2013.
February 2014: Etihad Airways (EHD) and Airberlin (BER) will step up their equity partnership by doubling the weekly total of flights between Berlin and Abu Dhabi to double-daily, starting October 26.
(BER) operates a two-class A330-200 on the route.
The two carriers’ existing code share agreement will also be expanded within the next few days to include six Indian destinations served by (EHD) (New Delhi, Mumbai, Cochin, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Bangalore).
India-originating travelers will also benefit from improved connection options within the wider airberlin (BER) route network to a variety of European destinations.
(BER) (CEO), Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said the expansion of services means “we are taking greater advantage of our synergies” with (EHD).
(EHD) (CEO), James Hogan added that the partnership with (BER), in which (EHD) has a 29% shareholding, had seen 560,000 passengers flying across the two carriers’ networks in 2013, a +74% increase on 2012.
The Abu Dhabi - Berlin route often had load factors above >90% LF in peak months. “It is therefore crucial to ensure that demand and capacity are better matched.”
Meanwhile, express packages freight carrier (DHL) and Etihad (EHD) Cargo have agreed to share capacity on (DHL)’s new 5X-weekly freighter service operating through Abu Dhabi.
The new services use (DHL)’s Airbus A300-600F freighter fleet, and operate from Bahrain to Abu Dhabi, onward to Bagram, Lahore, and Karachi, and back to Abu Dhabi, where cargo can transfer to Etihad Cargo destinations.
The (DHL) Abu Dhabi service started last month and has already resulted in improved transit times for (DHL) cargo coming to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and North America, (EHD) said.
(DHL) shipments from the USA to Abu Dhabi now arrive half a day earlier.
March 2014: Airberlin (BER) added 2x-weekly flights each from Dusseldorf and Munich to Varadero and Puerto Plata (Dominican Republic) with Airbus A330-200s. (BER) will start 2x-weekly, Dusseldorf - Marrakesh A320 service on November 3.
(BER), which has postponed its financial results conference for the second time, said it is in recapitalization talks. The results conference has now been rescheduled for the end of April. “Air Berlin (BER) (PLC) is working on measures for a recapitalization, which should strengthen capital and liquidity for the Air Berlin Group. The company continues negotiations with shareholders and other parties,” (BER) spokesperson, Uwe Berlinghoff said in an email.
Air Berlin (BER) said on March 29th it had enough money to run its business, denying claims by an investor rights group it was trying to hide its financial difficulties by twice delaying publication of its annual results.
(BER), almost 30% owned by Etihad Airways (EHD), postponed publication of its results for the second time in a week, saying it was in talks for a recapitalisation to strengthen its finances. "The company has sufficient liquidity and also has additional flexibility through an undrawn shareholder loan," (BER) said in an email.
Daily newspaper "Berliner Zeitung" quoted Michael Kunert, spokesman for investor rights group (SdK), as saying he believed Air Berlin (BER) had breached financial disclosure rules. "Mr Kunert's claims are wrong, and we believe they are damaging to our business," (BER) said, adding it would not rule out legal action against (SdK).
"Berliner Zeitung" quoted a (BaFin) spokeswoman as saying German public limited companies had until the end of April to publish their financial results for the previous year.
April 2014: Airberlin (BER) (which reported a 2013 net loss of -€315.5 million/-$437 million)) is planning a “substantial” recapitalization program to return to profitability. (BER)’s 2013 net loss was reversed from a +€6.8 million profit a year ago when it posted the first profit in five years by selling a majority stake in its frequent flyer program to Etihad Airways (EHD).
(CEO), Wolfgang Prock-Schauer called 2013 a “very challenging and very disappointing year. The Turbine efficiency program achieved the desired contribution of €200 million to the cost and turnover side, and a number of performance indicators delivered positive results. However, the company was faced with an unexpectedly sluggish summer season due to high temperatures in Central Europe, followed by the traditionally difficult winter period.”
Group revenues for 2013 fell -4% to €4.15 billion on a -5.1% decrease in capacity. It posted an operating loss of -€231.9 million. Yield increased +0.8% to €121 cents. (RASK) increased +1.3% to €7.24 cents, while (CASK) rose +3.5%, including fuel and restructuring charges.
The Oneworld (ONW) Alliance member also reduced its fleet by -15 airplanes to 140 last year, and cut 600 out of 900 jobs it plans to reduce by the end of this year.
Prock-Schauer said (BER) is “much better prepared than a year ago. We have to increase the pressure, drive further measures, as well as thoroughly evaluate our possibilities,” he said. “We have to do more. It is not enough,” he told reporters and analysts during the results conference.
As of December 31, 2013, airberlin (BER) said it had an “equity capital of minus -€181.9 million, liquid assets of €223 million and a partially undrawn credit facility of $US120 million.”
To strengthen capital and liquidity, as well as reduce debt, (BER) said a “substantial recapitalization” will follow. The company will receive a cash inflow of €450 million before the end of 2014. Of that, Etihad Airways (EHD) has subscribed to a convertible bond in the amount of €300 million.
Airberlin (BER) will issue a bond—arranged by Anoa Capital—in the amount of a minimum of €150 million. The holders of the 2014 and 2015 bonds will be offered to exchange their existing bonds at preferential terms into the new bonds with a maturity in 2019.
In addition, (EHD), which has a 29.21% stake in (BER), has agreed to extend a $US255 million loan, of which (BER) has so far drawn $135 million, from the end of 2016 to the end of 2021.
After the recapitalization, the current ownership structure of (BER) PLC will remain unchanged.
Prock-Schauer said (BER) needs to further optimize its network and fleet structure, as well as improve staff productivity. “Everything is under evaluation,” he added.
Airberlin (BER) carried 31.5 million passengers last year, operating to 147 destinations.
Airberlin (BER) begins 6x-weekly, Düsseldorf - Madrid service. (BER) launched its newest route from Düsseldorf (DUS) this week, when it began a weekly (Saturdays), 144-seat, 737-700 operation to Calvi (CLY) on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica. The 985 km sector will face no direct competition. Started on April 12, the service will complement (BER)’s existing seasonal operation to Calvi from Cologne Bonn. This summer, airberlin (BER) will serve almost 70 destinations from Düsseldorf, with flights up around 5% compared with summer 2013.
May 2014: Airberlin (BER) reported a first-quarter net loss of -€209.8 million/-$288 million, widened from a net loss of -€196.3 million in the year-ago quarter.
First-quarter operating loss was -€182.8 million, narrowed from an operating loss of -€188.4 million in the year-ago period. Group revenue fell to €761.8 million, down -3.8% year-over-year, which (BER) attributed to the shift of Easter business to April.
(BER) said favorable cost development created a slightly improved operating result in a difficult market environment with high pressure on capacity utilization; yield was slightly better than the previous year. “There is no doubt of the need for fundamental change and working on developing a sustainable business model,” (CEO), Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said.
Revenue per (ASK)s fell to 6.54 euro cents from 7.10 euro cents in the year-ago quarter. (BER) said it was able to reduce costs per (ASK)s by -8.2%, ex-fuel, compared to the same period last year. (CASK) was down -8% year-over-year.
Airberlin (BER) said its cost-cutting "Turbine" turnaround program demonstrated tangible effects in the first quarter. “We have improved our cost structure this year. We will be focusing particularly on increasing our turnover and will be substantially assisted by a new revenue management system,” Prock-Schauer said.
The Oneworld (ONW) Alliance member will receive support from external consultants to develop a viable and sustainable business model and a detailed plan for its implementation.
Abu Dhabi-based, Etihad Airways (EHD), which owns a 29.2% stake in airberlin (BER), has assigned two of its executives to oversee airberlin (BER)’s restructuring process.
(BER) raised €252 million from the issuing of new bonds as part of its recently announced recapitalization program to return to profitability.
Airberlin (BER) said the recapitalization, in the amount of €550 million, should strengthen its equity capital and liquidity position for the long term.
Airberlin (BER), which announced a net loss of -€315.5 million/-$437 million for 2013, will reduce capacity -20% on its Spanish domestic routes, one of its main markets.
(CEO), Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said that there are no more taboos in restructuring (BER), and (BER) must decide if its current business model is still the right one to bring it back to sustainable profitability.
Prock-Schauer added that Palma de Mallorca remains its No 1 Spanish hub.
Airberlin (BER) has announced Helmut Weixler will become its new (COO) & Accounts Manager, effective August 1st. He will take over from Helmut Himmelreich, who is leaving for personal reasons.
Further seat capacity adjustments include a +3% increase on its so-called City Shuttle routes between Germany, Austria, and Switzerland; a +2% increase to the Spanish Balearic Islands; a +5% increase on German domestic routes; a +4% increase on its international charter routes; and a +5% increase on intercontinental routes.
Airberlin (BER) became the first airline to use Ground Based Augmentation System (GBAS) precision approach technology in Europe at Malaga Airport. Under a partnership with Spanish (Aena) Group’s air navigation provider, (BER) made its first satellite-based landing at the airport on May 5, which was (BER)’s second (GBAS) landing using a Boeing 737NG. Its first landing was at Bremen Airport in 2012.
The new satellite-supported (GBAS) approach system is substantially more precise than the traditional instrumentation-based landing system (ILS) as it uses data from both satellites and a ground control station. A further advantage of the (GBAS) system is its variable approach architecture, which can reduce noise emissions on the ground and allows for approaches in mountainous regions that were previously impossible with (ILS) technology.
“In 2012 we used Europe’s first (GBAS) precision approach system in Bremen, Germany. For the past few months, we have also been using Europe’s first hybrid approach system in Innsbruck. This system combines the traditional localizer instrumentation-based landing system with the satellite-supported Required Navigation Performance (RNP] precision system,” (BER) Fleet Manager Boeing, Michail Tounas said.
Since 2008, Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS) (German Air Traffic Control (ATC) Services) has been working in close cooperation with airberlin (BER) on further developing the (GBAS) system.
In November 2009, (BER) was the first airline to receive approval for (GBAS) approaches for visibility levels as low as 550 m for its 737NG fleet.
Airberlin (BER) has entered into a contract with Sabre Corporation to provide a full suite of technology software covering passenger reservations, inventory, check-in, e-commerce, data and network management.
The major win for Sabre comes just days after it lost Southwest Airlines (SWA)’s domestic passenger reservations system contract to the Amadeus Information Technology (IT) Group. With Sabre winning the airberlin (BER) contract, this flips the script: Amadeus is (BER)’s current reservations system provider. “The migration to Sabre’s [SabreSonic] passenger reservations system begins this summer, continuing into 2016,” Sabre said. “Beginning July this year, (BER) will start using Sabre’s network management tools.”
Airberlin (BER) (CEO), Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said, “With Sabre, we get an integrated solution from a single provider which will enable us to achieve our commercial goals and become more efficient in many areas.”
Sabre (CEO), Tom Klein said, “Europe is a key growth region for Sabre, and airberlin (BER) joins a growing number of European carriers who have selected Sabre. We will work closely with (BER) in the coming years to support their business and unlock innovation opportunities, leveraging the latest data, mobile and personalization trends.”
Airberlin (BER) will reduce its fleet from 147 airplanes in 2013 to 143, comprising 66 Airbus A320 family airplanes, 14 A330-200/300s, 46 Boeing 737 family airplanes, seven Embraer Emb-190s and 10 Bombardier DHC-8-Q400s.
June 2014: Airberlin (BER) will begin daily, Stuttgart - Abu Dhabi A320 service on December 1.
August 2014: Airberlin (BER) posted a net profit of +€8.6 million/+$11.4 million, reversed from a net loss of -€38 million in the year-ago quarter.
In what it described as a “difficult market environment,” (BER) posted second-quarter revenues of €1.14 billion, up +2.9%, and yield of €120.52, up +3%. (ASK)s rose +3.5% and load factor dropped -1.3% to 82.4% LF year-over-year.
(BER) said it aims to move into “sustainable profitability” as its "Turbine" cost-reduction program gains traction. (BER) said Turbine was on track and showed beneficial effects in the second quarter.
(CASK), including fuel, fell -3.7% to 7.24 cents. This was achieved despite a +8.3% rise in aviation tax and a +13.9% increase in personnel costs, due to wage increases and one-off costs.
Also showing results was its partnership with Etihad Airways (EHD), which owns more than >29% of (BER). Passenger numbers on the route network shared by the two airlines rose +7% in the first half of 2014. Passengers on code shares within the Oneworld (ONW) alliance also increased +7% compared to a year ago period.
(CEO), Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said (BER) had been able “to improve the net result and our operating result is looking better than it did a year ago, but this is not sufficient. We are determined to restructure airberlin (BER) to ensure the airline moves back to a sustainable profitability within three years.”
According to Prock-Schauer, some of the first elements of this restructuring include:
* Focusing on the largest travel markets in the Germany/Austria/Switzerland region, plus Palma de Mallorca in the Balearics, and connecting these high-volume routes with high-frequency, point-to-point services;
* Developing a closer cooperation with Etihad (EHD) and its network partners, with a framework being prepared for “close bilateral cooperation with Alitalia (ALI), subject to regulatory approvals;”
* Harmonizing its narrow body fleet and reducing it by approximately 10 airplanes; and
* Closing five of its smaller crew bases.
Prock-Schauer said further measures would be announced at the end of September.
“After diligently weighing and validating all of our options in the past months, we decided that airberlin (BER) will continue to serve the three core segments, namely Europe, touristic and long haul,” he added.
Airberlin (BER) named Aage Dünhaupt as its new Senior VP Communications. Until recently, Dünhaupt was a member of the Lufthansa Passage Board, based in Frankfurt and responsible for product, sales and marketing communications, and also in charge of communications for the Lufthansa Group in south-east Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Dünhaupt takes over from Uwe Berlinghoff, who is leaving (BER) to take on new challenges.
Airberlin Technik will develop, in collaboration with WheelTug and (FTI) Engineering Network, an innovative anti-collision monitoring technology for maneuvering airplanes on the ground.
Airberlin Technik has appointed Werner Rothenbächer as Managing Director.
September 2014: Airberlin (BER) has reached an agreement with Boeing (TBC) to cancel orders for 15 787 and 18 737 airplanes, “at a current price of some $5 billion to be rescinded.”
According to airberlin (BER), the termination agreement for the 33 airplanes does not include any compensation to Boeing (TBC) and “represents a further important step in the gradual harmonization of the (BER)’s narrow body fleet.”
(BER) (CFO), Ulf Hüttmeyer said, “Not taking the 33 airplane order will significantly reduce future capital expenditure for airberlin (BER) and improve our balance sheet.” He went on to say, “Our collaboration with (TBC) has always been excellent and this will remain so. Forty-five Boeing 737 NG airplanes will remain in service on European short- and medium-haul routes. In order to operate more flexibly in the future and further reduce costs, standardization of our fleet is a key element of our restructuring,” he said.
(BER) is eyeing a single Airbus A320 family fleet in the future.
Regarding the 787 cancellation, (BER) said it will continue to operate A330-200/300s for the time being. The 787s had been expected to join (BER) in 2016 - 2017.
The transition to a uniform narrow body fleet should be completed by the end of 2016.
The Airberlin Group said it will “continue to dynamically adapt the existing fleet to its needs by purchasing or leasing suitable airplanes, although this will be on a smaller scale than originally planned. Already, (BER) is well positioned, with one of the youngest fleets in Europe.”
October 2014: News Item A-1: German aviation authorities are questioning the continuation of code share routes between Etihad Airways (EHD) and its strategic equity partner airberlin (BER), which are very important for both carriers between Germany and Abu Dhabi.
(EHD) is (BER)’s biggest single shareholder and owns 29.21% in this Oneworld (ONW) Alliance partner.
According to several German media reports, about 30% of these routes, which operated using airberlin (BER) airplanes, could be affected and some code share connections may have to be postponed.
The German federal aviation authority checks code share deals every time airlines submit winter and summer schedules for flights to and from Germany. “In the last six schedule periods, all together three years, we have always received permission allowing us to operate these code share flights. [We hope we can] continue with these code share flights,” airberlin spokesperson, Aage Duenhaupt said.
“It cannot be possible that an already-established agreement between the United Arab Emirates (UAE] and Germany has to be questioned again. Remarks and questions have come from only one side’s perspective,” Duenhaupt said, adding that both carriers remain confident the code share agreements will be granted again.
Later, however, (reported October 10th) German aviation authorities (Luftfahrt-Bundesamt, or LBA) denied the continuation of 34 code share routes between Etihad Airways (EHD) and its strategic equity partner airberlin (BER) for the coming winter schedule, effective at the end of October.
(BER) (CEO), Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said that (BER) “has been informed from Etihad (EHD) that these 34 flights are no longer confirmed. These are flights that will be operated by (BER) airplanes with (EHD)’s code.”
(EHD) is (BER)’s biggest single shareholder and owns 29.21% in the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance partner.
Both carriers are stunned with the decision, because the code shares are an essential part of their cooperation. In total, there are 60 code share flights operated between the two airlines.
No details are available about why the (LBA) denied the continuation of the code share routes. “All this does not correspond with our legal position,” Prock-Schauer said. “This [move] creates damage to the trust from our passengers in longtime existing flight connections.” The decision “also brings danger to German jobs,” he added. “Further growth [within aviation] will happen outside Germany and strengthen hubs in other countries. For German airports, this will result in the loss of attractive flights and less growth.”
The German federal aviation authority checks code share deals every time airlines submit winter and summer schedules for flights to and from Germany. The (LBA) has granted code share operations six times in the past three years.
It is understood this is the first time the (LBA) has made such a decision regarding aviation agreements between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Germany.
According to Prock-Schauer, the decision affects about 46,000 bookings. However, all passengers will be transported as planned.
(BER), which will absorb most of the financial impact, said it will use all legal steps to fight against the (LBA) decision. “The (BER) management and its board of directors will will work intensively on all economical and political areas to find a solution to undo this decision,” Prock-Schauer added.
Airberlin (BER) spokesperson Aage Duenhaupt said recently it cannot be possible that an already-established agreement between the (UAE) and Germany has to be questioned again. Remarks and questions have come from only one side’s perspective, he added.
As mentioned earlier, German aviation authorities denied the continuation of the two carriers' 24 code share routes between Germany and Abu Dhabi for the coming winter schedule, effective at the end of October.
(BER) generates a turnover of €100 million/$127 million per year with code share flights (with all partner carriers), according to several media outlets.
From January to the end of September, airberlin (BER) transported 24,838,203 passengers, up +0.6% compared to the year-ago period.
News Item A-2: Airberlin (BER) plans to also start daily, Stuttgart - Abu Dhabi flights using Airbus A320s for the upcoming winter schedule. Austria-based (BER) subsidiary, FlyNiki (NKI) will start daily Vienna - Abu Dhabi services from the end of November.
News Item A-3: Etihad Airways (EHD) has launched a new brand that envelops (EHD) and five of its partner airlines in a group that will synchronize schedules and frequent flyer benefits in a similar way to the three global alliances.
Etihad Airways Partners will initially include Etihad Airways (EHD), airberlin (BER), Air Serbia (JAT), Air Seychelles (ASY), India’s Jet Airways (JPL), and Darwin Airline, Etihad (EHD) announced Wednesday, October 8th.
(EHD) has equity stakes in each of these partner carriers. However, it said any airline can become an Etihad Airways Partner even if it is part of an existing alliance. Airberlin (BER) is a member of the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance.
The key emphasis for Etihad Airways Partners is a strong commercial partnership and shared values, (EHD) said. “We are broadening our business model to articulate and define a partner proposition for like-minded airlines, which will result in synergies and efficiencies for participating airlines on the one side, and enhanced network choice, service and frequent flyer benefits for the consumer on the other,” (EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan said.
“The Etihad Airways Partners logo is a seal of excellence and global cooperation. It will be displayed on airplanes and on branded materials by a group of airlines working together to connect travelers around the world, and increasingly to harmonize standards in the air and on the ground.
“The potential for network alignment to maximize flight connectivity for passengers, together with a shared passion for superior service, are central to the ethos of the Etihad Airways Partner concept,” he said.
Benefits will include standardized mileage and tier benefits across all partners, no blackout periods and priority services.
Etihad Airways Partners will also have access to economies of scale and operational synergies such as centers of excellence, shared sales teams in certain destinations, joint procurement of services and supplies, and shared pilot (FC) and cabin crew (CA) training at the Etihad Airways (EHD) facilities in Abu Dhabi.
SEE ATTACHED PHOTO - - "BER-2014-10 - ETIHAD AIRWAYS PARTNERS" which
shows L - R: Maurizio Merlo, (CEO), Darwin Airline; Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, (CEO), airberlin (BER); James Hogan, President & (CEO), Etihad Airways (EHD); Cramer Ball, (CEO) Jet Airways (JPL); Dane Kondic, (CEO) Air Serbia (JAT); and Manoj Papa, (CEO) Air Seychelles (ASY).
(EHD)’s objective with its new "Partners" initiative is not to compete with the three global alliances but to link members’ frequent flier programs, synchronize networks and see cost efficiencies, (EHD) President & (CEO) James Hogan said.
News Item A-4: Airberlin (BER) and Alitalia (ALI) have signed a strategic code share agreement on all 412 weekly flights between Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy from the winter season.
Following the closing of a major investment deal between Etihad Airways (EHD) and (ALI) in August, (EHD) (CEO), James Hogan said he wanted to strengthen Milan as a hub in Northern Italy and connect networks there with (BER) and (ALI). (EHD) has a 29.21% stake in (BER) and a 49% stake in (ALI).
Hogan said he hopes to gain European Union (EU) regulatory approval for the (ALI) investment deal “in 60 to 90 days.” The long-mooted deal between (EHD) and (ALI) came to fruition on August 8 in a complex transaction worth €1.75 billion/$2.35 billion, which saw (EHD) take a 49% stake in (ALI) for €387.5 million.
From October 26, (BER)’s 3x-daily flights from Düsseldorf and a double daily from Berlin Tegel Airport will operate into Milan Linate instead of Malpensa. In addition, the 3x-daily flights from Vienna, operated by Austria-based (BER) subsidiary, Niki (NKI) will also be directed to Linate.
The partners also agreed on selective code shares beyond their home hubs. (ALI) will place its “AZ” code on some of (BER)’s domestic flights — such as from Munich to Cologne, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, and Berlin. (BER) will place its “AB” code on selected domestic and international (ALI) flights via Rome and Milan Linate to destinations including Naples, Brindisi, Reggio Calabria, Alghero, Athens or Malta, as well as on some of (ALI)’s long-haul flights to South America (such as São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro). Code sharing on (ALI)’s long-haul and some international connections will commence after regulatory approval.
(BER) and (ALI) have also signed a frequent flyer agreement allowing passengers to earn and redeem bonus miles on the entire route network of both airlines on a reciprocal basis on flights from November 1.
Both (BER) and (ALI) will remain members of Oneworld (ONW) and SkyTeam (STM) Alliances, respectively.
Further synergies will arise from optimized airplane rotation and avoidance of expensive overnight airplane stops.
News Item A-5: Airberlin (BER) plans to eliminate a further -200 jobs of administration and ground personnel staff during 2015, several German media outlets have reported. (BER) has already cut 900 jobs in recent months, as a result of its cost-cutting program "Turbine," (CEO), Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said in (BER)’s staff magazine.
Etihad Airways (EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan had said he strongly believes Oneworld (ONW) Alliance partner, (BER) will be successfully restructured, but to do that, it must become the “best in class.” (EHD) has a 29.21% stake in the German airline.
Last month, airberlin (BER) announced the cancellation of 18 Boeing 737 and 15 787 orders at a current list price value of around $5 billion. (BER) did not have to pay a penalty, Prock-Schauer said in the magazine, enabling (BER) to harmonize its single-aisle fleet.
(BER) will move from a mixed Boeing 737/Airbus A320 family fleet to an all-A320 family narrow body fleet. The transformation should be complete within the next two years. “Beside the additional A320/321s we have in our current order book, we will add [more] A320 family airplanes,” Prock-Schauer said. It is expected (BER) will add several former Alitalia (ALI) A320s to its fleet. (BER)’s European traffic creates 80% of its total business. It has been working for some time to retire the long-term leases of 14 Boeing 737NGs from TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX).
Airberlin (BER) has reduced its total crew bases from 15 to 10.
Regarding its long-haul fleet, Prock-Schauer said, (BER) will “continue to operate our Airbus A330 fleet and upgrade them to the newest standards.”
November 2014: News Item A-1: Oneworld (ONW) Alliance member, Airberlin (BER) reported a third-quarter net profit of +€49.9 million/+$62.2 million, down -50.5% compared to a net profit of +€101 million in the year-ago period as it continues cost-cutting measures.
Revenue for the quarter, ended September 30, was down -2.5% to €1.31 billion compared to the 2013 third quarter.
(BER) said initial restructuring costs of €15 million in the third quarter reduced the results.
(EBIT) decreased -35% year-over-year to €74.93 million.
(BER) said in a statement that its cost reductions were achieved despite a significant increase in expenditures of +5.8% as a result of airport charges, air navigation charges and air transport tax.
Personnel costs increased +6.4% due to wage increases and one-time effects, such as the closure of 15 crew bases.
(ASK)s increased +0.9% to 17.73 billion, but load factor dipped slightly from 87.3% LF to 87.2% LF. Yield decreased -4.4%, which is in line with the general aviation market.
(CEO), Wolfgang Prock-Schauer announced in early November that he will step down February 1, 2015, as former Lufthansa (DLH) executive and Fiji Airways (CEO) Stefan Pichler takes the helm to move the company forward with its previously announced restructuring program.
Pichler has been quoted by the German magazine "Der Spiegel" as saying that current measures to bring (BER) back to profitability have not been good enough and did not deliver the requested results. He added that his first priority will be to check out the carrier’s strategy, and then will adjust management structure.
Airberlin (BER) said an updated restructuring program should improve the bottom line by +€400 million by 2016 (comprising 40% through cost savings and efficiency increases, 20% through network restructuring, and 40% from additional income and significantly improved market penetration).
As part of continued cost-cutting measures, (BER) plans to cut -200 positions in administration and ground staff.
Since the beginning of the "Turbine" cost-cutting program, 850 positions have been made redundant. Changes to the route network have led to a -5% reduction in capacity.
Fleet harmonization from Boeing 737s to the Airbus A320 family is expected to be completed by the end of 2016. (BER) has a further 10 Airbus A321 airplanes on order and will acquire additional A320 airplanes in the market and take over 14 airplanes from a European airline. Several media outlets are reporting those 14 airplanes could come from Alitalia (ALI).
Airberlin (BER) is part of the Etihad Airways (EHD) equity alliance. (EHD) has a 29.21% stake in (BER).
After narrowing its operating loss in fist half (1H) 2014, airberlin (BER)'s (3Q) result was in profit, but at a lower level than last year in what is the seasonally strongest quarter. Unit revenues continued to fall and (BER) was unable to reduce unit costs sufficiently to compensate for this (even after allowing for restructuring costs).
News Item A-2: Airberlin (BER) (CEO), Wolfgang Prock-Schauer announced November 3rd he will step down February 1, 2015, as former Lufthansa (DLH) executive and Fiji Airways (APC) (CEO) Stefan Pichler takes the helm to move the company forward with its previously announced restructuring program.
Prock-Schauer (who became (CEO), in January 2013 and resigned at his own request) will resume his position as Chief Strategy & Planning Officer, which he originally held when he joined the Group in 2012. In this role, he will leverage his extensive network and revenue management experience in helping to reshape the networks of the airberlin (BER) Group and to deliver route profitability.
“We have been surprised by these management changes today,” a source close to airberlin (BER) management said.
Pichler, a 25-year veteran of the air transport business, joins airberlin (BER) from Fiji Airways (APC), where he was (CEO) and had been involved in its successful turnaround program. Before joining (APC), he was Managing Director & (CEO) of Kuwait’s Jazeera Airways (JZI). He was also (CCO) and Deputy (CEO) of Virgin Blue; he also launched V Australia, where he served as Chairman.
Pichler was formerly Chairman & (CEO) of Thomas Cook AG and also held various senior management positions at Lufthansa (DLH), culminating in a role as (CCO) and member of the executive board, accountable for sales and marketing worldwide.
“We are pleased to get a strong leader for our senior executive team with the appointment of Stefan Pichler. I am sure he will have an immediate positive impact,” Chairman of the Board of Directors, Hans-Joachim Körber said.
Airberlin (BER) is part of the Etihad Airways (EHD) equity alliance. (EHD) has a 29.21% stake in (BER).
As airberlin (BER) (CEO), Pichler will be responsible for all group businesses and airline brands.
(EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan said recently he strongly believes airberlin (BER) will be successfully restructured, but to do that, it must become the “best in class.”
News Item A-3: airberlin (BER) added a weekly (Tuesdays) service between Nuremberg (NUE) and La Palma (SPC) in the Canaries on November 4th. Flown by the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance airline’s 186Y-seat 737-800s, the airport pair will face no direct competition. According to Innovata Diio Mi schedules, the route became (BER)’s 19th service from the German airport, and its sixth in Spain.
Airberlin (BER) will add two flights to its Düsseldorf - Sylt service for a total of 16, beginning in May.
December 2014: News Item A-1: airberlin (BER) has launched services from Stuttgart (STR) to Abu Dhabi (AUH) on December 1st. The 4,777 km sector, which is flown in co-operation with Etihad Airways (EHD), gives (EHD) further access to the restrictive German market. There is no competition on the city pair, which is flown by the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance carrier’s 144-seat A320s. The new service joins (BER)'s existing services to Abu Dhabi from Düsseldorf and Berlin Tegel. For Stuttgart Airport this becomes the airport’s second longest non-stop destination, beaten only by Delta Air Lines (DAL)’s 7,533 km service to its main hub in Atlanta. A total of five German airports are now linked to Abu Dhabi with non-stop flights, the others being Frankfurt and Munich.
News Item A-2: Panasonic Avionics has equipped the Airberlin Group’s first two Airbus A320s with Wi-Fi service.
January 2015: News Item A-1: Airberlin (BER) and Iberia (IBE) expand code sharing. (IBE) flights from Hamburg, Hanover and Stuttgart to Madrid will be flown under (BER) flight numbers.
News Item A-2: Airberlin (CEO), Wolfgang Prock-Schauer is set to step down February 1, as former Lufthansa (DLH) executive and Fiji Airways (APC) (CEO), Stefan Pichler takes the helm to move the company forward with its restructuring program. Pichler is (BER)’s third new (CEO) in four years.
Prock-Schauer (who became (CEO) in January 2013 and resigned at his own request) will resume his position as Chief Strategy & Planning Officer, which he originally held when he joined the Group in 2012. Prock-Schauer followed Hartmut Mehdorn.
Pichler, a 25-year veteran of the air transport business before joining Fiji Airways (APC), was Managing Director and (CEO) of Kuwait’s Jazeera Airways (JZI). He was also (CCO) and deputy (CEO) of Virgin Blue (VOZ) and launched V Australia (VAU), where he served as Chairman. Pichler was formerly Chairman & (CEO) of Thomas Cook (JMA)/(GUE) and also held various senior management positions at Lufthansa (DLH), culminating in a role as (CCO) and member of the executive board, accountable for Sales & Marketing worldwide.
Separately, (BER) and the Iberia Group announced they will expand their existing code share agreement. All Iberia Group flights from Hamburg, Hanover and Stuttgart to Madrid, will be offered under an airberlin (BER) flight number. (BER) currently operates nonstop flights from Berlin, Düsseldorf and Vienna to Madrid, which are offered in code share with Iberia (IBE). This cooperation offers more than >450 direct weekly flights between 11 cities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and five destinations on the Spanish Mainland.
Airberlin (BER) belongs to Etihad Airways (EHD) Partners, a new brand uniting the two carriers in shared activities since the end of 2014. Etihad (EHD) has a 29.21% share in (BER).
News Item A-3: airberlin (BER) will install 23,000 new seats in its 120 narrow body airplanes. “The new slimline seats, made by German airplane seating maker Recaro, will give passengers up to +3 cm/+1.81 in more leg room, plus a (USB) port for mobile devices. They are also 1.5 kg lighter than the current model,” (BER) spokesperson Aage Duenhaupt said. He added the first airplane with the new seats will be launched February 5.
Duenhaupt said the new seats represent an investment of several million euros and will be used on short- and medium-haul-flights. “The configuration rollover is estimated to take about two years,” he said.
(BER) is currently in the process of harmonizing its single-aisle/narrow body fleet by exchanging its Boeing 737 fleet with an all Airbus A320 family fleet. (BER) currently operates a mix of 737-700/800s and A320 family airplanes.
Last September, (BER) reached an agreement with Boeing (TBC) to cancel orders for 15 787 and 18 737 airplanes, “at a current price of some $5 billion to be rescinded,” (BER) said.
News Item A-4: A321-211 (6432, D-ABCM), ex-(D-AZAU) delivery.
February 2015: Airberlin (BER) has promoted Arnd Schwierholz to (CFO), effective April 1. He has been Deputy (CFO) since October 2014.
Schwierholz takes over from Ulf Huettmeyer, who has had the role of (CFO) for nine years. Huettmeyer will join Etihad Airways (EHD) on April 1 as its Senior VP Finance Equity Partners.
Etihad Airways (EHD) has a 29.21% share in Oneworld (ONW) Alliance member airberlin (BER).
“In Arnd Schwierholz, the airberlin (BER) management board has gained a financial expert with more than >12 years of extensive experience in the field of airline finance. These skills will move forward the restructuring program at (BER),” board Chairman, Hans-Joachim Körber said. Schwierholz has held positions within (UBS) Investment Bank, and has experience as a company founder and as head of mergers & acquisitions for Deutsche Lufthansa (DLH). Before joining airberlin (BER), Schwierholz was (CFO) North America for (LSG) Sky Chefs, the catering subsidiary of Deutsche Lufthansa (DLH).
As of February 1st, former (DLH) executive and Fiji Airways (APC) (CEO), Stefan Pichler took over as Airberlin (BER) (CEO) from Wolfgang Prock-Schauer to move the company forward with its restructuring program. Pichler is (BER)’s third new (CEO) in four years.
Wolfgang Prock-Schauer has now announced that at his own request, as of February 28, he is leaving the airberlin (BER) Group management board. In January, (BER) announced Prock-Schauer would step down February 1st as Stefan Pichler took over the helm to move the company forward with its restructuring program.
Prock-Schauer (who became (CEO) in January 2013 and resigned at his own request) was expected to resume his position as Chief Strategy & Planning Officer, which he originally held when he joined the Group in 2012. Prock-Schauer followed Hartmut Mehdorn.
(BER) board Chairman, Hans-Joachim Korber said, “We note this decision with regret and would like to thank Wolfgang warmly for all the extraordinary work he did and his achievements for (BER) during his term of office.”
March 2015: The much-delayed opening of Berlin Brandenburg International Airport is a “huge disadvantage for airberlin (BER),” (BER)’s (CEO), Stefan Pichler said at his first press conference after taking the helm February 1.
April 2015: News Item A-1: Air Berlin (BER) has reported a -€377 million loss/-$458 million in 2014, deepened -19% from a -€315.5 million loss in the year-ago period.
(BER) said the results were due to highs costs of its Turbine restructuring program, which has delivered -€400 million in savings. However, (BER) said this savings was not enough, and tough competition in the European airline business put pressure on the results.
Revenue rose +0.3% to €4.16 billion, while the loss before taxes (EBIT) rose +27% to -€294 million (loss).
Traffic rose +1.43% to 49.27 billion (RPK)s on a +3.11% increase in capacity to 59 billion (ASK)s, producing a load factor of 83.6% LF, down -1.4 points compared to the year-ago period.
The Oneworld (ONW) Alliance member operated 149 airplanes in 2014 and transported 31.7 million passengers, up +0.6%, to 147 destinations.
The fleet has an average age of 6.6 years and produced 494.587 hours, up +0.6% compared the year ago period. Airberlin has 8,440 employees.
Airberlin (BER) has announced recently several management changes in the first phase of (BER)’s turnaround program, and paving the way to be a more international multi-hub carrier.
“The (BER) management team is now more international and our structure will be clearly aligned along the value chain of an airline, which increases our effectiveness as a multi-hub airline in Europe,” (CEO) Stefan Pichler said.
Pichler succeeded Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, who stepped down February 1.
In early March, Pichler announced the initial details of the 2015/2016 turnaround program. These latest management decisions further advance the first phase.
The second phase aims to improve market segmentation and adjust capacity. Both phases are due to be completed in spring 2016 and are expected to substantially improve financial results.
The third phase (which begins in April 2016) should pave the way for (BER)'s profitability and further expand its hubs.
News Item A-2 Oneworld (ONW) Alliance member, AirBerlin (BER) reported a third-quarter 2014 net profit of +€49.9 million/+$62.2 million, down -50.5% compared to a net profit of +€101 million in the year-ago period, as it continues cost-cutting measures.
(BER)’s preliminary operating result (EBIT) presented on March 26 stands at a loss of -€278.8 to -303.8 million in the 2014 fiscal year, narrowed from a loss of -€231.9 million year-over-year. (BER) said 2014 was dominated by high restructuring costs. Total revenue for 2014 was €4.16 billion (2013: €4.15 billion), up +0.3% from the previous year.
Airberlin (BER) (CEO), Stefan Pichler, who took the helm February 1 to move the company forward with its restructuring program, said the company should again achieve an operating profit in 2016.
News Item A-3: German aviation authorities are again questioning the continuation of code share routes for the upcoming winter schedule between Etihad Airways (EHD) and its strategic equity partner, airberlin (BER). The affected routes are between Germany and Abu Dhabi.
(EHD) is (BER)’s biggest single shareholder and owns 29.21% in its Oneworld (ONW) Alliance partner.
Last October, German aviation authorities cleared the continuation of 34 code share operations of (BER) and (EHD) between Germany and Abu Dhabi. The Luftfahrt-Bundesamt (LBA) had previously denied the continuation of code share routes for the coming winter schedule, effective at the end of October.
The German federal aviation authority checks code share deals every time airlines submit winter and summer schedules for flights to and from Germany. Airberlin (BER) received permission for the summer schedule early this year, (CEO), Stefan Pichler said in March.
(BER) spokesperson Aage Duenhaupt said the next round of talks on traffic rights between the governments of Germany and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) may start by the end of April. (BER) hopes to find a general solution for a permanent code share agreement without the continued questioning.
Separately, Duenhaupt confirmed that (BER) is not looking for new investors, as reported in some German media outlets. There are also no plans to request additional financial help from Etihad (EHD), he said.
News Item A-4: Etihad Airways (EHD) equity partner, airberlin (BER) has resigned its membership of the Association of European Airlines (AEA), accusing the lobbying organization of taking a protectionist stance against the three major Gulf carriers.
The move by airberlin (BER), Germany's second-largest carrier, is the latest in the growing dispute over whether Emirates Airline (EAD), Etihad (EHD) and Qatar Airways (QTA) are state-subsidized and represent unfair competition in the market place.
The dispute spread to Europe this year after three USA majors, American Airlines (AAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL) and United Airlines (UAL) began a campaign against the Gulf carriers last year. They commissioned a 55-page report that alleged (UAE)-based (EAD) and (EHD) and Qatar-based (QTA) have benefited from over >$40 billion in state subsidies. The USA carriers said this was a violation of USA "Open Skies" agreements with the (UAE) and (QTA). The USA government has begun a review of the complaints.
International Airlines Group (IAG) carriers British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE) withdrew their (AEA) membership at the end of March, also citing a lack of policy alignment. (IAG) (CEO), Willie Walsh has said he has “no issues” with the expansion of the Gulf airlines and that he admires them. Earlier this year, (QTA) became (IAG)’s largest single shareholder, with a stake of almost 10%.
Announcing airberlin (BER)'s move today, (CEO) Stefan Pichler accused (AEA) of “allowing itself to be driven by airlines which [are] desperately trying to erect a new wall around Europe.” He added that there are “increasingly obvious discrepancies” in the views of (AEA) members. “We see no future in a protectionist aviation policy in Europe,” he said.
(BER) said it will now actively promote its own initiatives in Brussels.
(AEA)'s response to airberlin (BER)'s move was, "It is totally incorrect to portray (AEA) as a protectionist association that is creating a wall around Europe. None of the campaigns initiated by (AEA) on liberalization, external relations, or ownership and control have advocated protectionism.”
News Item A-5: airberlin (BER) subsidiary, FlyNiki (NKI) has dropped plans to establish a base in the Slovakian capital of Bratislava.
Oneworld (ONW) Alliance affiliate (NKI)(which had planned to launch double-daily services to Brussels, daily flights to Vienna, as well as several frequencies to Palma de Mallorca from Bratislava this summer) has deferred the launch to October. (NKI) said other routes are more economical than Bratislava, but it may reevaluate Bratislava service at a later time.
During this summer’s schedule, (NKI) operates to about 70 destinations throughout Europe, North Africa and Abu Dhabi, offering around 870 weekly flights with a fleet of 22 Airbus A320 family airplanes.
Separately, Finnair (FIN) is expanding its code share cooperation with airberlin (BER) and FlyNiki (NKI). The Finnair AY designator will be added to selected services operated by (BER) or FlyNiki (NKI)to Bucharest Otopeni, Catania, Chania, Cologne, Larnaca, Malaga, Naples, Palma de Mallorca, Paphos, and Stuttgart, connecting these cities via Berlin Tegel, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna, or Zurich.
The code shares are planned to take effect from early May.
Finnair (FIN) and airberlin (BER) have been code sharing across Scandinavia and Central Europe since 2010.
News Item A-6: airberlin (BER) has announced several management changes in the first phase of its turnaround program, and paving the way to be a more international multi-hub carrier.
Effective immediately, (BER) VP Crew Operations, Thomas Suritsch will serve as the Managing Director of Austrian subsidiary, Niki Luftfahrt GmbH (NKI), succeeding Christian Lesjak.
Airberlin (BER) Senior VP Revenue Management & Pricing, Christina Hackl will join the management board from June 1 and will be responsible for the commercial sector. Vueling (VUZ) (CCO), Julio Rodriguez has been appointed (BER) (CCO), effective June 1, succeeding Goetz Ahmelmann who is taking a new role with Etihad Airways (EHD) (which has a 29.21% share in (BER)).
Airbus A320/A330 Captain Oliver Lackmann, previously Accountable Manager, was appointed to the newly created position of Chief Flight Operations Officer.
(BER) Chief Restructuring Officer, Marco Ciomperlik was appointed to the newly created position of Chief Production Officer, focusing on hospitality, including future product strategy. Qatar Airways (QTA) Senior VP Corporate Planning, Ole Orvér has been appointed (BER)'s Senior VP Network Strategy Planning. Orvér has also held various management positions at (LOT) Polish Airlines and the (SAS) Group.
The new management team, effective April 1, also includes (CFO) Arnd Schwierholz and Chief Human Resources (HR) Officer, Martina Niemann.
“The airberlin (BER) management team is now more international and our structure will be clearly aligned along the value chain of an airline, which increases our effectiveness as a multi-hub airline in Europe,” (CEO), Stefan Pichler said. Pichler succeeded Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, who stepped down February 1. Pichler is (BER)’s fourth new (CEO) in three years.
In early March, Pichler announced the initial details of the 2015/2016 turnaround program. These latest management decisions further advance the first phase. The second phase aims to improve market segmentation and adjust capacity. Both phases are due to be completed in spring 2016 and are expected to substantially improve financial results.
The third phase (which begins in April 2016) should pave the way for (BER)’s profitability and further expand its hubs.
News Item A-7: The shareholders of much-delayed Berlin Brandenburg International Airport (BER) have approved a needs-based capital injection of up to +€1.107 billion/+$1.18 billion.
Simultaneously, the 2015 economic plan includes construction work at (BER) to continue as planned, the company said. This means that the pure construction costs for (BER), based on an initial capacity of 27 million passengers, are around €5.4 billion.
The airport, which was originally scheduled to open in October 2011, has been delayed several times and is not expected to open for a few more years due to ongoing construction problems and technical issues.
According to several media reports, (BER) airport operations could start in the second part of 2017.
May 2015: News Item A-1: Airberlin (BER) reported a first-quarter net loss of -€210.1 million/-$235 million, slightly widened from a -€209.8 million net loss in the year-ago period.
(BER) said the results were due to higher interest expenditures and shifts in the market valuation of hedge instruments.
First-quarter revenue rose +4.2% to €793.7 million, producing an operating loss of -€159.9 million, down -14% year-over-year.
Airberlin (BER)’s average yield rose +4.2% to €121.66, as (RASK)s increased +2.6% to 6.71 euro cents. (ASK)s increased +1.5%, as total costs per (ASK) (CASK) rose +0.8%, going from 8.14 euro cents to 8.20 euro cents, producing a load factor of 83.2% LF, up on the prior-year quarter.
“We have an initial operational earnings impact from the reduction in capacity and a slightly improved yield management approach. At the same time, seasonal effects such as Easter, have also positively influenced the result. Still, we are at the beginning of a long road to recovery,” (CEO), Stefan Pichler said, adding that airberlin (BER) had already begun producing some positive effects on earnings.
“The first quarter has turned out properly. We understand, however, that we need to continue the systematic re-engineering of our company in order to achieve the goals we have set and generate the necessary market momentum. I am convinced that we are on the right track. Our focus on an open and inclusive management culture will enable us to drive further operational improvements,” Pichler added.
Allowing for current exceptional expenses from the ongoing restructuring program as well as non-recurring effects, adjusted (EBIT) was €-151.4 million.
The restructuring program, initiated in 2014, has already been showing initial positive effects. “We don’t have a new name for the current restructuring program. But we must stabilize airberlin (BER) further,” (CEO) Stefan Pichler said.
(BER) reported a -€377 million loss/-$458 million in 2014, widened from a -€315.5 million loss in the year-ago period.
Airberlin (BER) has recently announced several management changes in the first phase of the German carrier’s turnaround program, “but we will also adjust the management level below the top management,” Pichler saids.
(BER), the second largest airline in Germany, flies to 138 destinations, AND carried more than >31.7 million passengers in 2014.
Airberlin (BER) belongs to Etihad Airways (EHD) Partners, a new brand uniting the two carriers in shared activities since the end of 2014. Etihad Airways (EHD) has a 29.21% share in airberlin (BER).
News Item A-2: The new Berlin Brandenburg International Airport (BER) now expects to open in the second half of 2017. Costs have now risen to €5.4 billion/$5.9 billion for the much-delayed airport, which was originally scheduled to open in October 2011. Construction problems and technical issues have delayed the opening several times.
(BER) said in a statement that some of the milestones for the completion of (BER) (such as requirements to complete the smoke extraction system, which also affects delivery bays) are the current reason for the delay.
However, (BER) explained this issue is of no relevance to the overall planning, the completion of the construction work in the second quarter of 2016, or the planned opening of the airport in the second half of 2017, because these tasks are being undertaken in parallel.
Since construction work began in 2006, costs for Germany’s third biggest airport have reportedly increased from €2 billion to €5.4 billion (excluding costs for ground transportation and traffic connections).
When it opens, the airport is projected to be able to handle 27 million passengers.
The much-delayed opening of Berlin Brandenburg International Airport is a “huge disadvantage for Germany´s second largest carrier airberlin (BER),” the airline’s new (CEO), Stefan Pichler said in February. Pichler said, “I can only ask all the officials (everybody who is involved, all the management) to speed up the effort. I cannot think that we need until 2017 to open up this airport; this is just a joke,” he said.
The delay has negatively affected expansion plans for the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance carrier.
A320-216 (3128, D-ABZL), ex-(EI-DSH), Aircraft Purchase Company leased.
July 2015: News Item A-1: SriLankan Airlines (LNK) began code sharing with airberlin (BER) and NIKI (NKI). The three airlines will fly daily code share services between Germany, Austria, and Sri Lanka, via Abu Dhabi. (BER) and (NKI) also offer flights to Colombo under their code share agreement with Etihad Airways (EHD). In total, 3x-daily services are offered on Abu Dhabi - Colombo.
News Item A-2: Airberlin (BER) is continuing strict fleet capacity management as it undergoes long-term restructuring. The fleet, which has been reduced by -7 airplanes this summer, operates around 140 airplanes.
(BER), The Oneworld (ONW) Alliance member reported a -€377 million loss/-$458 million in 2014, widened from a -€315.5 million loss in the year-ago period.
(BER) spokesperson, Aage Duenhaupt said (BER) is also evaluating how to improve its Maintenance unit “by creating more synergies with our partners [such as Etihad Airways (EHD] and expanding into the third-party Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) business.” He denied several media reports that (BER) wants to reduce or shut down its Maintenance unit.
Airberlin (BER) is currently analyzing its entire network. Based on these results, the company will evaluate how to use subsidiaries (Austrian-based Niki (NKI) and regional carrier (LGW), which operates Bombardier DHC-8-Q400s at lower unit-cost-levels).
News Item A-3: Airberlin (BER) appointed Desi Barkhuizen as Senior VP Revenue Management & Pricing and Ole Orver as Senior VP Network Strategy Planning. (BER) named Uwe Kattwinkel as new Senior VP Communications, effective in August. He succeeds Aage Duenhaupt, who will continue to serve as a consultant. Kattwinkel is formerly from (TUI) (TUG) from 2004 - 2013, where he headed Corporate Communications.
2 A320-216 (3080, D-ABZN; 3482, D-ABZF), ex-(EI-DSF & EI-DSP), Aircraft Purchase Company leased.
August 2015: News Item A-1: Air Berlin ((IATA) Code: AB, based at Berlin Tegel) (BER) is considering outsourcing some routes and operations to its Austrian unit, Niki (NKI), inside sources have informed the "Süddeutsche Zeitung."
The move is part of a renewed turnaround plan that aims to generate EUR400 million/USD440 million in earnings for the loss-making (BER) in 2016, they stated.
On the back of a -EUR247.6 million/-USD272.4 million first half loss, Air Berlin (BER) said it was in the process of completing a fundamental review of its current network operations. According to the newspaper report, certain loss-making routes may be transferred to the (NKI)'s domain in a move that would mirror rival Lufthansa (DLH) Group's regional and long haul budget plans for Eurowings (EWG).
Other options Air Berlin (BER) is currently considering are the outsourcing of Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) and certain administrative functions to Niki (NKI), where costs are 'significantly' lower than at their German parent.
Once the review is completed, (BER) said it will spend the second half of the year optimizing its internal business processes, while increasing focus on its core business.
News Item A-2: Tour operator, the (TUI) Group (TUG) has disposed of its remaining shares in Air Berlin (BER) a spokesman has confirmed. The firm has been gradually watering down its stake in the airline from a peak of 9.9% to less than <3% late last year.
In 2009, TUI Travel (TUG) and Air Berlin (BER) signed a strategic partnership agreement in which each party was to have acquired 19.9% of each other's shareholdings.
While the equity swap did not happen, Air Berlin (BER) did take over all of TUIfly (Germany) (HAP)/(HLX)'s domestic German routes as well as those to Italy, Croatia, and Austria. In addition, (BER) agreed to wet-lease 5 737-700s and 9 737-800s from TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) through to 2019.
September 2015: News Item A-1: Airberlin (BER)'s executive committee of the board of directors met on September 29 with (BER)’s senior management team to review progress on the 2018 business plan. The plan, which is well underway, will be presented to the full board for approval shortly. The meeting included crucial decisions such as further route cuts and a possible reduction of staff.
In August (BER) reported a second-quarter net loss of -€37.5 million/-$41.6 million, widened from a net loss of -€8.6 million in the year-ago quarter. First-half net losses were -€247.6 million, widened from a -€201.2 million net loss in the year-ago period.
(CEO), Stefan Pichler said in August, “A fundamental review of the current network operated by (BER) is nearing completion and is aimed at significant improvements. Optimizing internal business processes and increasing focus on core business will continue during the second half of 2015. Considerable improvements in yield, capacity utilization and (RASK) are expected.” Pichler said it doesn’t matter how many airplanes (BER) operates. “The only question is: How much profit can we create with every aircraft? The size of the fleet is not relevant.”
The Oneworld (ONW) alliance airline belongs to Etihad Airways Partners. Etihad (EHD) has a 29.21% share in airberlin (BER).
News Item A-2: Air Berlin (BER) is re-configuring most of its Airbus A330-200s to provide more legroom in 40 economy (Y) class seats.
(BER) will charge more (the same rate as for the type's 8 exit-row seats (per "XL" seat in rows 15-19, which will offer 91 cm/(35.8 in) rather than the 76 cm legroom in standard economy (Y) rows, one of which will be removed to accommodate the stretch.
Refits will begin on October 6 on the first of 11 dual-class A330s at Air Berlin Technik's Dusseldorf facility, while (BER)'s three all-economy (Y) A330-200s should undergo similar work after the winter season.
Recaro will manufacture the new XL seats, whereas the A330s current economy (Y) seats are manufactured by Zim Flugsitz. German manufacturer Recaro is already a supplier for Air Berlin (BER)'s short haul fleet.
October 2015: News Item A-1: Airberlin (BER) will stop flights into Russia and close all routes through January 18, 2016 as international traffic continues a downward trend in Russia. (BER) operates Berlin - Moscow Domodedovo, Berlin - Kaliningrad, and Dusseldorf - Moscow Domodedovo services.
The possible network cuts and staff reductions were discussed at (BER)’s board of directors’ executive committee and senior management team meeting on September 29.
In August, (BER) reported a second-quarter net loss of -€37.5 million/-$41.6 million, widened from a net loss of -€8.6 million in the year-ago quarter. First-half net losses were -€247.6 million, widened from a -€201.2 million net loss in the year-ago period.
(CEO), Stefan Pichler said in August that “a fundamental review of the current network operated by (BER) is nearing completion and is aimed at significant improvements.”
Russia’s downward trend in international traffic started at the end of 2014 and has already forced several international carriers (such as Lufthansa (DLH), Cathay Pacific (CAT) and easyJet (EZY)) to cut operations to Russian destinations.
News Item A-2: German aviation authorities are again questioning the continuation of code share routes for the upcoming winter schedule beginning October 25 between Etihad Airways (EHD) and its strategic equity partner, airberlin (BER).
A German court has granted Etihad Airways (EHD) temporary permission to continue operating all code share flights with airberlin (BER) to destinations in Europe, the USA and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
(EHD), which welcomed the ruling, had applied for the injunction after waiting since April for approval on the code share flights. (EHD) owns a 29.2% stake in German carrier airberlin (BER), which is one of (EHD)'s partner carriers.
The injunction, which is valid until November 8, provides an opportunity for the parties to resolve outstanding differences through ongoing consultation between the governments of the (UAE) and the Federal Republic of Germany, (EHD) said. Both carriers will continue to honor all flights and passenger travel arrangements will remain entirely unaffected.
(EHD) said it was forced to take legal action because code share services still were not approved on airberlin (BER) services planned for the (IATA) winter 2015 - 2016 schedule, which begins October 25 and runs through March 30, 2016.
Etihad (EHD) said it also wanted to “protect (BER)’s 8,000 employees and provide passengers who have booked more than >82,000 journeys with clarity and confidence.”
Authorities have been questioning the code share routes since April.
(EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan said: “The failure by the German government to approve the code shares in time, would severely, and possibly terminally, damage airberlin (BER), Germany’s second-largest airline, of which (EHD) owns 29.2%. The code share routes in question, including flights to our hub in Abu Dhabi, were among 65 previously approved by Germany’s Civil Aviation Authority, the (LBA), and a key reason that we invested in (BER).
“Since 2012, our code share partnership has enabled more than 2 million passengers to connect between the networks of both airlines, and contributed 252 million euros to (BER)’s earnings. Etihad Airways (EHD) has delivered 1,365,487 passengers to airberlin (BER), while (BER) connected 645,157 passengers onto flights operated by (EHD),” Hogan said.
News Item A-3: A German court has granted Etihad Airways (EHD) temporary permission to continue operating all code share flights with airberlin (BER) to destinations in Europe, the USA and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
(EHD), which welcomed the ruling, had applied for the injunction after waiting since April for approval on the code share flights. (EHD) owns a 29.2% stake in German carrier airberlin (BER), which is one of (EHD)'s partner carriers.
The injunction, which is valid until November 8, provides an opportunity for the parties to resolve outstanding differences through ongoing consultation between the governments of the (UAE) and the Federal Republic of Germany, (EHD) said. Both carriers will continue to honor all flights and passenger travel arrangements will remain entirely unaffected.
(EHD) said it was forced to take legal action because code share services still were not approved on airberlin (BER) services planned for the (IATA) winter 2015 - 2016 schedule, which begins October 25 and runs through March 30, 2016.
Etihad (EHD) said it also wanted to “protect (BER)’s 8,000 employees and provide passengers who have booked more than >82,000 journeys with clarity and confidence.”
Authorities have been questioning the code share routes since April.
(EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan said: “The failure by the German government to approve the code shares in time, would severely, and possibly terminally, damage airberlin (BER), Germany’s second-largest airline, of which (EHD) owns 29.2%. The code share routes in question, including flights to our hub in Abu Dhabi, were among 65 previously approved by Germany’s Civil Aviation Authority, the (LBA), and a key reason that we invested in (BER).
“Since 2012, our code share partnership has enabled more than 2 million passengers to connect between the networks of both airlines, and contributed 252 million euros to (BER)’s earnings. Etihad Airways (EHD) has delivered 1,365,487 passengers to airberlin (BER), while (BER) connected 645,157 passengers onto flights operated by (EHD),” Hogan said.
News Item A-4: "Etihad-airberlin Code Share Extended Until January 15, 2016" by (ATW) Kurt Hofmann, October 27, 2015.
A German court that granted Etihad Airways (EHD) temporary permission to continue operating all code share flights with airberlin (BER) through November 8, has extended the approval until January 15, 2016. The German Ministry of Transport said the final temporary injunction should give both carriers time to find a solution to replace the code share agreement and avoid problems for passengers.
“We are in ongoing negotiations, and so far we can only say that this code share agreement is absolutely important for the economic performance of airberlin (BER).” The spokesperson added the carriers applied for 65 code share routes and “more than half of them are code share routes that are not covered by the Air Transport Agreement between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Germany, meaning these routes are not approvable. This is a situation that also worries our employees,” the spokesperson added.
Etihad (EHD) applied for, and won, the injunction after waiting since April for approval on the code share flights. (EHD) owns a 29.2% stake in German carrier airberlin (BER), which is one of (EHD)’s "partner" carriers.
(EHD) said it was forced to take legal action because code share services still were not approved on airberlin (BER) services, planned for the (IATA) winter 2015 to 2016 schedule, which began October 25 and runs through March 30, 2016.
Etihad (EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan said: "Since 2012, our code share partnership has enabled more than >2 million passengers to connect between the networks of both airlines, and contributed 252 million euros to airberlin (BER)’s earnings. (EHD) has delivered 1,365,487 passengers to (BER), while (BER) connected 645,157 passengers onto flights operated by (EHD).”
November 2015: Airberlin (BER), which is undergoing an extensive restructuring process, will cut all domestic routes from its Palma de Mallorca hub as well as from Ibiza to the Spanish mainland and to Portugal.
The company said competition on those routes has become strong and by summer 2016, flights will cease from Palma de Mallorca to Alicante, Bilbao, Ibiza, Jerez, Malaga, Seville, and Valencia, as well as to Faro (Portugal). All Spanish domestic flights will be cut during the current winter schedule.
(BER) said in the future, its partner airlines will offer connecting flights.
Nonstop services from Germany, Austria and Switzerland to Alicante, Ibiza, Malaga, Valencia, Faro, Barcelona, Madrid, and Menorca will remain.
Also, (BER), the Oneworld (ONW) alliance member will continue to have the strongest presence at Palma de Mallorca Airport. The number of high-frequency flight connections to Germany, Austria, and Switzerland (from Palma) will rise +9% to 500 weekly departures during the 2016 summer season.
(BER) hopes to improve its financial results by +€310 million/+$349 million in three years. It will concentrate on growing its Berlin and Düsseldorf hubs, and also focus on areas where it can increase market share, such as on “transatlantic routes and in a number of European markets. Overall capacity in 2016 will remain stable compared to the previous year,” according to airberlin (BER) (CEO), Stefan Pichler.
2 A320-214 (6856, D-ABNN; 6877, D-ABNQ), EX-(D-AXAW & D-AXAZ), (GEF) & (ICBC) Leasing leased.
December 2015: News Item A-1: Airberlin (BER) and Alitalia (ALI) will extend their cooperation on several routes between Germany and Italy starting from summer schedule 2016 onward.
(BER) will operate 3x-daily services from Düsseldorf to Bologna, starting May 2. Existing services from Düsseldorf to Venice and Florence will be expanded from 1x- to 3x-daily frequencies. All flights are expected to be integrated into the existing code share agreement with Alitalia (ALI) soon.
(BER) and (ALI) are both strategic equity partners of Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways (EHD).
Starting May 2, (BER) will also operate 3x-daily, Düsseldorf - Stockholm Arlanda flights. Services from Berlin Tegel to Gothenburg and Copenhagen will be expanded to include a fourth daily flight.
From March 27, (BER), the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance member will re-launch daily, Berlin Tegel - Sofia (Bulgaria) service. Berlin Tegel - Budapest will see 1 additional flight, taking the total to 3 flights a day. Starting from May, Düsseldorf - Barcelona will become double-daily services, up from daily.
News Item A-2: "German Court Rules Against Some Etihad (EHD) - Airberlin (BER) Code Shares" by (ATW) Kurt Hofmann, December 30, 2015.
A German court has ruled that Etihad Airways (EHD) must cease its code share on 29 routes operated by partner airline, airberlin (BER), Germany’s second-largest carrier.
The decision, which takes effect January 16 through the end of the current (IATA) winter schedule ending March 30, 2016, was denounced by (EHD), which said it would file an appeal next week.
(EHD), which owns a 29.2% stake in airberlin (BER), is still permitted to put its code on 50 other (BER) routes. But the court’s December 30 announcement means that a temporary injunction granted in November, permitting the two airlines to continue all their code share flights through January 15, 2016, ceases the next day.
According to the court ruling, code share requirements for the affected routes have not been fulfilled because they are not part of the air traffic rights agreement between Germany and the (UAE).
“Etihad Airways (EHD) is deeply disappointed by the German court’s decision handed down today,” (EHD) said. “The social and economic damage to Germany by this decision is significant. The withdrawal of approval for code share services on 29 routes materially reduces competition and consumer choice within and beyond Germany and causes inconvenience to passengers.”
(EHD) said it would continue to honor all booked itineraries.
Airberlin (BER) also emphasized that all previously booked code share flights would operate as planned. “We continue to stand for competition in Germany and a better product offering for our customers,” (BER) said.
(BER) flies to 138 destinations and carried >31.7 million passengers in 2014. It is also a Oneworld (ONW) global alliance member.
January 2016: News Item A-1: "Airberlin (BER) Ends 2015 with Increased Capacity Utilization" by (ATW) Kurt Hofmann, January 8, 2016.
Airberlin (BER), which is undergoing an extensive restructuring process, said capacity cuts toward the end of 2015 enabled it to increase capacity utilization by +0.9% points to 79.9% year-over-year.
(BER) (CEO) Stefan Pichler said the favorable capacity utilization figures of the past months, are the result of the ongoing reorientation of (BER). “Our measures are taking effect,” he said. “A main factor contributing to the successful increase of the capacity utilization in the 2nd half of 2015, lies in the implementation of a new revenue management system and measures for improving the yields from ticket sales and total sales.”
The Oneworld (ONW) member hopes to improve its financial results by +€310 million/+$349 million in 3 years. It will concentrate on growing its Berlin and Düsseldorf hubs and also focus on areas where it can increase market share, such as on “transatlantic routes and in a number of European markets.”
News Item A-2: "Etihad Airways (EHD) Appeals German Court Ruling Against airberlin (BER) Code Shares" by (ATW) Kurt Hofmann, January 4, 2016.
Etihad Airways (EHD) has appealed a German court’s decision revoking the approval of 29 of its code share flights with airberlin (BER). The notice of appeal was filed January 4 in the higher administrative court in Germany’s Lüneburg.
(EHD) said the German Ministry of Transport raised concerns on 29 of the code shares last summer, based on lobbying by Lufthansa (DLH). As a result, in November it approved the 29 code shares only through January 15, 2016.
Last week, the Administrative Court of Braunschweig ruled the German Ministry of Transport was entitled to reject the 29 Etihad (EHD) - airberlin (BER) code shares. The decision is effective from January 16 through the end of the current (IATA) winter schedule ending March 30, 2016.
(EHD) President & (CEO) James Hogan said: “With airberlin (BER), we are working to ensure that no traveler suffers as a result of this dispute, and all bookings will be honored. We will fight all the way to protect our investment, to protect our partnership with (BER), and to protect competitive choice in German air travel.” He said (EHD)'s commitment to (BER) was in stark contrast to the lack of support demonstrated by the German Ministry of Transport for a “proud German airline.”
In 2011, Etihad Airways (EHD) took a 29.2% stake in airberlin (BER), following encouragement from German regional and national Government representatives. The airlines had approval for code share services on a total of 63 air routes. The remaining code shares remain unaffected.
(EHD) said code share services to international destinations that have operated for years without any concerns were being raised as pro-competitive. “That was entirely correct, given that they meet the terms of the air services agreement between Germany and the (UAE) (a fact confirmed not just by our own legal team and expert advisors, but by a former Director General of Civil Aviation for Germany,” Hogan said.
Airberlin (BER) (CEO) Stefan Pichler said in a separate statement: “We are appealing against this decision, because it does not serve the best interests of the traveling public. Indeed, the main beneficiary of the decision is Lufthansa (DLH). (BER) is (DLH)’s sole competitor in the German domestic market. We keep the competition honest, strong and effective, as otherwise (DLH) would have a monopoly which would be disastrous for German consumers.”
Hogan said that after 4 years of investing in Germany, supporting (BER) jobs and creating own new employment in Germany, “We find the rules have changed. As a global business, we focus our investments in markets which will deliver long-term returns. We were encouraged to invest in (BER).”
However, Hogan added that since that initial investment, the carriers have faced a series of significant challenges, including the introduction of airport taxes, which have directly eroded (BER)’s profitability.
“In other markets, such as Australia, India, Italy, Serbia, and the Seychelles, our investments have been welcomed and supported. Yet in Germany, our commitment continues to be undermined by the lobbying efforts and protectionist tactics of (DLH),” Hogan said.
“Unless the German government can show its commitment to support all German companies and German jobs, its reputation as a safe country in which to invest is at stake. Investors need every reassurance that the integrity of their investments in Germany will be respected and protected,” Hogan said.
He added that (EHD) is but one investor in one industry. “But our experience will serve as a warning to others, when it comes to making international investment decisions: Make no mistake. Protectionism will undoubtedly harm the investment landscape in Germany.”
News Item A-3: "German Court Permits Most Etihad (EHD)/airberlin (BER) Code Share Flights" by (ATW) Kurt Hofmann, January 15, 2016.
Airberlin (BER) has won a court appeal over code sharing rights with Etihad Airways (EHD), reversing an earlier judgment and allowing the 2 carriers to continue operating 26 out of 31 code share flights for the full winter schedule.
Together with the other 50 approved (EHD)-(BER) code shares, 76 of the 81 are now approved. The other 5 code shares are on German domestic routes.
The Higher Administrative Court said it is ordering the German Aviation Authority to approve and allow the disputed code share routes. The court’s interpretation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE)-Germany air services agreement also means (EHD) will be able to continue with all those code shares until the end of the current (IATA) winter schedule ending March 26, 2016.
(EHD) President & (CEO) James Hogan said, “This ruling is a victory for consumers and competition in Germany. We remain strongly committed to our strategic partner, (BER), and will redouble our efforts to provide a strong competitive alternative to the dominant German carrier, Lufthansa (DLH).”
He also said, “We would like to encourage German consumers to support airberlin (BER) and its 8,000 staff, who have been seriously damaged by this sustained attack on their business.”
(BER) (CEO) Stefan Pichler said the decision confirms its current approach. “Based on this decisive ruling, (BER) and (EHD) can face the future optimistically and will continue to grow their partnership in a sustainable manner.”
February 2016: News Item A-1: Airberlin (BER), which is undergoing an extensive restructuring process, has said about 80 managers will accept salary cuts up to -10% this year. Pilots (FC) will make a contribution and accept a salary waiver pay increase, as (BER) tries to reduce costs.
The 1,250 pilots (FC) are waiving a +4% pay increase for 2016 and plan to vote in the fall on whether to also give up a salary increase in 2017.
Germany’s 2nd biggest airline hopes to improve its financial results by +€310 million/+$349 million in 3 years.
(CEO) Stefan Pichler is adjusting (BER)’s network and fleet to bring costs down and trying to return to profit after years of losses.
(BER), which transported around 30 million passengers in 2015, will focus on areas where it can increase market share, such as on transatlantic routes and in a number of European markets.
(BER) will complete the transition process to become an all-Airbus operator by mid-2016, when it replaces its remaining Boeing 737 fleet with A320 family aircraft. However, this move will create a pilot (FC) overcapacity of +200 jobs.
Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways (EHD) owns a 29.2% stake in airberlin (BER), which is 1 of (EHD)’s "partner" carriers.
News Item A-2: "Airberlin Appoints New Managing Director of Leisure Cargo" by (ATW) Linda Blachly, February 8, 2016.
Airberlin (BER) announced it has appointed Thilo Schäfer as Managing Director of Leisure Cargo on March 1. (BER) said he will lead the company with Klaus Sieger, who in recent months has pressed ahead with the positive development at Leisure Cargo in 2015.
Schäfer is formerly Lufthansa Cargo (LUB) VP Global Handling.
(BER) (CEO) Stefan Pichler said Schäfer’s “extensive knowledge of the logistics industry will allow him to play a key role in shaping Leisure Cargo’s ongoing strategic development as a ‘virtual cargo airline’.”
“I am looking forward to my new challenges very much, particularly building and expanding new customer relationships in Germany and abroad,” Schäfer said. “I am convinced that our strong team and global partners will allow the future-oriented and successful development of Leisure Cargo to continue.”
News Item A-3: "Airberlin (BER) Finalizes Management Reorganization"
by (ATW) Kurt Hofmann, February 19, 2016.
Airberlin (BER) is finalizing its management team restructuring, which it expects to complete by February 22. “We have already initiated the necessary actions to improve our profitability and reduce our costs. We will continue to consistently follow this path. The remodeling of the airberlin (BER) management board is an important element of the new strategy,” (CEO) Stefan Pichler said.
(BER) appointed Neil Mills as Chief Strategy & Planning Officer, taking over responsibility for Network Planning & Alliances, Procurement & Subsidiaries Leisure Cargo and airberlin Technik as well as Facility Management. Mills was formerly Flydubai (FDB) (CFO) and SpiceJet (ROJ) (CEO). Most recently, he joined the Philippine Airlines (PAL) Group as (CEO) Advisor to lead their turnaround team.
Oliver Iffert has been appointed Chief Operations Officer (COO), leading Flight Operations, Cabin Crew, Network Operations, Airport Operations and Maintenance Systems. Iffert, a pilot (FC), had been most recently Etihad Airways (EHD) VP Flight Operations.
As accountable manager, Captain Oliver Lackmann Chief Flight Operations Officer continues to hold the overall executive responsibility for running all Operational activities, including Flight Operations, Crew Planning & Training, as well as Operations Compliance & Safety, Aviation Security, and Network Operations.
Marco Ciomperlik will take over the newly created position of Director Group Synergies, focusing of the commercial and administrative level of networking among the European airberlin partner airlines and will work closely together with (CEO)s of all partner airlines.
Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways (EHD) owns a 29.2% stake in Oneworld (ONW) Alliance member, airberlin (BER), which is one of its partner carriers.
News Item A-4: Airberlin (BER), which fitted more XL economy (Y) seats on its A330-200 long-haul fleet in September 2015, are proving to be very popular with passengers with an 80% occupancy rate.
(BER), which added 5 economy (Y) class rows of XL seats on each of its 14 A330s, said these 48 XL seats give passengers +20% more legroom for improved comfort and faster boarding or disembarking.
At around 91 cm/6 in (BER) said it has the largest seat pitch in the industry in economy (Y) class on transatlantic flights, according to Skytrax.
“Whilst other airlines rely on premium economy (PY), (BER)’s decision to offer XL seats in economy (Y) class at a relatively affordable price (special rates of €69 or $75 through April 2016) was absolutely right. The XL seats are very popular with our passengers, especially on long-haul tourist routes, and already have an average occupancy rate of >80%. The seats are now the bestseller among our fee-based ancillary services. On our new long-haul routes to Boston, San Francisco and Havana, we are also experiencing lively demand,” (BER) (CCO) Julio Rodriguez said.
News Item A-5: (GE) Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) (GEF) has leased 3 new Bombardier Dash 8-Q400s to airberlin (BER), increasing (BER)’s Dash 8-Q400 fleet to 20. The aircraft will be used on regional routes.
March 2016: Airberlin (BER) has received approval to continue code share flights with Etihad Airways in the (IATA) summer 2016 schedule, beginning March 27.
An airberlin (BER) spokesperson said that German Aviation Authority (LBA) agreed to the same number of flights (26 out of 31) as the winter schedule, which was permitted in January.
Together with the other 50 approved Etihad (EHD) - airberlin (BER) code shares, 76 of the 81 are now approved. The other 5 code shares are on German domestic routes.
Earlier this year, the Higher Administrative Court reversed an earlier judgment and ordered the German Aviation Authority to allow the disputed code share routes of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) - Germany air services agreement for the winter schedule.
Airberlin (BER) previously said the expansion of the strategic partnership with Etihad Airways (EHD) remains a central element of its network strategy and both carriers continue to drive it forward.
April 2016: News Item A-1: Airberlin (BER) has reported a -€446.6 million loss/-$485.5 million in 2015, deepened from a -€376.7 million loss in the year-ago period.
(BER) said the results were negatively influenced by non-cash charges for deferred tax assets and the valuation of long term liabilities and derivatives. "Although we reported a significant net loss, the underlying fundamentals of our business are now trending in the right direction, and we can look forward to further improvements in our trading performance, especially in the second half of this year,” (CEO) Stefan Pichler said. (BER) was also impacted by geopolitical events such as the terrorist attacks in Egypt and Paris.
Revenue decreased -2.7% to €3.63 billion, while the loss before taxes (EBIT) rose to -€307 million (loss). Total revenue per (RASK) increased +3.7% to 7.31 euro cents; the average fare per passenger in the reporting year increased +2% to €120.31.
Traffic decreased -4.6% to 47 billion (RPK)s on a -5.4% capacity reduction to 56 billion (ASK)s, producing a load factor of 84.2% LF, down -0.7% compared to the year-ago period. Capacity reduced -6.8% in 2015 due to network optimization.
Among the factors that negatively impacted airberlin (BER)’s performance in 2015 included a protracted and damaging dispute over code share flights in the final quarter of 2015 and the beginning of 2016. “The months spent in limbo cost us €40 million in lost or cancelled sales in the 4th quarter of 2015,” it said.
(BER) benefited only a limited extent from the more favorable kerosene price in 2015 and its fuel hedging transactions, coupled with the sharp decline in the USA dollar, meant a missed opportunity amounting to >200 million euros. “But in 2016 we will benefit from the relatively low cost of fuel in the order of €250 million.”
Etihad Airways (EHD) has a 29.21% stake in airberlin (BER). “(EHD) is committed to (BER). We delivered €140 million last year in direct passenger revenues to our major shareholder. Moreover, we are deepening our existing cooperation with Alitalia (ALI). However, there are still hard decisions to be made, which require the clear support of key internal stakeholders,” Pichler said.
News Item A-2: Airberlin (BER) has appointed Oliver Lackmann as Managing Director of Austrian subsidiary, FlyNiki (NKI), effective April 15. He succeeds Thomas Suritsch, who will leave the company for health reasons after 1 year in the position.
Lackmann recently served as Chief Flight Operations Officer and Airberlin Accountable Manager. As a captain (FC), Lackmann flies Airbus A320/A330s.
Airberlin (BER) (CEO) Stefan Pichler called Lackmann “an experienced aviation expert, who will bring best practices from various airlines into the operations of NIKI (NKI) and will drive the continued development and improvement of the company.”
May 2016: News Item-A: airberlin (BER) and Czech Airlines (CSA) have signed a code share agreement that will increase connectivity between their 2 countries and beyond.
Under the agreement, (BER) passengers will benefit from improved links between Germany, the Czech Republic and neighboring Slovakia, while travelers with the Czech flag carrier will have direct flights between Prague and Berlin, as well as daily connections to Keflavik in Iceland.
Airberlin (BER) will place its AB code on 5 routes operated by Czech Airlines (CSA) (specifically between Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, and Prague) as well as from Prague to the Czech city of Ostrava and the Slovakian city of Košice.
Czech Airlines (CSA) will add to its schedule a daily connection between Prague and Berlin operated by airberlin (BER). (BER) will also place its OK code on all flights to Keflavik, which are operated by (BER) from Berlin, Düsseldorf and Hamburg during the main summer holiday season.
“The partnership enables us to expand our European network,” (BER) (CEO) Stefan Pichler said. “It will allow airberlin (BER) to offer >85 weekly direct flights between Germany and Prague and new connections to the Czech Republic and Slovakia.”
The new agreement will particularly strengthen (BER)’s hub at Düsseldorf, he added, providing connecting flights to many long-haul routes to the USA and the Caribbean.
German customers traveling with Czech Airlines (CSA) would primarily have improved connections to destinations in central and Eastern Europe under the arrangement, (CSA) Chairman Jozef Sinzak said.
News Item A-2: airberlin (BER) has used the last 7 days to start 7 new routes, not bad for an airline which is still shrinking its network as it seeks to stem its losses. The longest sector distance of the 7 services was on the airport pair from Düsseldorf (DUS) to San Francisco (SFO), at 8,956 km, while the shortest was the 1,407 km link from Nuremberg (NUE) to Ibiza (IBZ).
The average weekly frequency of the 7 new routes is 1.7. 3 of the 7 destination airports are already served from some of (BER)’s other German bases: – Funchal (FNC) from Leipzig/Halle, Berlin Tegel, Munich, Düsseldorf and Zurich; Fuerteventura from Berlin Tegel, Munich, Düsseldorf, Cologne Bonn, Hamburg, Nuremberg and Zurich; and Ibiza from Basel, Frankfurt, Berlin Tegel, Munich, Düsseldorf, Cologne Bonn, Hamburg, Nuremberg, and Zurich. The 4 remaining city pairs are unique to airberlin (BER).
July 2016: News Item A-1: The Lufthansa Group is in talks to potentially buy routes from German low-cost carrier (LCC) airberlin (BER), according to a report by German financial newspaper "Handelsblatt."
If a deal is struck, Lufthansa (DLH) would hand the routes to its low cost carrier (LCC), Eurowings (EWG), the paper said. The routes involved would be those outside of (BER)’s Berlin and Düsseldorf hubs.
Airberlin (BER) is Germany’s 2nd largest carrier and 1 of the equity-stake partner airlines of Etihad Airways (EHD). (EHD) holds a 29.2% stake in (BER), which is a member of the Oneworld (ONW) global alliance. But a source at the Lufthansa Group said that talks were being held between (DLH) and (EHD).
(DLH) declined to comment and (EHD) said it did not comment on “rumors and speculation.”
(BER) reported a -€446.6 million loss/-$485.5 million for 2015, deepened from a -€376.7 million loss the year before. Among factors that negatively impacted (BER)’s performance in 2015 was a protracted dispute over certain (BER) code share flights with (EHD), which (DLH) challenged in the final quarter of 2015 and the beginning of 2016. (BER) said the “months in limbo” until the matter was settled by a German court, cost it €40 million in lost or canceled sales in the 4th quarter of 2015. The court ruled in favor of airberlin (BER).
Sources said that the Lufthansa Group is seeking to grow Eurowings (EWG) rapidly (to a fleet of about 100 aircraft) so that it is sustainable and competitive against Europe’s other large (LCC)s.
Lufthansa Group Chairman & (CEO) Carsten Spohr said at the Star (SAL) Alliance (CEO) board meeting in Zurich June 4, “Most of the European (LCC)s today are too small to be able to survive.”
News Item A-2: Irish lessor Avolon (AZV) delivered 1 Airbus A320-200 aircraft to airberlin (BER), its 8th aircraft on lease to (BER).
August 2016: News Item A-1: airberlin (BER) will increase flights to the USA up to +50% by summer 2017, from 55 to 78 weekly nonstop flights from Berlin and Dusseldorf compared to this summer. “At our hub in Berlin Tegel and Dusseldorf, (BER) is the carrier with the highest number of flights to the USA already this year. By further enhancing our long-haul network, we continue to strengthen our leading market position and sharpen our profile as a network carrier with a highly attractive portfolio,” (BER) (CEO) Stefan Pichler said.
New 5x-weekly Dusseldorf - Orlando services will start from May 6, 2017. In addition, 4x-weekly flights from Dusseldorf to Boston Logan become daily, and 5x-weekly Dusseldorf to San Francisco flights will be upgraded to daily services next summer. The total number of weekly flights from Dusseldorf to the USA will rise +24% compared to summer 2016.
From airberlin (BER)'s Berlin Tegel hub, the number of weekly USA flights will increase +93% in 2017. New flights from the German capital are 4x-weekly to San Francisco and 3x-weekly to Los Angeles, from the beginning of May. Berlin - New York (JFK) will increase by +3 additional frequencies up to 10x-weekly.
Oneworld (ONW) Alliance member, (BER) will receive 3 additional Airbus A330-200s to operate the extended flight program. The A330s are equipped with 19C business class seats, 271Y economy class seats, including 46 XL seats, which offer around +20% more legroom.
In total, airberlin (BER) will fly nonstop to 8 USA destinations in summer 2017 from Dusseldorf and Berlin to New York (JFK), Boston, Chicago O’Hare, Miami, Orlando, Fort Myers, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
News Item A-2: 737-82R (29329, D-ABKA) Tuifly.com wet-leased, A320-214 (7312, D-ABHB), ex-(D-AXAH) Avolon leased, A321-211 (7171, D-ABCU; 7260, D-ABCV), Avolon leased.
October 2016: News Item A-1: "Etihad, TUI Group Plan New Leisure Airline" by (ATW) Kurt Hofmann firstname.lastname@example.org, October 5, 2016.
Etihad Aviation Group and German holiday giant (TUI) (HAP)/(HLX) are in discussions to create a European leisure airline group, which is expected to operate 58 airplanes on point-to-point services to key tourist markets.
The partners detailed plans to combine the leisure operations of the (BER) group and German carrier TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) into a new airline group, serving destinations from Austria, Germany, and Switzerland.
The new holding company could be based in Austria, with Etihad (EHD) and (TUI) Group each taking a 24.9% stake. The remaining 50.2% is expected to be held by an Austrian foundation, to ensure Austrian majority ownership and maintain international traffic rights.
The still-to-be-named airline is planning a fleet of 14 737s (currently operated by TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) for (BER) under a wet-lease agreement), 27 TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) 737NGs, as well as 17 Airbus A320 family aircraft from airberlin (BER) subsidiary FlyNiki (NKI).
(TUI) (HAP)/(HLX), Etihad (EHD) and airberlin (BER) said they intend to finalize an in-principle agreement in due course, subject to regulatory approvals, but it is understood the partnership could be completed within the next 2 weeks. An announcement is expected October 26. It is also understood TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) pilots (FC) will be offered jobs with Etihad Airways (EHD).
“TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) hasn’t grown in recent years. Also, TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) has no long-haul airplanes in its fleet, but the focus of the (TUI) (TUG) tourism business is [long-haul] destinations in Asia, for example.” As (EHD) is a long-haul carrier, the cooperation could see (EHD) flying (TUG) holidaymakers to long-haul destinations.
In a letter to employees, TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) supervisory board Chairman Henrik Homann said TUI Deutschland (HAP)/(HLX)’s profits and results have been impacted for many years by substantial overcapacity in the airline industry and TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX)’s above-market cost structure.
“We own too much flight capacity and we’re producing it at a cost which is significantly higher than market prices. As a result, flight services in Germany for our tourism products are often available from our competitors at considerably lower prices than those offered by TUIfly to (TUI) Deutschland, with adverse impacts on our profitability and results in that source market,” Homann said.
Oneworld (ONW) Alliance member airberlin (BER) is Germany’s 2nd-largest airline and is 29.2% owned by Etihad Airways (EHD). (TUI) (TUG)/HAP)/(HLX) used to hold a stake in (BER), but this was disposed of in 2015.
In 2015, airberlin (BER) carried >30.2 million passengers, but reported a -€446.6 million/-$485.5 million loss, deepened from a -€376.7 million loss the year before. In the 1st half of 2016, (BER) posted a -€271.5 million loss. On September 28, (BER) detailed a drastic restructuring plan, which includes the outsourcing of 40 A320s to German rival Lufthansa (DLH) Group and -1,200 job losses.
TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) is part of (TUI) Group (TUG), which has a portfolio of 6 European airlines and around 140 airplanes, a distribution network of >1,800 travel agencies and online portals, around 300 hotels and 14 cruise liners.
It is understood the other TUI Group (TUG) airlines are not part of the deal. These comprise UK-based Thomson Airways (ATW)/(GUE) (63 airplanes), Sweden’s TUIfly Nordic (TNS) (8 airplanes), (TUI) Airlines Belgium (21 airplanes), TUI Airlines Netherlands (HOL) (10 airplanes) and France’s Corsair International (COR) (7 airplanes).
News Item A-2: "Too Much Inventory, Not Enough Space" by Victoria Moores in "Need I say Moores" email@example.com, October 5, 2016.
This was a press release headline I saw today. It wasn’t about aviation, but it sums up the current situation in Europe pretty well.
Airlines are facing too much inventory (overcapacity) while customers complain about being packed in tighter than ever before, as airlines strive to minimize their unit costs. That overcapacity gives customers lots of options, putting pressure on yields, which puts airlines under even more pressure to cut unit costs. It’s a vicious circle.
The press release that I spotted was about companies running out of room to store their products, forcing them to take external storage to free up space and cut costs. But airlines can’t do that. Once a seat has flown, it’s flown, so European airlines are caught between wanting to keep their airplanes (expensive assets) flying to generate revenue, but having to cut fares to fill them.
This winter, Ryanair (RYR) expects average fares to fall by -10 to -12%, but it is still pumping seats into the market to maintain traffic growth. (RYR) follows a ‘load factor active, yield passive’ strategy, putting pressure on rival airlines with weightier cost bases, to either match its low fares (forcing them to take a financial hit), or lose business.
One of the markets (RYR) is aggressively attacking is Germany, adding +400% capacity in Nuremburg, 180% in Hamburg and further growth in Cologne for next summer. It comes as no coincidence that airlines like airberlin (BER) and TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) are having to make big changes to compete.
The alternative to filling seats at any cost is to get rid of the airplanes, but this also comes at a price. There is no way, in an ideal world, that airberlin (BER) would want to hand over a huge chunk of its fleet to its main rival, Lufthansa (DLH), for Eurowings (EWG). But that’s what’s happening.
After all, having more seats to minimize unit costs is only of value if you fill them profitably.
News Item A-3: "TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) to Shut Down Flight Operations October 7 after ‘Massive’ Flight Crew (FC) Shortage," by Kurt Hofmann firstname.lastname@example.org, October 6 2016.
German leisure carrier TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) has decided to completely shut down flight operations Friday, October 7 after many airplane flight crew (FC) called in sick on short notice October 6, a spokesman confirmed. The action follows concerns about a partial merger between the 2 companies.
On October 7, TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) had to cancel 47 out of 110 planned flights and airberlin (BER) canceled 90 flights.
On October 7, (HAP)/(HLX) has canceled 108 flights, comprising 54 flights leaving from Germany and 54 from tourism destinations throughout Europe.
(HAP)/(HLX) again will charter airplanes from other carriers to bring tourists back. The company said it is working to reduce the impact on passengers after many flight crew (FC) members again called in sick on short notice.
(HAP)/(HLX) also said it expects further flight cancellations. (HAP)/(HLX) said because of the wide scope of flight crew (FC) short-notice absences, it is impossible to inform passengers earlier and offer alternative travel arrangements.
News Item A-4: A320-200 (CFM56) (3594), ex-(TAM) (TPR), (GECAS) (GEF) leased.
November 2016: News Item A-1: Oneworld (ONW) Alliance member airberlin (BER) reported a 3rd-quarter loss of -€45.6 million/-$51.2 million, reversed from a +€56.2 million profit in the year-ago period.
3rd-quarter revenue was down -5% year-over-year (YOY) to €1.23 billion. Airberlin (BER) said in a November 10 statement the (3Q) earnings were influenced by ongoing weak demand in the tourism industry in a challenging market environment.
(EBIT) decreased to €55.8 million from €81.4 million before restructuring costs (YOY). (EBIT) after restructuring costs for fleet harmonization (to become an all-Airbus operator), personnel provisions and consulting services amounted to a -€17.3 million loss.
(BER) (CEO) Stefan Pichler said the (3Q) results did not meet expectations because of increased market pressure, particularly in the tourism sector, and conditions remain challenging as a whole. “The restructuring is aimed at significantly improving our future efficiency, revenue and profitability as a dedicated network carrier with profitable routes. The extraordinary 1-off expenses that this requires placed a significant burden on the financial results in (3Q),” Pichler said.
For the 3rd quarter, (ASK)s increased a scant +0.1% (YOY) to 16.6 billion and load factor increased +0.4% points to 88.64% LF. Yield fell -6.6% (YOY) to 7.52 euro cents. (RPK)s rose +0.5% (YOY) to 14.7 billion. (CASK)s (including fuel) dropped -5.5% (YOY) to 7.02 euro cents (including restructuring costs: 7.46 euro cents). Airberlin (BER)’s total costs fell -5.4% (YOY) to €1.2 billion (including restructuring costs: €1.2 billion).
“Responding to the continuing decrease in tourist traffic in the Eastern Mediterranean due to the threat of terrorism, numerous airlines, including airberlin (BER), continued to shift their capacity towards the tourist destinations of Palma de Mallorca and the Canary Islands during the peak summer travel period, which were core markets for airberlin (BER) in (Q3). The subsequent price pressure in the target markets persisted throughout the quarterly reporting period and had a negative effect on (BER)'s financial results.”
Pichler said transatlantic business remains a key element of the “new (BER),” as is evident in the ongoing expansion of long-haul flights to the USA, focusing premium traffic to improve sales revenue. “This is why, in the spring of 2017, we will expand our long-haul fleet with +3 additional Airbus A330-200s.”
Pichler said the (4Q) will not bring a significant operational improvement. “We are confident of being able to announce progress with our restructuring in the foreseeable future. This should lead to a significant improvement in our strategic positioning, financial situation, improve efficiency, offset seasonal fluctuations and reduce costs,” he said.
On November 2, Lufthansa Group (CEO) Carsten Spohr told journalists the company will decide by mid-December if placing up to 40 airberlin (BER) A320s within the Lufthansa Group makes economic sense, to enable low-cost carrier subsidiary Eurowings (EWG) to significantly expand capacity and strengthen its position in the European point-to-point air transport market. The wet lease of the 40 A320s to Lufthansa is part of (BER)’s restructuring plan.
Airberlin (BER) is part of the Etihad Airways (EHD) equity alliance. (EHD) has a 29.21% stake in (BER).
News Item A-2: airberlin (BER)is set to recruit >500 additional flight attendants (CA) related to (BER)’s growth plan for long haul routes, especially to North America.
After years of losses since it launched in 2006, (BER) is being split into 3 parts. (BER) subsidiary, FlyNiki (NKI) and its 21 aircraft are moving into the Etihad (EHD) - (TUI) (TUG) project "Blue Sky."
40 aircraft are being wet-leased to Lufthansa (DLH) affiliates Eurowings (EWG) and Austrian Airlines (AUL). The remaining 75-aircraft operation is to be repositioned as a premium European short-haul and transatlantic long-haul carrier.
(BER), which reported a 3rd-quarter loss of -€45.6 million/-$51.2 million for 2016, reversed from a +€56.2 million profit in the year-ago period, said the additional cabin crews (CA)s will be based in Munich and Dusseldorf.
Airberlin (BER) (CEO) Stefan Pichler said that transatlantic business remains a key element of the “new airberlin,” evident in (BER)’s ongoing expansion of long-haul flights to the USA, focusing on premium traffic to improve sales revenue. “This is why, in the spring of 2017, we will expand our long-haul fleet with +3 additional Airbus A330-200s,” he said.
(BER) is part of the Etihad Airways (EHD) equity alliance. (EHD) has a 29.21% stake in (BER).
December 2016: News Item A-1: "Lufthansa Acquires Brussels Airlines, to Become Part of Eurowings (EWG)" by (ATW) Kurt Hofmann, December 15, 2016.
The Lufthansa Group has taken over 100% of SN Airholding, the parent company of Brussels Airlines (DAT)/(EAD), in a deal to fully integrate the Belgian carrier into Lufthansa (DLH)’s Eurowings (EWG) Group in 2018.
(DLH)’s supervisory board agreed to exercise a call option on the remaining 55% stake, effective December 31. The transaction will close by the beginning of January 2017. The price for the acquisition of the remaining 55% of the shares is €2.6 million/$2.8 million, which will be transferred to a consortium of 30 shareholders.
“We have seen a series of radical changes in the industry and, over the last several months, competition has increased to a high level. We see a lot more consolidation to come. The strong [airlines] are getting bigger and this is what (DLH) intends to do,” Lufthansa Group (CEO) Carsten Spohr said
(DLH) said Brussels Airlines (DAT)/(EAD)’s attractive market, its established African network and its advantageous cost structure (which has allowed the airline to compete with the tough low-cost competition in the Belgian market) will further strengthen the Lufthansa (DLH) and Eurowings (EWG) market position.
“Africa is one of the reasons we have invested in (DAT)/(EBA), and only airlines that have a highly competitive cost structure have a place in the Lufthansa Group,” Spohr said. After the acquisition, Brussels Airlines will operate its 23 long-haul routes, as well as 79 destinations in Europe, under the umbrella of the Eurowings Group.
“With Brussels Airlines, the Eurowings Group will grow to 180 aircraft. Creating a more pan-European Eurowings is a big step in that direction. The Lufthansa Group is number one in Brussels. Aviation in Belgium needs a stronger partner,” Spohr said.
Lufthansa acquired a 45% share of SN Airholding 8 years ago. “In 2008 we had only 3 long-haul aircraft. Today we have 9, and soon we will fly to Mumbai. All this would not have been possible without (DLH),” SN Airholding board Chairman Viscount Etienne Davignon said. Between 2013 and 2015, passenger numbers have increased +30% to 7.5 million. The brand Brussels Airlines will, over time, be complemented by the claim “member of the Eurowings Group,” he said.
Brussels Airlines’ fleet harmonization toward an Airbus A320 family fleet for the European network will be continued. The fleet comprises 42 short- and medium-haul aircraft, including 2 in wet lease, and 9 A330s. “We are sure that a big joint decision will be the future long-haul fleet of Brussels Airlines,” Spohr said.
In the past 3 years, Brussels Airlines has reduced overall costs by -15%. For the fiscal year of 2015, Brussels Airlines generated an operating profit of +€43.4 million. With the full integration of Brussels Airlines, synergies will add up to a mid-double-digit million euro amount per year. “We understand the local brand. We believe there is a need to connect Europe to the world and not to be connected [from others]. Today 120,000 people work for Lufthansa, which will increase to 124,000 [with Brussels Airlines], and we are getting to 700 aircraft next year,” Spohr said.
“Over the past 8 years, our collaboration with (DLH) has proven its potential to create perspectives and safeguard jobs. Furthermore, the Lufthansa Group will enable us to expand our African reach by positioning Brussels as the Sub-Saharan Africa Hub of the Lufthansa Group,” Davignon said.
The Brussels Airlines management board remains unchanged under the leadership of (CEO) Bernard Gustin. In addition, an advisory council will be established and will support the integration process.
News Item A-2: "Lufthansa, Etihad Finalize Code Share, Wet Lease of 38 Airberlin Aircraft" by (ATW) Kurt Hofmann email@example.com, December 16, 2016.
The Lufthansa Group and Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Aviation Group have finalized a code share deal and wet-lease agreement for 38 airberlin (BER) Airbus A319/A320 aircraft operating for Eurowings (EWG) and Austrian Airlines (AUL). The code share deal, which is subject to government approval, is set to begin in January 2017.
The 6-year wet-lease agreement, effective February 2017, is also subject to regulatory requirements. Of the 38 former (BER) aircraft, Eurowings (EWG) will operate 33 and Austrian Airlines (AUL) will operate 5.
Lufthansa Group Chairman & (CEO) Carsten Spohr said, “We are looking forward to partnering with the Etihad Aviation Group. The wet-lease contract with airberlin (BER) fosters the growth of our Eurowings (EWG) Group. The code share agreement of Lufthansa (DLH) and Etihad (EHD) will offer our customers more benefits and complement both airlines’ networks. We will consider extending our cooperation in other areas.”
Eurowings also announced it will establish a new base at Munich Airport, where it will base 4 A320 family aircraft initially. Additional aircraft will be placed in Vienna and Palma de Mallorca.
As a result of the wet-lease agreement, Eurowings said it is able to phase out up to 20 older A320s, reducing overcapacity. Airberlin said it could reduce restructuring costs. On September 28, (BER) released details of its restructuring plan, which hinged on placing up to 40 A320s with the Lufthansa Group and reducing employee positions by up to 1,200.
Under the code share agreement, Lufthansa (DLH) will place its LH code on Etihad Airways (EHD)’s 2x-daily flights between Abu Dhabi and Frankfurt and 2x-daily Abu Dhabi - Munich services. (EHD) will, in turn, put its EY code on (DLH)’s flights between Frankfurt and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as well as Bogota, Colombia.
Etihad Aviation Group President & (CEO) James Hogan said, “We have long seen Germany as a key strategic market for the Etihad Aviation Group and this new relationship with (DLH) marks the next step in our commitment to the leading European Aviation Group.”
On December 5, oneworld (ONW) member airberlin (BER) announced the sale of 49.8% of its Austrian subsidiary FlyNiki (NKI) to Etihad (EHD) for €300 million/$320 million, to create a new European leisure airline in a joint venture (JV) with German travel company (TUI) Group (TUG).
On December 15, the Lufthansa Group took over 100% of SN Airholding, the parent company of Brussels Airlines (DAT)/(EBA), in a deal to fully integrate the Belgian carrier into Lufthansa (DLH)’s Eurowings (EWG) Group in 2018.
Airberlin (BER) reported a 3rd-quarter loss of -€45.6 million, reversed from a +€56.2 million profit in the year-ago period.
News Item A-3: "Lufthansa & Etihad: From Enemies to Partners" by Karen Walker Karen.firstname.lastname@example.org in (ATW) Editor's Blog, December 16, 2016.
Lufthansa (DLH) and Etihad (EHD), in the past, have fought over airberlin (BER) code share rights, specifically and more broadly over Gulf carrier growth and subsidy allegations. Today, the 2 became business partners, completing a code share and wet-lease agreement that links together Germany’s Lufthansa Group and Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Aviation Group, ironically with airberlin (BER) aircraft at the center of the deal.
Etihad (EHD), which owns a 29% stake in airberlin (BER), has agreed to wet-lease 38 airberlin (BER) Airbus A320 family aircraft to the Lufthansa Group, which will use them to operate routes for 2 of its airline units, Eurowings (EWG) and Austrian Airlines (AUL). The agreement is particularly important for low cost carrier (LCC) (EWG), which (DLH) is looking to grow more rapidly.
Meanwhile, (DLH) will place its LH code on Etihad Airways (EHD)’s 2x-daily flights between the 2 airlines’ respective home hubs of Abu Dhabi and Frankfurt, and on 2x-daily Abu Dhabi - Munich services. (EHD) will put its EY code on (DLH)’s flights from Frankfurt to Rio de Janeiro and Bogota.
Both elements of the partnering arrangement are subject to regulatory approval, but if accomplished, it will be the latest example of a legacy flagship and a Gulf carrier becoming "dance partners." British Airways (BAB) parent the (IAG) was the icebreaker; (IAG) (CEO) Willie Walsh and Qatar Airways (QTA) Group (CEO) Akbar Al Baker forged a deal that made (QTA) a stakeholder in the (IAG) (a stake later increased to 20%). Walsh was also instrumental in getting (QTA) into the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance (joining Oneworld (ONW) Alliance Founder member (BAB) and also, oddly enough, airberlin (BER)). Qatar Airways (QTA) is now also taking a 10% stake in the (LATAM) Airlines Group (LAN)/(TPR).
Some accused Qantas (QAN) (CEO) Alan Joyce of doing a deal in 2013 with the devil when he signed a 10-year global partnership with Emirates (EAD), the largest of the “big 3” Gulf carriers. Although no investment stake was involved, the deal permitted extensive coordination and allowed (QAN), the Australian flagship to cut back its own European flights and connect to Emirates (EAD)’s broad European network, even shifting its European connecting hub from Singapore to Dubai. Lucifer has been lucrative; restructuring and partnerships have helped Qantas (QAN) climb from A$2.8 billion/$2.1 billion net loss in its fiscal year through June 2014 to a record profit of A$1 billion for the 2015/2016 fiscal year (the best result in its 95-year history).
Now we have Lufthansa (DLH) and Etihad (EHD) in a "dance," with the Group (CEO)s of each replacing subsidy barbs with hints of a greater future together. “We are looking forward to partnering with the Etihad Aviation Group,” Lufthansa Group Chairman & (CEO) Carsten Spohr said. “We will consider extending our cooperation in other areas.”
Etihad Aviation Group President & (CEO) James Hogan responded, “This new relationship with Lufthansa (DLH) marks the next step in our commitment to the leading European aviation group.” Perhaps it’s simply a case of 2 smart businessmen realizing they are better off working together than fighting in an industry environment that gets only more challenging. Hogan has often noted that (EHD)’s 2 biggest competitors are those in his backyard. Emirates (EAD) and Qatar Airways (QTA) have become stronger competitors through their partnerships with legacy and other carriers. The Lufthansa Group, though performing well, is still in cost restructuring catch-up mode relative to the (IAG); and both airberlin (BER) and Eurowings (EWG) are loss-making. The new partnership could yield returns across each group’s portfolios and make them more resilient to the competition and economic upheavals in their home markets as well as in the all-important transatlantic market. Most significantly, the Lufthansa (DLH) - Etihad (EHD) tie-up perhaps represents the end of any global attempt to constrain the Gulf carriers by regulatory means. From here on, should the USA majors choose to continue that fight, they’ve probably lost Lufthansa (DLH) as a public supporter. And Air France (AFA), still mired in its own restructuring, seems to believe it can tackle Gulf competition by starting a low-cost, long-haul carrier dedicated to that purpose.
Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer, the saying goes. Abu Dhabi-German relations have transformed, perhaps by necessity, from chilly to sunny-warm. Let’s see what can be achieved when you quit fighting and start working on how to better compete with your enemy’s enemy.
News Item A-4: Lufthansa (DLH) subsidiary Austrian Airlines (AUL) will expand European services with +46 additional frequencies in the 2017 summer flight schedule, effective March 26, 2017, using 5 wet-leased airberlin (BER) Airbus A320s.
On December 16, Germany’s Lufthansa Group and Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Aviation Group finalized a code share deal and wet-lease agreement for 38 airberlin (BER) Airbus A319/A320 aircraft operating for Eurowings (EWG) and (AUL). “The 5 aircraft from airberlin (BER) enable us to clearly expand our European flight offering. We made a conscious decision to increase frequencies to established routes,” Austrian Airlines (AUL) (CCO) Andreas Otto said. The 5 aircraft are part of a 6-year wet-lease agreement.
Austrian Airlines (AUL) will offer +46 extra flights each week from Vienna to Hamburg, Milan Malpensa, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Stockholm Arlanda, and Zurich.
The 5 airberlin (BER) A320s will be operating in Austrian Airlines (AUL) colors. As a result, the (AUL) A320 family fleet will grow to 36 aircraft. Starting with the 2017 summer flight schedule, (AUL), the Star (SAL) Alliance member will operate 7 Airbus A319s, 23 A320s and 6 A321s. The fleet expansion, as well as new routes and increased frequencies, are all subject to approval by the Federal Competition Authority.
News Item A-5: "Airberlin (BER) has named Thomas Winkelmann as its new (CEO), effective February 1, 2017. He will replace Stefan Pichler.
Winkelmann will become the 4th airberlin (BER) (CEO) since 2011. Pichler has decided to leave the company after 2 years as (CEO), and is returning to Australia.
Before Pichler, Wolfgang Prock-Schauer and Hartmut Mehdorn served as (CEO) of (BER) the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance member. (BER) has struggled to find a long-term (CEO) to replace Joachim Hunold, who led airberlin (BER) from 2006 to 2011.
Winkelmann will take over the restructuring program that had been led by Pichler. The latest move in that program was the finalizing of a wet-lease agreement with the Lufthansa Group in which 38 airberlin (BER) Airbus A319/A320 aircraft will be operated for Eurowings (EWG) and Austrian Airlines (AUL).
From September 2006 - October 2015, Winkelmann was (CEO) of Lufthansa (DLH) low-cost carrier (LCC) subsidiary Germanwings (RFG). He was appointed head of Lufthansa (DLH)’s hub in Munich on November 1, 2015.
News Item A-6: Berlin Brandenburg International Airport (BER) has announced it has completed 80% of the milestones in planning and construction of the airport terminal; however, the much-delayed airport project has yet to commit to an opening date.
Construction work on the new airport began in 2006. The (BER) airport was originally scheduled to open in October 2011, but that was delayed to May 2012 and then to 2017 following major construction problems and technical issues, especially concerning fire protection installations. “We will only state a date for the opening of (BER) after a reliable basis has been achieved. This requires, among others, approval for the 6th and last amendment to planning permission,” acting Mayor of Berlin and Chairman of the Airport Operator Board Michael Müller said.
Berlin Brandenburg (CEO) Karsten Mühlenfeld said that so far it was possible to complete the crucial mechanical aspects of the smoke extraction system, thanks to approval for the 5th amendment. “Construction work in Main Pier North and Main Pier South are still pending, expert audit approvals are being performed. At the same time, technical initial operation is also being performed in these parts of the building. Currently the focus is on Main Pier North. Functions and integration tests are now being implemented here.”
In addition, the construction and function testing, as well as proof of concept, must be completed for Main Pier North. Furthermore, the airport operator will also have to decide in advance just how the terminal can be used during necessary trial operations. “Now we have to resolve the other remaining challenges, such as completion of construction and the startup of technical systems, as well as the trial operation, as quickly as possible, but above all reliably and safely,” Müller said.
Regarding the 2017 business plan, (BER) expects a further increase in passenger numbers as well as a positive operative result based on increased sales, particularly within the non-aviation sector. In addition, the business plan contains one-off expenses for the start of (BER)’s operations, as well as the enhancements to Schoenefeld Airport to cope with increasing passenger volumes.
Expansion of Schoenefeld will continue to meet growing passenger numbers. In total, €48.8 million/$52.4 million will be invested over 2016 and 2017. Terminal D (new arrivals) was recently opened. Terminal B has already been extended. Renovation of Terminals A and D should start after receipt of planning permission in the 2nd quarter of 2017.
News Item A-7: A321-211 (6639, D-ABCQ) returned from Finnair (FIN)2 A330-223 (968, 0E-EIT; M1112, D-ABXF), ex-(PT-MVG lease.
News Item A-8: 737-8BK (33013, ZS-ZWU) , ex-(D-ABBK); 737-86J (37779, B-1562), ex-(D-ABMP), A319-111 (3447, D-ABGK), to Eurowings (RFG);
A319-112 (3202, D-ABGQ), ex-(D-ASTX); (3415, D-ABGJ), ex-(OE-LNE), to (RFG); (3661, D-ABGN), ex-(OE-LNA), (ICBC) Leasing lsd; (3700, D-ABGQ), to (RFG); (3728, D-ABGP), ex-(OE-LNC), Jackson Square Aviation leased; (3865, D-ABGS), ex-(D-ABGQ); A320-214 (4606, D-ABFP), to (RFG) 2017-02; 5648, D-ABHU, ex-(OE-LEY) 2017-02; 2 A320-216 (3502, D-ABZC; 3532, D-ABZA) to Austrian Airlines (AUL) 2017-02; 3 A321-211 (3708, D-ABCA; 4334, D-ABCC; 5126, D-ABCJ), ex-(OE-LCA; OE-LCC; OE-LCJ), 2016-12; 3 Dash 8-402 (4538, D-ABQR; 4539, D-ABQS; 4541, D-ABQT), 2016-12.
January 2017: News Item A-1: Airberlin (BER) Austrian subsidiary, FlyNiki (NKI) will cut 13 European destinations from January 30, as well as its daily Vienna - Abu Dhabi route from the end of March, (NKI) spokesperson Milene Platzer said. The move is part of plans to create a new, yet-to-be named leisure airline group based in Vienna.
The new leisure airline, which needs regulatory approval, will be 25% owned by Abu Dhabi-based, the Etihad (EHD) Aviation Group and 24.8% owned by German holiday company the (TUI) Group (TUG). The remaining 50.2% share is expected to be held by an Austrian foundation to ensure Austrian majority ownership and maintain international traffic rights.
The new carrier will operate aircraft from the (TUI) Group’s TUIfly airline (HAP)/(HLX) and FlyNiki (NKI). It expects to operate 63 aircraft on point-to-point services in European tourist markets. The fleet includes 41 Boeing 737s from TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) as well FlyNiki (NKI) fleet of 22 Airbus (EDS) aircraft, “which will be harmonized to an all A321 fleet,” Platzer said.
The eliminated European routes from Vienna include Stockholm, Hamburg, Hannover, Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, Nice, Paris, Zurich, Rom, Milan, Alicante, and Malta.
It is understood that some of these routes will be taken over by Lufthansa (DLH) low-cost carrier (LCC) subsidiary Eurowings (EWG), which expand its base in Vienna further by adding +13 new routes in the spring.
On December 5, 2016, Oneworld (ONW) Alliancew member airberlin (BER) announced the sale of 49.8% of its Austrian subsidiary FlyNiki (NKI) to Etihad (EHD) for €300 million/$320 million.
From the start of the summer 2017 schedule, and prior to the closing of the FlyNiki (NKI) sale, airberlin (BER) will transfer slots for certain tourist destinations in Southern Europe (excluding Italy but including the Canary Islands, Spain and Madeira, Portugal), North Africa and Turkey to FlyNiki (NKI).
FlyNiki (NKI) expects to operate 27 leisure destinations in summer 2017, compared to 34 destinations in summer 2016.
* Abu Dhabi-based the Etihad Aviation Group and German holiday company the TUI Group will reportedly name the planned European leisure airline group FlyNiki (NKI), a source involved in the negotiations said. The source said the new (NKI) operations should start by the end of March or April, beginning with the European summer season. The new leisure airline group will be headquartered in Vienna. (NKI) is expected to operate 60 aircraft on point-to-point services to key tourist markets.
News Item A-2: American Airlines (AAL) will discontinue its code share agreement with Germany’s 2nd largest carrier, airberlin (BER) from March 26. “An interline agreement will further exist between the 2 airlines. Passengers can use (AAL) connecting flights in combination with (BER) transatlantic flights.”
Passengers who have already booked (BER)/(AAL) code share flights from March 26 onward will be issued a new ticket. (BER) flights will have separate American flight numbers; frequent flyer miles can still be earned and redeemed. In addition, (AAL) flights can also be booked on airberlin (BER)’s website.
(BER) began 1st code share flights with (AAL) in 2010 before it joined the Oneworld (ONW) alliance. (BER) is expanding its Germany - USA network for the summer 2017 season by >50%, the spokesperson said, adding, “The number of weekly flights will rise from 55 to 84 to a total of 8 USA destinations.”
Starting April 13, frequencies will increase from 10x-weekly to 2x-daily from Berlin-Tegel to New York (JFK); 3x-weekly Berlin-Tegel - Miami services will become 5x-weekly. (BER) will also launch 5x-weekly Düsseldorf - Orlando services. Starting in May, 3x-weekly Berlin - San Francisco and 4x-weekly Berlin - Los Angeles flights will be added to the network.
Airberlin (BER) also operates USA flights to Boston Logan (Massachusetts), Fort Myers (Florida) and Chicago O’Hare.
News Item A-3: The much-delayed opening of Berlin Brandenburg International Airport (BER) is expected to be postponed once again, after the discovery of new technical glitches with the control systems in the terminal doors, which present a fire safety risk.
According to German news agency "Dpa)," 1,200 doors need to be cabled to secure fire protection. If the doors do not close properly in the event of a fire, sufficient smoke extraction would be not possible.
(Dpa) quoted Berlin Brandenburg International Airport (BER) (CEO) Karsten Mühlenfeld on January 21 as saying that, based on the new technical findings, “The risk of opening the (BER) airport this year is too high.”
Berlin’s acting Mayor Michael Müller said he expects (BER) airport will now open in 2018.
Construction work on Berlin’s new airport began in 2006. (BER) airport, which was originally scheduled to open in October 2011, has been delayed several times because of planning and construction problems, especially concerning fire protection installations.
In December 2016, (BER) airport announced it completed 80% of the milestones in planning and construction of the airport terminal; however, it did not commit to an opening date.
Total costs of the airport project have reached €6.5 billion/$7 billion.
A (BER) airport board meeting will be held February 7 to discuss further consequences of the new delay.
February 2017: "Wet-leased Airberlin A320s Begin Service for Eurowings" by (ATW) Kurt Hofmann Kurt Hofmann email@example.com, February 10, 2017.
3 airberlin (BER) Airbus A320s operating in Eurowings (EWG) colors launched February 10 from Hamburg to Manchester, Stuttgart and Nuremberg. The flights are part of a 6-year wet-lease agreement between (BER) and the Lufthansa Group, which was approved unconditionally at the end of January by federal antitrust authorities.
Under the wet-lease agreement, (BER) will lease 38 Airbus A319/A320 aircraft (which are stationed at German and Austrian airports) to Lufthansa (DLH) and its subsidiaries Eurowings (EWG) and Austrian Airlines (AUL). (EWG) will take 33 of the aircraft and Austrian (AUL) will take the remaining 5. The deal also includes a code share between (DLH) and (BER) equity parent Etihad Airways (EHD).
Airberlin (BER) (CEO) Thomas Winkelmann said, “The wet-lease agreement with the Lufthansa Group is a significant milestone for (BER) by providing job security with ultimately 38 aircraft flying for the Lufthansa Group.”
The (BER) wet-leased A320s will be delivered to the Lufthansa Group in phases by the end of April and all aircraft will carry the wording “operated by airberlin” on their fuselages. “According to the agreement with (BER), Eurowings (EWG) is the fastest-growing carrier compared to any other airline brand in Europe,” (CEO) of (EWG) and Aviation Services Karl Ulrich Garnadt said. The wet-leased aircraft will be operated in (EWG) colors and its cabin design.
Up to 20 (BER) A320s will replace the oldest (EWG) aircraft of the same type. The increased aircraft capacity allows (EWG) to offer 23,000 additional flights per year and >60 new connections. (BER) also estimates it will carry 3 million additional passengers annually.
4 of the 33 wet-leased aircraft will be based in Munich beginning from this summer. “>50% of the 60 additional new connections will be offered from (DLH)’s 2nd hub Munich,” Garnadt said.
2 former (BER) A320s will be based in Palma de Mallorca (Spain), increasing the number of aircraft to 4 (in Palma) starting from this summer, while the remaining aircraft will strengthen (EWG)’s existing bases in Cologne Stuttgart, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, and Vienna.
Star (SAL) Alliance member Brussels Airlines (DAT)/(EBA), which operates 51 aircraft, should be integrated into the Eurowings Group from 2018. Including Brussels, the total (EWG) fleet is expected to reach 160 aircraft.
March 2017: News Item A-1: The Lufthansa Group turned in a net profit of +€1.78 billion/+$1.90 billion in 2016, up +4.6% on the previous year’s figure of +€1.70 billion, the Germany-based organization said March 16. It achieved the profit on turnover down -1.2% at €31.6 billion. “In a very demanding market environment, we successfully kept the Lufthansa Group’s margins at their record prior-year levels, through consistent capacity and steering measures and, above all, through our effective cost reductions,” Chairman of the executive board and (CEO) of Deutsche Lufthansa (DLH) Carsten Spohr said.
“All our business segments developed positively in their respective markets. And by expanding our commercial joint ventures for the network airlines, fully acquiring Brussels Airlines (DBA)/(EAT) and concluding the comprehensive wet-lease agreement with airberlin (BER) we have also strengthened our strategic position.” He cautioned, however, that further cost reductions would be necessary in 2017: “This is the only way to meet and master the decline in unit revenues and higher fuel expenses.”
Among cost-saving measures introduced in 2016 was a move to a new pension system that added +€652 million to the (EBIT) figure.
“The change in the pension system for our cabin crews (CA), which we now also agreed with our cockpit crews (FC), has had a sustainable positive effect, strengthening our balance sheet and making us less dependent on volatile interest rate developments,” Deutsche Lufthansa (CFO) Ulrik Svensson said. “This shows how important it is to have viable and forward-looking collective labor agreements.”
Among debits on the balance sheet for the past year was €100 million in strike costs. Net profit figures for the individual components of the Group were not given, but Lufthansa Passenger Airlines (DLH) raised its adjusted (EBIT) by +€254 million to >€1.1 billion. Austrian Airlines (AUL) was also in the black with an adjusted (EBIT) of €58 million, a +€6 million improvement on 2015.
SWISS (CSR) remained the Group’s most profitable airline with an adjusted (EBIT) margin of 9.3% and an adjusted (EBIT) of SFr429 million/$430 million compared to SFr453 million last time. Low-cost carrier (LCC) Eurowings (EWG) reported an adjusted (EBIT) of €-91 million. More than half of that deficit could be attributed to startup costs and other non-recurring expenditures, the Group said.
Also in the red was Lufthansa Cargo (LUB), which recorded a -€50 million loss for the year. The sharp -€124 million decline compared to its 2015 result was largely because of significant falls in price levels, particularly in the face of massive overcapacity in the freight sector.
On the ground, Lufthansa Technik (DLH)/(LTK) reported an adjusted (EBIT) of €411 million for 2016 (down -€43 million on 2015), while caterer (LSG) achieved an adjusted (EBIT) of €104 million (up +€5 million).
In 2017, the Group’s passenger airlines are expected to record organic capacity growth of +4.5% for its passenger airlines. Brussels Airlines (DBA)/(EBA), whose results will be fully consolidated for the 1st time in 2017, and the wet-leased flights of airberlin (BER), should make a small positive contribution to earnings in their 1st year.
News Item A-2: German trade union Verdi called for ground staff at Berlin’s Tegel and Schönefeld airports to strike on Friday, March 10. The 24-hour strike, scheduled at 4 am local time, had a considerable impact on air traffic to and from Berlin. Airberlin (BER) said that flights were canceled and delayed on short notice. Exceptions to the cancellations were long-haul flights and the feeder flight AB6431 to (BER)’s Düsseldorf hub. Also, flight AB8380 to Tel Aviv took place as scheduled.
Qatar Airways (QTA) Group (CEO) Akbar Al Baker said that (QTA) transferred its scheduled Berlin - Doha service to another German airport, Leipzig.
The strike coincided with the world’s largest travel trade fair, (ITB) Berlin, and Friday March 10 was a peak travel day.
Airberlin (BER) (CEO) Thomas Winkelmann said, “We fail to understand why the bargaining parties had to strike at the expense of the passengers. In addition, we also see it as irresponsible to have called a strike for the end of the (ITB) Berlin fair, when visitors from all over the world wanted to travel home from Berlin.”
News Item A-3: Berlin’s Tegel and Schönefeld airports have canceled hundreds of scheduled flights from March 13 - 15 because of an ongoing ground staff strike over wages. On March 13, both airports canceled 670 flights, including 215 flights from airberlin (BER) and 180 flights from Lufthansa (DLH). On March 14, Tegel canceled 453 flights and Schönefeld canceled 125 flights, about 90% of all scheduled flights.
German trade union Verdi, which represents around 2,000 ground staff, wants a €1/$1.07 increase in hourly wages.
Several airlines transferred their March 14 flights to other German airports.
The strike is a continuation of last March 10’s strike when both airports canceled a total of 650 flights.
News Item A-4: airberlin (BER), which has transferred its leisure routes to Austrian subsidiary FlyNiki (NKI), said the 1st (NKI) Dusseldorf - Palma de Mallorca service began on March 26.
The switch is part of a rescue program for Oneworld (ONW) Alliance member airberlin (BER), which announced the sale of 49.8% FlyNiki (NKI) to Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways (EHD) for €300 million/$320 million in December 2016.
Airberlin (BER) reported a 2015 3rd-quarter loss of -€45.6 million/-$51.2 million, reversed from a +€56.2 million profit in the year-ago quarter. “I expect the 4th quarter will also deliver very negative results,” according to a (BER).
FlyNiki (NKI) will operate from Dusseldorf to 16 destinations in Spain, Portugal, and the Canary and Greek Islands. Palma de Mallorca, for example, will be served by 7 non stop daily flights.
Airberlin (BER) launched its 1st route in 1979 from Berlin to Palma de Mallorca.
Airberlin (BER) (CCO) Götz Ahmelmann said, “It is a matter of great importance to us that we are handing over the baton to our partner FlyNiki (NKI) who will operate flights to holiday destinations on our behalf. For airberlin (BER), this marks an important milestone on its way to becoming a network carrier with a focused global route network and a unique portfolio of premium services,” he said.
“FlyNiki (NKI) is set to become the number 1 holiday airline in German-speaking countries,” (NKI) (CCO) Julio Rodriguez said.
As a result of this move, FlyNiki (NKI) will become the 3rd-largest airline in Dusseldorf after the Lufthansa Group and airberlin (BER), both in terms of passenger numbers and aircraft movements.
FlyNiki (NKI) will base 8 out of 21 Airbus A321s in Dusseldorf. 4 aircraft will be based in Zurich, taking over leisure routes from airberlin (BER)’s Swiss subsidiary Belair, which reportedly could close down in 2017. 5 A321s will be based in Vienna and the remaining ones will be spread out over several German airports such as Munich or Hanover.
FlyNiki (FKI) will wet-lease 2 Boeing 737-800s from Slovakia-based Go2Sky to cover summer peaks.
Airberlin (BER) will use Dusseldorf as a hub. During the summer 2017, (BER) will fly to 38 destinations from Dusseldorf including routes to the USA and the Caribbean.
FlyNiki (FKI) is part of a planned European leisure airline group to be established by the Etihad Airways Group and German holiday company the (TUI) Group (TUG), pending regulatory approval. The new leisure airline group, which was announced in October 2016, is expected to be headquartered in Vienna. The carrier plans to operate 60 aircraft on point-to-point services to key tourist markets and would have a 35% market share in the Germany/Austria/Switzerland leisure business.
April 2017: Airberlin (BER) has delayed the planned expansion of USA connections because of continued ground handling problems at Berlin-Tegel Airport.
According to (BER), it will postpone the launch of 2x-weekly Berlin - San Francisco services from May 1 to May 29. A 3rd weekly frequency will be added in June. Additionally, (BER)'s 4x-weekly Berlin - Los Angeles services will be moved from May 2 to May 16.
AeroGround, a wholly owned subsidiary of Munich Airport, has been responsible for ground handling services at Berlin Tegel since March 26, the beginning of the summer schedule.
Airberlin (BER) (CEO) Thomas Winkelmann said the route delay will allow AeroGround "extra time to improve their performance so that we can again offer a good and stable product to our passengers and especially to our transfer passengers."
Affected passengers from Berlin will be rebooked on other (BER) flights via Düsseldorf. (BER)'s new long-haul route from Düsseldorf to Orlando, Florida, will start as planned on May 6.
May 2017: Oneworld (ONW) Alliance member Airberlin (BER) launched 3x-weekly Berlin Tegel - Los Angeles (LAX) services on May 16, just weeks after Star (STM) Alliance members Austrian Airlines (AUL) and (LOT) Polish Airlines started services to (LAX) from Vienna and Warsaw. (BER) operates an Airbus A330-200 on the flight.
“This new long-haul flight from Berlin to Los Angeles is the next step in (BER)’s new strategic policy,” (BER) (CEO) Thomas Winkelmann said.
At the end of May, (BER) will begin services from Berlin-Tegel to San Francisco, California.
During the current summer schedule, (BER) offers 33x-weekly USA services from Berlin-Tegel to New York (JFK), Miami, Chicago O’Hare, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
On March 26, (BER)’s USA partner American Airlines (AAL) ended its code share arrangement with (BER), Germany’s 2nd largest carrier; however, an interline agreement still exists between the 2 airlines.
A321-211 (6454, D-ABCN) last revenue flight, transferred to BelAir (BLB). 777-28EER (28685, EC-MIA) Privilege Style (PVG) leased.
June 2017: News Item A-1: "Etihad, (TUI) Group Calls Off Plans for New Leisure Airline" by Kurt Hofmann firstname.lastname@example.org, June 8, 2017.
The Etihad (EHD) Aviation Group and German holiday company the (TUI) Group have ended plans to establish a new European leisure airline group. “I can confirm that negotiations on this project, which have been on hold since the end of 2016, have ended.”
In October 2016, the partners detailed plans to combine the leisure operations of the airberlin (BER) group and German carrier (TUI)fly (HAP)/(HLX) into a new airline group, serving destinations from Austria, Germany and Switzerland. (BER) was expected to operate 58 aircraft on point-to-point services to key tourist markets.
The Etihad Aviation Group also confirmed it terminated negotiations with the (TUI) Group, saying it has taken this decision following many months of negotiations in good faith. However, Etihad (EHD) said the parties had been unable to reach agreement on the final nature of such a joint venture (JV).
A source close to Austria-based FlyNiki (NKI) said the news from Abu Dhabi came as shock. Both brands: TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) and FlyNiki (NKI) already operate in parallel with around 60 aircraft in the current summer period. “It is a clever strategy to create a strong European leisure-airline because there is too much capacity in Germany. But FlyNiki (NKI) is not available anymore,” (TUI) (TUG) board member Sebastian Ebel said June 7. “We will continue to push ahead with the repositioning of TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) in order to develop a long-term perspective for the airline and its employees.”
According to Etihad (EHD), the leisure operations of the airberlin (BER) group will now continue to operate as a separate business unit under the FlyNiki (NKI) brand. Further details of this structure will be announced by airberlin (BER). (NKI)’s operating schedule remains unchanged with all bookings being honored; however, customers should contact (NKI) directly for any further information.
On December 5, 2016, Oneworld (ONW) Alliance member airberlin (BER) announced the sale of 49.8% of its Austrian subsidiary FlyNiki (NKI) to Abu Dhabi-based Etihad (EHD) for €300 million/$320 million), an investment that is important for financially troubled airberlin (BER).
At this point in time, it remains unclear what will happen with the €300 million (EHD) has already given to airberlin (BER).
The original plan had called for (TUI) AG (TUG) to hold 24.8% of shares in the (JV), with (EHD) holding a 25% stake. The remaining 50.2% shares will continue to be held by FlyNiki (NKI).
News Item A-2: "Etihad, airberlin Outline FlyNiki’s Future" by
Kurt Hofmann email@example.com, June 9, 2017.
The Etihad Aviation Group and Germany-based airberlin (BER) have confirmed the sale of Austrian subsidiary FlyNiki (NKI). The 2 companies said the sale will proceed at an agreed-upon time and in a manner compliant with European Union (EU) regulations; further details will be provided in due course, according to a statement released June 9. Until the sale is completed, (NKI) will continue to operate as a separate business unit within the (BER) group with a focus on short- and medium-haul leisure destinations. “The (NKI) flight schedule for winter 2017 has been published and all bookings remain valid.”
In December 2016, (BER) said it had reached an agreement with the Etihad Investment Company for the sale of the shares it indirectly held in (NIK) Luftfahrt GmbH. On December 5, 2016, Oneworld (ONW) Alliance member (BER) announced the sale of 49.8% of (NKI) to Etihad (EHD) for €300 million/$320 million.
In October 2016, the partners detailed plans to combine the leisure operations of the airberlin (BER) group and German carrier TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) into a new airline group, serving destinations from Austria, Germany and Switzerland. The airline was expected to operate 58 aircraft on point-to-point services to key tourist markets.
On June 8, the Etihad Aviation Group and German holiday company the (TUI) Group (TUG) said they ended plans to establish a new European leisure airline group, which included FlyNiki (NKI).
“Within the airberlin (BER) group there will be 2 clearly identified separated divisions: flights to long-haul destinations and to major business centers throughout Germany and the rest of Europe, [which] will be operated by (BER) from Dusseldorf and Berlin,” (BER) (CEO) Thomas Winkelmann said on June 9.
“(NKI), as a standalone business, will offer flights to popular leisure destinations for holidaymakers. With this, both the new airberlin (BER) and the leisure business operated by FlyNiki (NKI), can be properly addressed with the right organization and resources until the acquisition of (NKI) is completed,” he said.
Etihad Aviation Group interim (CEO) Ray Gammell added: “We continue to support the efforts of the (BER) management team as it continues its transformation. Similarly, our commitment to support (NKI) still stands and we aim to finalize the transaction soon.”
On June 9, (NKI) appointed Armin Bovensiepen as (CCO), replacing Julio Rodriguez.
July 2017: News Item A-1: Lufthansa Group low-cost (LCC) subsidiary Eurowings (EWG) said the wet lease of 33 Airbus A319/A320s from airberlin (BER) allows (EWG) to offer +23,000 additional flights, +60 new routes and to generate an additional +3 million passengers. The 1st wet-leased aircraft joined (EWG) in mid-February; number 30 arrived in early May. “This has been a very fast development.
Aircraft number 31 is arriving in August; the last 2 in 2018,” (EWG) (CCO) Oliver Wagner said.
August 2017: News Item A-1: "Airberlin, JetBlue to Partner on USA Flights" by Kurt Hofmann firstname.lastname@example.org, August 4, 2017.
Germany’s airberlin (BER) and New York-based low-cost carrier (LCC) JetBlue Airways (JBL) have reached a cooperation agreement to offer connecting flights to 31 destinations in the USA. Beginning September 12, passengers can book flights to the USA with Oneworld (ONW) Alliance member airberlin (BER), as well as connecting flights operated by JetBlue (JBL) from New York (JFK), Boston, Massachusetts and Orlando, Florida.
(BER) (CCO) Götz Ahmelmann said the partnership with (JBL) opens up an important growth market in the USA. “This is only the beginning of our cooperation. Together, we are working to extend our partnership in the coming months,” he said.
According to airberlin (BER), the main benefits for (BER) passengers will be the many transfer connections at New York (JFK), which is also the central hub for (JBL)’s flight operations. (BER) operates double-daily flights to (JFK) from Dusseldorf and once-a-day service from Berlin Tegel. The cooperation will also include frequent flyer programs in the future. Members of "topbonus" are expected to be able to earn miles on (JBL) flights.
A route overview includes the following services:
* From New York (JFK), connecting flights will be offered to Bermuda, Bridgetown, Boston, Buffalo, Charleston, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Orlando, West Palm Beach, Portland, Rochester, Fort Myers, Santo Domingo, San Francisco, San Juan, Santiago, Syracuse, Jacksonville, Raleigh/Durham, and Tampa.
* From Boston: Atlanta, Buffalo, Baltimore, Washington National, Denver, Newark, Fort Lauderdale, New York (JFK), Los Angeles, New York La Guardia, Orlando, Philadelphia, Raleigh/Durham, and San Francisco.
* From Orlando: Boston, Washington National, Newark, White Plains, New York JFK and New York La Guardia.
Airberlin (BER), which said earlier this year it is expanding its Germany - USA network for the summer 2017 season by >50%, discontinued its code share agreement with American Airlines (AAL) from March 26, although it is keeping an interline agreement with (AAL).
News Item A-2: German carrier airberlin (BER), in which Etihad Airways (EHD) has a 29.2% stake, filed for insolvency on August 15 after (EHD) withdrew financial support.
The German government is issuing a loan of €150 million/$177 million to airberlin (BER) to ensure flight operations for about 3 months, German Minister of Economic Affairs, Brigitte Zypries said.
(EHD) said: “We have been informed that (BER) has filed for administration.
News Item A-3: Insolvent German airline Air Berlin (BER) is in talks with a total of 3 aviation firms, including Lufthansa (DLH), to find buyers for its assets, (CEO) Thomas Winkelmann told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), without naming names.
All 3 are "reputable in terms of their finances, sufficiently large to offer Air Berlin (BER) a secure future and are interested in keeping Germany as a base of operations", the daily newspaper quoted Winkelmann as saying.
Air Berlin (BER), Germany's 2nd-largest airline, filed for bankruptcy protection on August 15 after key shareholder Etihad Airways (EHD) withdrew funding following years of losses, leaving valuable runway slots up for grabs.
According to Winkelmann, the negotiations include assets of Air Berlin (BER) unit Niki (NKI), which (EHD) had bought from the German carrier for 300 million euros/US$354 million this year.
Lufthansa (DLH) has confirmed it is in talks to take over parts of Air Berlin (BER)'s business, while a source has said easyJet (EZY) was also part of the negotiations.
Thomas Cook's German airline Condor (CDF) said it was ready to play "an active role" in Air Berlin (BER)'s restructuring, without being more specific.
Winkelmann aims to strike a deal with 2 or more buyers by the end of September, the newspaper said.
The government granted a bridging loan of 150 million euros to allow Air Berlin (BER) to keep its planes in the air for 3 months and secure the jobs of its 7,200 workers in Germany while negotiations go on.
The German government wants insolvent Air Berlin (BER)'s management to strike a quick deal to sell its assets to other airlines, a senior government official said on Thursday.
"All parties are now called upon to negotiate swiftly but responsibly," Deputy Economy Minister Matthias Machnig told Reuters.
Machnig said Berlin had informed the European Commission (EC) of its decision to grant the company a bridging loan of 150 million euros to allow (BER) to keep its planes in the air for 3 months. He added that the government expected the (EU) to approve the move.
Amid intense pressure to find quick solutions for the failing airberlin (BER) business, the company’s creditor committee is expected to grant preliminary approval for the sale of Austrian affiliate Niki (NKI) to Lufthansa (DLH) at its August 23 meeting. Industry sources say the body is to wave through an (LOI) for (NKI), 1 of the few parts of the Airberlin Group not operating under bankruptcy protection.
German aviation investor Hans Rudolf Woehrl is also working on a bid and former F1 motor race driver Niki Lauda has indicated his interested in buying back Air Berlin (BER)'s Niki, the Austrian airline he once owned.
News Item A-4: "Is Europe in the Next Phase of Consolidation?" by (ATW) Victoria Moores email@example.com in "Need I say Moores," August 15, 2017.
Do the airberlin (BER) and Alitalia (ALI) insolvency filings signal the next wave of European industry consolidation?
On August 15, (BER) filed for insolvency and the German government stepped in with a bridging loan. Just 3 months earlier, the same scenario played out with Alitalia (ALI) and the Italian government. In both cases, shareholder Etihad Airways (EHD) decided it could no longer keep pumping funds into these strategic partners.
Airberlin (BER) said negotiations (with German rival the Lufthansa Group and other partners) to sell some of its business units are “far advanced and highly promising” and may be finalized shortly.
Lufthansa (DLH) has already capitalized on its German competitor’s weakness by taking wet-leased aircraft from airberlin (BER), depleting its competitor and supporting growth at its own airlines (a double win).
The question is whether this is the beginning of another European shake-out, mirroring industry consolidation in the USA market that ultimately has been the foundation for its profitability, or another repeat of the cycle in which ‘middle seat’ European airlines (that are neither niche players, nor consolidation drivers) are simply not allowed to die.
One consolidation positive is that customers have got used to geography-neutral named airlines like Ryanair (RYR) and easyJet (EZY), backing cheap travel over nationalism. This could pave the way for some brands to disappear, although national pride and the sense of having a “flag carrier” in countries like France and Italy is still extremely strong.
Meanwhile, Europe’s "big 3": Air France (AFA) - (KLM), the International Airlines Group (IAG) and the Lufthansa Group would still like to get bigger, as evidenced by Lufthansa (DLH)’s interest in acquiring parts of airberlin (BER) and (AFA) - (KLM)’s recent multi-faceted joint venture plan with Virgin Atlantic (VAA), (DAL) and China Eastern (CEA). As with Cyprus Airways (CYP), the market is poised to absorb airlines and quickly fill in the gaps without faltering.
Only time will tell if some of Europe's brands will be allowed to disappear, as a result of true consolidation, or if this is another false cycle, where little will change.
News Item A-5: "Auf Wiedersehen airberlin? Germany's 3rd largest airline will leave a dent of >25 million seats and a prospering transatlantic network."
The talk of the aviation world at the moment is airberlin (BER), with (BER) now filed for bankruptcy after its biggest shareholder, Etihad Airways (EHD), withdrew its financial support to (BER). This is not the 1st airline this year that had a majority share held by (EHD) to enter bankruptcy, with Alitalia (ALI) going through a similar process in April, and it is still awaiting a buyer. (EHD), which has a 29% stake in airberlin (BER), said (BER) had deteriorated at an unprecedented pace, preventing it from overcoming its significant challenges. (BER) is expected to continue operating during the administration process thanks to a €150m loan from the German Government. It is understood that German flag carrier Lufthansa (DLH) is in talks to buy part of the airberlin Group, which owns airberlin (BER), NIKI (NKI) and Belair (BLV), however, nothing has been confirmed by either party.
News Item A-6: Airberlin (BER) (which filed for bankruptcy earlier this month) will reduce long-haul routes from Berlin Tegel as bookings have dropped dramatically.
“(BER) will further stabilize its operational situation at Berlin Tegel and will cut loss-making routes this coming autumn and winter,” an airberlin (BER) spokesperson confirmed.
(BER) will shut down 2x-daily Berlin - Abu Dhabi services by September. 17 and October 1 Berlin - Chicago O’Hare services will cease from September 30.
“Airberlin (BER) will close Berlin - Los Angeles and Berlin - San Francisco services 4 weeks earlier than originally planned, now from October 1 onward.”
The Dusseldorf - Boston Logan route will also close from October 1, which is earlier than planned.
For the upcoming winter 2017 - 2018 period, (BER) said it plans to operate from Berlin to New York (JFK) and Miami (Florida), as well as from Dusseldorf to New York (JFK); Boston Logan (Massachusetts); Miami, Orlando, and Fort Myers (Florida); Los Angeles and San Francisco (California); Curacao; Varadero, and Havana (Cuba); Puerto Plata, and Punta Cana (Dominican Republic); and Cancun (Mexico).
It is unlikely airberlin (BER) will continue to operate long-haul routes next year as a result of the critical financial situation.
(BER), Germany’s 2nd largest carrier filed for insolvency August 15 after Etihad Airways (EHD) (which has a 29.2% stake in airberlin (BER)) withdrew financial support.
Airberlin (BER) operates a long-haul fleet of 17 Airbus A330-200s and has confirmed it will lease 2 Airbus A330-900neos, but has not disclosed the lessor.
News Item A-7: "Is There a Future for ‘Middle-seat' Airlines?" by (ATW) Victoria Moores in "Need I say Moores" firstname.lastname@example.org August 25, 2017.
As the carve-up of German carrier airberlin (BER) begins, it begs the question of whether there is an independent future for 2nd-tier airlines that are neither niche players, nor members of large airline groups.
Airberlin (BER) has always been a difficult airline to describe. It rejected the low cost carrier (LCC) label, isn’t quite a network carrier, isn’t a niche operator and isn’t number 1 in its market. It is neither 1 thing or another (a middle seat airline).
However, while it was partly-owned by Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways (EHD), airberlin (BER) was a consolidated player. Being part of a larger group offered a degree of market security, but now (EHD) has pulled out, it looks like (BER) will be parted out to the highest bidders.
It seems there are 3 potential futures for airberlin (BER) now:
* It is acquired and continues to fly as airberlin, either as part of a bigger group or with backing from a brave independent investor;
* It is acquired, in whole or in part, and absorbed;
* It just disappears.
My feeling is that Option 2 is the most likely and I wouldn’t rule out an acquisition and integration by another (LCC).
In the past, this wouldn’t have been an obvious option for an (LCC), as acquisitions add complexity. However, it is not unheard of. For example, UK (LCC) easyJet (EZY) started easyJet Switzerland (TEB) by acquiring a stake in (TEA) Basel and has since absorbed British Airways (BAB) (LCC) GoAir (GOZ)( and fellow UK carrier GB Airways (GBA). Ryanair (RYR) has been less active, although it did acquire UK-based Buzz (BZZ) from (KLM) in 2003.
Both (EZY) and (RYR) have shifted away from the established rules, adding seat allocations and exploring connecting agreements, so more acquisitions could be on the cards as the market becomes increasingly consolidated. On the European short-haul market, (LCC)s are undoubtedly in control.
There is certainly an attraction there for (RYR), which has been pushing to attack Lufthansa (DLH) on home turf by growing its German network. But is this just that (an attack)? (RYR) may be being (RYR), using talk to create a stir around (DLH)’s plans to benefit from (BER)’s demise.
Also, will the potential competitive gains be big enough to justify the complexity that acquiring (BER) would create?
One thing is certain. Life is tough for middle seat airlines and it’s likely to get tougher yet.
News Item A-7: Ryanair (RYR) has filed complaints with Germany’s competition authority and the European Commission (EC) over the handling of airberlin (BER)’s assets since it filed for insolvency.
(RYR) called the insolvency “manufactured” and said it was being structured to allow the Lufthansa Group to take over a “debt-free airberlin (BER), which will be in breach of all known German and European Union (EU) competition rules.”
September 2017: News Item A-1: airberlin (BER), which filed for bankruptcy last month, is to close all of its long-haul routes to the Caribbean from September 25 because of cuts to its long-haul fleet.
On September 11, (BER) the oneworld (ONW) member said its entire Caribbean network will be closed, including flights from Dusseldorf to Curacao (Dutch Antilles), Cancun (Mexico), Havana and Varadero (Cuba), as well as Punta Cana and Puerto Plata (Dominican Republic).
Airberlin (BER) has already announced plans to close all of its long-haul routes from Berlin Tegel (including Berlin) Abu Dhabi (as well as cuts to its Dusseldorf network).
Berlin - Los Angeles and Berlin - San Francisco will now stop 4 weeks earlier than originally planned, from October 1. Dusseldorf - Boston Logan will also close October 1, which is also earlier than expected.
Airberlin (BER), Germany’s 2nd largest carrier, filed for insolvency August 15 after 29.2% shareholder Etihad Airways (EHD) withdrew financial support.
News Item A-2: Niki Lauda, ex-Formula 1 champion and founder of Austria-based airberlin (BER) subsidiary NIKI (NKI), is partnering with UK-based Thomas Cook Group (GUE)/(JMA) and its German leisure airline subsidiary Condor (CDF) to bid for (NKI) and other parts of (BER). Lauda confirmed the consortium as the September 15 deadline nears for potential buyers of the bankrupt German carrier.
News Item A-3: The Lufthansa Group and UK-based (LCC) easyJet (EZY) have been selected as preferred bidders for the main assets of the insolvent airberlin (BER). Lufthansa (DLH) also submitted a bid for (BER)’s Austria-based subsidiary NIKI (NKI), which could be integrated into its (LCC) arm Eurowings (EWG). (BER) Administrator Lucas Flöther had planned to keep these decisions confidential until September 25, after Germany’s September 24 general elections.
October 2017: News Item A-2: "Airberlin to Cease Operations at end of October" by (ATW) Kurt Hofmann email@example.com, October 9, 2017.
Bankrupt German carrier airberlin (BER) will cease operations on October 28 and employees are not guaranteed jobs under any future owner, the airline warned.
In an October 9 letter to employees, (BER) Chief Representative Frank Kebekus said a social plan had been launched, but not every (BER) employee would be able to get a job with those companies bidding to take over parts of the airline. There could be at least 1,400 job losses, mostly among ground and administration staff, he said.
(BER) is in negotiations with a shortlist of bidders that includes the Lufthansa Group, owner of German (LCC) Eurowings (EWG), and UK (LCC) easyJet (EZY). “We have been negotiating intensively for weeks. In a few days we will know more,” Kebekus said. But he warned that to continue airberlin (BER) operations while it loses money and is going through the insolvency process, was not possible; operations under the (IATA) AB code will cease on October 28. “This is why we have asked the personnel representatives and the general works council of airberlin Luftverkehrs KG to start negotiations on a compensation and social plan,” Kebekus said.
Meanwhile, German news TV "N24": reported that talks with easyJet (EZY) are at risk of falling apart, because (EZY) has reduced its offer, believed originally to be €50 million/$57 million for up to 30 airberlin (BER) Airbus A320s and routes in and out of Berlin.
(BER) filed for insolvency on August 15 after Etihad Airways (EHD), which owns a 29.2% stake in (BER), ended further financial support.
News Item A-2: Lufthansa (DLH) has signed a €210 million/$249 million deal to take over a large part of bankrupt airberlin (BER)’s assets, including NIKI (NKI) and regional carrier (LGW), in a move that will give its low-cost Eurowings (EWG) affiliate a boost.
(DLH) (CEO) Carsten Spohr told German newspaper "Rheinische Post" on October 12 that (DLH) is expected to take over 81 aircraft, employ 3,000 people and invest a total of €1.5 billion or €500,000 per job saved in the deal.
December 2017: News Item A-1: Germany-based regional carrier (LGW) has begun wet-lease Airbus A320 operations for Lufthansa (LCC) subsidiary Eurowings (EWG) as part of the Lufthansa Group’s €210 million/$247 million bid to take over a large part of bankrupt airberlin (BER) assets, which includes Austria’s (NIKI) (NKI) and carrier (LGW). “This is a special achievement for us, because we have not had this aircraft in our fleet yet,” (LGW) Head of Operations Peter Knecht said.
Dortmund-based carrier (LGW) begin cooperating with the bankrupt airberlin (BER) in 2007, later becoming a subsidiary. It ceased operations along with airberlin (BER) October 27 until it became part of the Lufthansa (DLH) takeover deal. Eurowings (EWG) plans to take over carrier (LGW)’s regional arm with 830 employees.
“We have to make this company [LGW] Airbus-firm,” Eurowings Europe (EWG) (CEO) Thorsten Dirks said in Vienna.
Since early November, carrier (LGW) has operated 17 wet-leased aircraft (so far only Bombardier Dash 8-Q400s for Eurowings Europe (EWG).
“The operational step from a propeller aircraft to jets is enormous,” Eurowings Europe (EWG) Managing Director & (COO) Michael Knitter said.
In the near future, carrier (LGW) plans to add 12 more A320s for Eurowings (EWG) wet-lease operations.
However, Dirks said the Lufthansa Group hopes the airberlin (BER) deal will close by the end of the year. Asked what would happen if competition authorities do not approve the deal, Dirks said, “Then we have invested a lot of money, €1.5 billion, and you will have 2 more carriers (LGW) and (NIKI) (NKI) going into bankruptcy. That’s the situation today.”
News Item A-2: Lufthansa Group airlines transported 10.1 million passengers in November, an increase of +32% compared to the year-ago month. (ASK)s were up +22.3%, sales increased +25.6% and load factor improved +2 points to 77.8% LF year-over-year (YOY). The strong growth has been mainly attributed the 1st full month of the insolvent airberlin (BER) ceasing operations. The disappearance of airberlin (BER) as of October 29 has created 60,000 fewer daily seats in the German aviation market.
News Item A-3: The European Commission (EC) has allowed easyJet (EZY) to take over airberlin (BER)’s Berlin Tegel Airport base, but there are increasing concerns that airberlin (BER) subsidiary (NIKI) (NKI) may collapse if the (EC) blocks its takeover by Lufthansa (DLH).
News Item A-4: "NIKI Files for Bankruptcy; Ceases Operations" by Jens Flottau (ATW) Plus, December 13, 2017.
Airberlin (BER) subsidiary (NIKI) filed for bankruptcy on December 13 and said it will cease flight operations immediately. The decision came after a tumultuous day that saw several dramatic turns. Earlier in the day, Lufthansa (DLH) informed airberlin (BER) Administrator Frank Kebekus that it was terminating the purchase agreement for (NIKI). (DLH) argued it had received clear signals that the European Commission (EC) would not approve the takeover.
March 2018: "Airberlin Administrator Seeks >$1.25 Billion in Claims Against Etihad" by Jens Flottau (ATW) Plus, Mar 6, 2018.
Airberlin’s (BER) Insolvency Administrator Lucas Floether is nearing a decision on making claims in excess of >€1 billion/>$1.25 billion against former shareholder Etihad Airways (EHD) as he seeks to satisfy as many creditor demands as possible. The airline’s creditor committee was expected to discuss the matter at its March 5 meeting, but was likely to postpone a formal decision about a lawsuit against Abu Dhabi-based Etihad (EHD) for several weeks.
Click below for photos:
BER-A320 - 2008-02
BER-A320 - 2015-02
BER-A320 - 2015-12.jpg
BER-A330-200 - 2013-08
BER-A330-223 - 2012-10
BER-A330-ONEWORLD - 2012-03
BER-B AE 146-300
0 737-322 (CFM56-3C1) (1532-23951, /88 D-AGEA; 1670-24320, /89 D-AGEB), (GER) LSD 2006-10. 23951; RTND, LST (AAG) 2009-05. 136Y.
0 737-329 (CFM56-3B2) (1412-23775, /87 D-ADII), (AAR) LSD 2006-10. 136Y.
0 737-4K5 (CFM56-3C1) (1839-24769, /90 D-ABAB), HGW, (PEB) LSD, RTND 2001-05, LST (ARE).
0 737-46J (CFM56-3C1) (2694-27826, /95 D-ABAM; 2794-28038, /96 D-ABAL; 2801-28271, /96 D-ABAH; 2802-28234, /96 D-ABAI; 2879-28867, /97 D-ABAK), ALL 737'S HGW. 27826; 28038; 28867; RTT (TBC) 2006-12. 167Y.
0 737-7BK (CFM56-7B22) (812-30617, /01 D-AHIC), (HAU) WET-LSD 2003-04. RTND 2004-04. 144Y.
9 737-7K5 (CFM56-7B22) (2202-30714, /07 D-AHXA; 2228-30717, /07 D-AHXB, 2010-02; 30882, /08 D-AHFW, 2010-02; 2260-34693, /07 D-AHXC, 2010-03; 2298-30726, /07 D-AHXD; 2451-35135,/07 D-AHXE; 2465-35136, /07 D-AHXF; 2575-35140, /08 D-AHXG, 2010-02; 2585-35282, /08 D-AHXH; 2609-35277, /08 D-AHXJ, 2010-03), 30882; RTND. WET-LST (HAP)/(HLX). WITH WINGLETS. 148Y.
2 737-7Q8 (CFM56-7B22) (1011-30629, /07 D-ABBV; 1097-30642, /07 D-ABBW), (ILF) LSD. WITH WINGLETS. 144Y.
0 737-7X2 (CFM56-7B22) (28879; 28880), WITH WINGLETS. RTND. 144Y.
1 737-73S (CFM56-7B22) (229-29082, /99 D-AHIA), (HAU) WET-LSD 2003-03. RTND 2004-04. WET-LST (HAP). 144Y.
5 737-75B (CFM56-7B22) (5-28110, /97 D-AGEL; 16-28100, /97 D-AGEN; 18-28102 /97 D-AGEP; 28-28108, /97 D-AGEP; 39-28104, /98 D-AGEU), (GER) LSD 2007-11. RTND. 148Y.
7 737-76J (CFM56-7B22) (2421-36114, /07 D-ABLA; 2692-36115, /08 D-ABLB; 2730-36116, /08 D-ABLC; 2776-36117, /08 D-ABLD; 2832-36118, /09 D-AGEC; 3488-36874, /10 D-ABLF; 3496-36873, D-ABLE, 2010-12 - - SEE PHOTO - - "BER-737-76J-2010-12;" ), WITH WINGLETS. 144Y.
2 737-76N (CFM56-7B22) (986-28654, /01 D-ABBS; 1013-32582, /01 D-ABBT), EX-(ALO), (GCP) LSD 2005-10. WITH WINGLETS. 144Y.
0 737-76Q (CFM56-7B22) (740-30271, /01 D-ABAA; 947-30277, /01 D-ABAB; 1496-30293, /04 D-ABBN), (BOU) LSD 2003-05 & 2004-05. ALL RTND. WITH WINGLETS. 144Y.
1 737-8BK (CFM56-7B27) (29683; 1317-33013, /03 D-ABBK), (TCI) LSD 2003-05. 29683; RTND. 186Y.
0 737-8K2 (CFM56-7B27) (498-28379, /00 PH-HZG; 549-30389, /00 PH-HZJ), (TAV) LSD 2000-11, 2 RTND 2001-04. 184Y.
0 737-8K2 (CFM56-7B27) (498-28379, PH-HZG), (TAV) WET-LSD 2002-10, TIL 2003-03. 184Y.
0 737-8K2 (CFM56-7B27) (814-30391, PH-HZL), (TAV) WET-LSD 2003-03. RTND. 184Y.
2 737-8K5 (CFM56-7B27) (7-27961, /97 D-AHFA; 499-27987, /00 D-AHFO; 556-28623, /00 D-AHFS; 760-30882, /01 D-AHFW), WET6-LST (HAP) 2003-03. 189Y.
0 737-8Q8 (CFM56-7B27) (77-28226, G-OKDN), (SBE) 6 MTHS LSD, RTND 2000-04. 184Y.
0 737-8Q8 (CFM56-7B27) (752-30627, /07 D-ABBU), (ILF) LSD. RTND. 186Y.
0 737-8Q8 (CFM56-7B27) (800-30637, /01 G-XLAE), (SBE) WET-LSD TIL 2003-03. 184Y.
0 737-8Q8 (CFM56-7B27), (SBE) WET-LSD 2002-11. 184Y.
2 737-808 (CFM56-7B26) (2293-34969, /07 D-ABBX; 2379-34970, /07 D-ABBY), (BBB) LSD. WITH WINGLETS. 186Y.
1 737-82R (CFM56-7B26) (224-29329, /99 D-ABKA), AIRCASTLE LSD 2007-04.TUIFLY.COM LSD 2016-08. 186Y.
2 737-85F (CFM56-7B27) (151-28821, /98 D-ABBL; 174-28823, /99 D-ABBM), EX-(ERA), (GAX) LSD 2004-03. 186Y.
0 737-85F (CFM56-7B27) (188-28825, /99 D-ABBR), MACQUARIE ACFT LSD 2005-05. RTND. 186Y.
0 737-85F (CFM56-7B27) (997-30478, /01 D-ABBZ), MACQUARIE ACFT LSD 2007-03. RTND. 186Y.
0 737-85H (CFM56-7B27) (178-29444, OY-SEH), RTND (STR) 2001-07. 184Y.
43 +24 ORDERS 737-86J (CFM56-7B27) (36-28068, /98 D-ABAN; 42-28069, /98 D-ABAO; 106-28070, /98 D-ABAP; 133-28071, /98 D-ABAQ; 147-28072, /98 D-ABAR; 200-28073, /99 D-ABAS; 202-29120, /99 D-ABAT; 239-29121, /99 D-ABAU; 450-30498, /99 D-ABAV; 485-30062, /00 D-ABAW; 517-30063, /00 D-ABAX; 567-30499, /00 D-ABAY; 619-30501, /00 D-ABAC; 759-30876, /01 D-ABAD; 782-30877, /01 D-ABAE; 844-30878,/01 D-ABAF; 871-30879, /01 D-ABAG; 879-30570, /01 D-ABBA "DANCING QUEEN;" 961-32624, /01 D-ABBB; 995-32625, /01 D-ABBC; 1043-30880, /01 D-ABBD; 1067-30881, /02 D-ABBE; 1210-32917, /02 D-ABBF; 1255-32918, /02 D-ABBG; 1279-32919, /03 D-ABBH; 1293-32920, /03 D-ABBI; 1280-30286, /03 D-ABBJ; 1317-33013, /03 D-ABBK; 2638-37740, /08 D-ABFB; 2686-37741, /08 D-ABFC; 2796-37742, /09 D-ABKD; 2834-37743, D-ABKE, 2009-03; 3044-37745, D-ABKF, 2009-09; 3109-37746, D-ABKG, 2009-12; 3120-37747, D-ABKH, 2009-12; 3157-37748, /10 D-ABKI; 3176-37749, /10 D-ABKJ; 3261-37753, /10 D-ABKK; 37754, /10 D-ABKL; 3371-37756, /10 D-ABKN; 3378-37757, /10 D-ABKO; 3439-37758, /10 D-ABKP; 3545-37760, /11 D-ABKQ; 3671-36881, /11 D-ABKT; 3685-36880, /11 D-ABKS; 3694-37744, /11 D-ABKU; 3732-36884, /11 D-ABKW; 3777-36886, /11 D-ABKY; 3835-37752, /11 D-ABMC; 3855-36121, /11 D-ABMB; 3887-37761, /11 D-ABMD; 37766, /12 D-ABME; 37768, D-ABMG, 2012-07; 37780, D-ABMQ, 2013-06; 37781, D-ABMR, 2013-07; 37786, D-ABMX, 2013-12), SEVERAL (BOU) LSD. WITH WINGLETS. 30876; TO (GIA) 2009-08. 37746; TO (PGS). 30570; RTND. 36879; ST JSA INTERNATIONAL AIRCRAFT 2011-10. 37743; 37745; RTND. 186Y.
1 737-86N (CFM56-7B27) (410-28608, /99 D-ABBQ), (FUA) WET-LSD 2004-11. WITH WINGLETS. 186Y.
0 737-86N (CFM56-7B26) (514-28618, /00 EC-ILX), (VSG) WET-LSD 2005-05. 186Y.
1 777-28EER (286855, EC-MIA) PRIVILEGE STYLE (PVG) LEASED 2017-05.
00 ORDERS (2015-?) 787 DREAMLINER (GEnx-1B), 250 PAX, 15/10/15 ORDERS CANCELED 2014-09.
3 ORDERS 787-8 DREAMLINER, (ILF) 12 YR LSD, 250 PAX:
? ORDERS (2018-02) 787-9 DREAMLINER (GEnx-1B):
30 +3 ORDERS A319/A320 WET-LEASED TO EUROWINGS (EWG), 1ST DELIVERED 2017-02, 10TH 2017-07.
8 A319-112 (CFM56-5B6/3) (3139, /07 D-ABGE; 3188, /07 D-ABGF; 3202, /07 D-ABGG; 3245, /07 D-ABGH; 3346, /07 D-ABGI; 3415, /08 D-ABGJ; 3447, /08 D-ABGK; 3586, /08 D-ABGL; 3661, /08 D-ABGN; 3689, /08 D-ABGO; 3700, /08 D-ABGP; 3704, /08 D-ABGQ; 3728, /08 D-ABGR; 3865, D-ABGS, 2009-04). 3139; 3188; 3202; 3586; 3865; RTND. 3447; 3700; TO EUROWINGS (RFG) 2016-12. 150Y.
0 A319-112 (CFM56-5B6/3) (3853, /09 D-AHIN; 3872, /09 D-AHIO), EX-(HAU) IN BASIC HAMBURG INTNL (HAU) COLORS. RTND. TO (SYA) 2012-03. 150Y.
0 A319-132 (V2524-A5) (2335, /04 D-ABGD); (TCI) LSD 2006-06. RTND & LST BELLE AIR (2009-06). 144Y.
0 A319-132 (V2524-A5) (2383, /05 D-ABGA (SEE PHOTO); 2467, /05 D-ABGB; 2468, /05 D-ABGC), EX-(BLR), (ILF) 5 YR LSD 2006-03. 2383; 2467; 2468; RTND. 144Y.
0 A320-200 (V2500) (405; 758), (TSD) WET-LSD 2000-04. 2 RTND. 174Y.
1 A320-200 (CFM56) (3594), EX-(TAM) (TPR), (GEF) LSD 2016-10. 174Y.
0 A320-214 (CFM56-5B) (1578, EC-HCU), (IBW) WET-LSD 2005-04. RTND. 174Y.
33 +20/30 ORDERS A320-214 (CFM56-5B4/P) (2539, /05 D-ABDA; 2619, /05 D-ABDB; 2654, /06 D-ABDC; 2685, /06 D-ABDD; 2696, /06 D-ABDE; 2820, /06 D-ABDF; 2835, /06 D-ABDG; 2846, /06 D-ABDH; 2749, /06 D-ABHF; 2853, /06 D-ABDI; 2865, /06 D-ABDJ; 2902, /06 D-ABHH; 2968, /06 D-ABDK; 2991, /07 D-ABDL; 3006, /07 D-ABDM; 3021, /07 D-ABDN; 3055, /07 D-ABDO; 3093, /07 D-ABDP; 3121, /07 D-ABDQ; 3242, /07 D-ABDR; 3422, D-ABDT 2016-07; 3594, D-ABHC, 2016-11; 3833, D-ABDV, 2009-03; 3995, D-ABDX, 2009-08; 4269, D-ABFE, 2010-04; 4291, D-ABFG, 2010-05; 4294, D-ABFH, 2010-05; 4316, 2010-05; 4329, D-ABFF, 2010-06; 4433, D-ABFJ, 2010-09; 4565, D-ABFO, 2011-01; 4581, /10 D-ABHK; 4631, D-ABFR), 3006; LST BELAIR (BLB) 2009-10. 4316; LST (NKI) 2010-05. 3242; RF (NKI). 174Y.
1 A320-214 (CFM56-5B4/3) (3289, /07 D-ABDS), 174Y.
4 A320-214 (CFM56-5B4/3) (1775, D-ABNH, 2014-07; 2003, D-ABNE, 2013-12; 3422, /08 D-ABDT; 3516, /08 D-ABDU; 4581, D-ABHK, 2016-12), (GEF) LSD. 3422; RTND. 174Y.
9 A320-214 (CFM56-5B4/3) (3945, D-ABDW, 2009-06; 4013, D-ABDY, 2009-09; 4033, D-ABDZ, 2009-09; 4101, D-ABFA, 2009-11; 4128, D-ABFB, 2009-12; 4161, D-ABFC, 2010-01; 4187, D-AVVY, 2010-02; 4606, D-ABFP; 4631, D-ABFR; 6168, D-ABCL, 2014-06). 4187; LST BELAIR (BLB) 2010-02 AS (HB-IOP). 4606 TO EUROWINGS (RFG) 2016-12. 4631 (SMBC) AVIATION CAPITAL LSD 2017-02. 174Y.
1 A320-214 (CFM56-5B4/3) (6856, /15 D-ABNN), EX-(D-AXAW) (GEF) LSD 2015-11. 174Y.
1 A320-214 (CFM56-5B4/3) (6877, /15 D-ABNQ), EX-(D-AXAZ) (ICBC) LSG LSD 2015-11. 174Y.
1 A320-214 (CFM56-5B4/3) (7312, D-ABHB), EX-(D-AXAH) AVOLON LSD 2016-08. 174Y.
2 A320-216 (3080, D-ABZN; 3482, D-ABZF), EX-(EI-DSF & EI-DSP), AIRCRAFT PURCHASE COMPANY LSD 2015-07.
1 A320-216 (3128, D-ABZL), EX-(EI-DSH), AIRCRAFT PURCHASE COMPANY LSD
2 A320-216 (3502, D-ABZC; 3532, D-ABZA) TO AUSTRIAN AIRLINES (AUL) 2017-02.
2 A320-232 (V2527-A5) (1546, D-ANND; 1650, D-ANNF), (BLW) LSD 2007-01. 156Y.
1 A321-211 (CFM56-5B3/P) (1607, /01 D-ALSD), (BOC) LSD 2010-06. 210Y.
2 A321-211 (CFM56-5B3/P) (1966, /03 D-ABCF; 1988, /03 D-ABCG), (ILF) LSD 2009-11. 210Y.
3 A321-211 (CFM56-5B3/P) (1629, /01 D-ALSA; 1994, /03 D-ALSB; 2005, /03 D-ALSC), 2008-04. 210Y.
4 A321-211 (CFM56-5B3/3) (3708, /08 D-ABCA; 3749, D-ABCB, 2008-12; 4334, D-ABCC, 2010-06; 6432, D-ABCM, 2015-01), 210Y.
1 A321-211 (CFM56-5B3/3) (6454, D-ABCN), LAST REVENUE FLIGHT 2017-05, TRANSFERRED TO BELAIR (BLB). 210Y.
2 A321-211 (CFM56-5B3/3) (7171, D-ABCU; 7260, D-ABCV), AVOLON LSD 2016-08. 210Y.
3 A321-211 (CFM56-5B3/3) (4538, D-ABQR; 4539, D-ABQS; 4541, D-ABQT), EX-(OE-LCA; OE-LCC; OE-LCJ), 2016-12.
14 A330-223 (PW4168A) (288, /99 D-ABXA - - SEE INCDT REPORT - - DECEMBER 2012; 322, /00 D-ABXB; 403, /01 D-ALPA; 432, /01 D-ALPB; 444, /02 D-ALPC: 454, /02 D-ALPD; 469, /02 D-ALPE; 476, /02 D-ALPF; 493, /02 D-ALPG; 665, D-ABXC - - SEE PHOTO - - "BER-A330-223 - 2012-10;" 739, /06 D-ALPH; 802, /07 D-ABXG, 2017-01; 828, /07 D-ALPI; 911, /08 D-ALPJ), (ILF) LSD. 24C, 279Y.
0 A330-322 (PW4168) (120, /96 D-AERK), JAPAN LSG LSD 1996-03. RTND. LST I-FLY (FLY) 2013-05. 387Y.
1 A330-322 (PW4168) (127, /96 D-AERQ), GMT GLOBAL AVIATION LSD 1996-03. 387Y.
0 A330-322 (PW4168) (171, /97 D-AERS), CASTLE (CSL) LSD 1996-03. RTND. LST I-FLY 2011-12. 387Y.
0 B AE 146-200 (ALF502R-5) (E2028, /84 D-AMAJ; E2050, /86 D-AWUE; E3134, /89 BA), 3 RETIRED. 90Y.
0 B AE JETSTREAM SUPER 31'S. 4 RTND.
8 +2/10 ORDERS DASH 8-Q402 (PW-150A) (4223, /08 D-ABQA; 4226, /08 D-ABQB; 4231, /09 D-ABQC; 4234, /09 D-ABQD; 4239, /09 D-ABQE; 4245, /09 D-ABQF; 4250, /09 D-ABQG; 4256, /09 D-ABQH; 4264, /09 D-ABQI; 4538, D-ABQR; 4539, D-ABQS; 4541, D-ABQT), 2016-12. AIR BERLIN COLORS. 76Y.
3 F 100 (GER) WET-LSD 2004-03.
Click below for photos:
BER-1-Thomas Winkelmann - 2016-12.jpg
BER-1-WOLFGANG PROCK SCHAUER-ON L-2014-05
BER-JOACHIM HUNOLD - CEO - MAY07 - A
HANS-JOACHIM KORBER, CHAIRMAN OF EXECUTIVE BOARD.
JOHANNES ZURNIEDEN, CHAIRMAN.
JAMES HOGAN, VICE CHAIRMAN (BER) PLUS PRESIDENT & (CEO) ETIHAD AIRWAYS (EHD) - MAJOR SHAREHOLDER OF (BER) (29.21%).
THOMAS WINKELMANN, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO) AIRBERLIN (BER) (2017-02).
Thomas becomes the 4th airberlin (BER) (CEO) since 2011. Stefan Pichler decided to leave airberlin (BER) after 2 years as (CEO), and returned to Australia. Thomas took over the restructuring program that had been led by Stefan. The latest move in that program was the finalizing of a wet-lease agreement with the Lufthansa Group in which 38 airberlin (BER) Airbus A319/A320 aircraft are to be operated for Eurowings (EWG) and Austrian Airlines (AUL). From September 2006 - October 2015, Thomas was (CEO) of Lufthansa (DLH) low-cost carrier (LCC) subsidiary, Germanwings (RFG). He was appointed head of Lufthansa (DLH)’s hub in Munich on November 1, 2015.
STEFAN PICHLER, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO) AIRBERLIN (BER), EX-(APC)/(JZI)/(JMA)/(GUE)/(DLH) (2015-02), RESIGNED (2017-01).
Stefan took the helm to move Airberlin (BER) forward with its previously announced restructuring program. He is a 25+ year veteran of the air transport business, and joined (BER) from Fiji Airways (APC), where he was (CEO) and had been involved in its successful turnaround program. Before joining (APC), he was Managing Director & (CEO) of Kuwait’s Jazeera Airways (JZI). He was also (CCO) and Deputy (CEO) of Virgin Blue (PBI); he also launched V Australia (VAZ), where he served as Chairman.
Pichler was formerly Chairman & (CEO) of Thomas Cook AG (JMA)/(GUE) and also held various senior management positions at Lufthansa (DLH), culminating in a role as (CCO) and member of the executive board, accountable for sales and marketing world wide. Stefan was responsible for all group businesses and airline brands.
CAPTAIN OLIVER LACKMANN, MANAGING DIRECTOR FLYNIKI (2016-04).
Captain Oliver recently held the overall airBerlin (BER) executive responsibility for running all Operational activities, including Flight Operations, Crew Planning & Training, as well as Operations Compliance & Safety, Aviation Security, and Network Operations.
THOMAS SURITSCH, MANAGING DIRECTOR, EX-FLYNIKI (NKI) (2015-04), RETIRED (2016-04).
Thomas was promoted from (BER) VP Crew Operations.
NEIL MILLS, CHIEF STRATEGY & PLANNING OFFICER, EX-(PAL)/(FDB)/ROJ) (2016-02),
Neil was formerly Flydubai (FDB) (CFO) and SpiceJet (ROJ) (CEO). Most recently, he joined the Philippine Airlines (PAL) Group as (CEO) Advisor to lead their turnaround team. He is taking over responsibility for Network Planning & Alliances, Procurement & Subsidiaries Leisure Cargo and airberlin Technik as well as Facility Management.
WOLFGANG PROCK-SCHAUER, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO), EX-(CEO) BRITISH MIDLAND (BMA) & JET AIRWAYS (JPL) (2013-01), RESIGNED (2015-02) & ASSUMED POSITION AS CHIEF STRATEGY & PLANNING OFFICER AT (BER).
Wolfgang originally held this position when he joined the Airberlin Group in 2012. In this role, he will leverage his extensive network and revenue management experience in helping to reshape the networks of the airberlin (BER) Group and to deliver route profitability.
OLIVER IFFERT, CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER (COO) 2016-02).
Oliver leads Flight Operations, Cabin Crew, Network Operations, Airport Operations and Maintenance Systems. As a pilot (FC), he has been most recently Etihad Airways (EHD) VP Flight Operations. He will hold the overall executive responsibility for running all Operational activities, including Flight Operations, Crew Planning & Training, as well as Operations Compliance & Safety, Aviation Security, and Network Operations.
WERNER ROTHENBACHER, MANAGING DIRECTOR, AIR BERLIN (BER) TECHNIK (2014-08).
HELMUT WEIXLER, CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER (COO) & ACCOUNTS MANAGER (2014-08).
ARND SCHWIERHOLZ, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER (2015-04).
Arnd has been Deputy (CFO) since October 2014. In Arnd Schwierholz, the airberlin (BER) management board has gained a financial expert with >12 years of extensive experience in the field of airline finance. These skills will move forward the restructuring program at (BER),” board Chairman, Hans-Joachim Körber said. Arnd has held positions within (UBS) Investment Bank, and has experience as a company founder and as head of mergers & acquisitions for Deutsche Lufthansa (DLH). Before joining airberlin (BER), Schwierholz was (CFO) North America for (LSG) Sky Chefs, the catering subsidiary of Deutsche Lufthansa (DLH).
CHRISTOPH DEBUS, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER (COO) OPERATIONS & HUMAN RESOURCES (HR).
GOTZ AHMELMANN, AIRBERLIN (BER) CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER (CCO) (2014-07).
Gotz was previously VP Alliance, Strategies & Subsidiaries for Lufthansa (DLH).
MARCO CIOMPERLIK, DIRECTOR GROUP SYNERGIES (2016-02).
Marco was Chief Restructuring Officer and before that, was Chief Maintenance Officer (CMO), ex-Air Berlin Technik (2011-11). He will now focus on the commercial and administrative level of networking among the European airberlin partner airlines and will work closely together with the (CEO)s of all partner airlines.
JULIO RODRIGUEZ, CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER (CCO), EX-VUELING (VUZ) (2015-06).
MS MARTINA NIEMANN, CHIEF HUMAN RESOURCES (HR) OFFICER.
THILO SCHAFER, MANAGING DIRECTOR LEISURE CARGO, EX-(LUB) (2016-02).
Thilo was formerly Lufthansa Cargo (LUB) VP Global Handling. He will lead the company with Klaus Sieger, who in recent months has pressed ahead with the positive development at Leisure Cargo over 2015.
OLIVER LACKMANN, HEAD FLIGHT OPERATIONS (2013-04).
OLE ORVER, SENIOR VP NETWORK STRATEGY PLANNING (2015-04).
Ole was previously Qatar Airways (QTA) Senior VP Corporate Planning. Before that, he held various management positions at (LOT) Polish Airlines and the (SAS) Group.
UWE KATTWINKEL, SENIOR VP COMMUNICATIONS, EX-(TUI) (TUG) (2015-08).
Uwe was formerly with (TIU) (TUG) 2004-2013, where he headed Corporate Communications.
AAGE DUENHAUPT, SENIOR VP COMMUNICATIONS.
Aage as a former Lufthansa (DLH) and airberlin (BER) executive was hired by Airlines for Europe (A4E) in December 2015 as its Brussels-based Head of Communications. Aage began his aviation communications career with Lufthansa Technik (DLH) (LTK) in 2002, before moving on to several senior airline Public Relation (PR) roles with Lufthansa (DLH). Most recently, he was Senior VP Communications for airberlin (BER).
DESI BARKHUIZEN, SENIOR VP REVENUE MANAGEMENT & PRICING (2015-07).
OLE ORVER, SENIOR VP NETWORK STRATEGY PLANNING (2015-07).
ANDRE RAHN, SENIOR VP MARKETING.
JOHANNES GANSER, HEAD LOYALTY & PARTNERSHIPS.
WOLFGANG GRIMUS, HEAD NETWORK MANAGEMENT & DEVELOPMENT (2011-04).
STEFAN MAGIERA, VP CORPORATE SALES GERMANY, SUSTRIA & SWITZERLAND (2012-08).
HERMANN LINDNER, VP ENVIRONMENT & INFRASTRUCTURE.
SIEGFRIED OLIVO, DIRECTOR OF MAINTENANCE (TXLMMAB).
MICHAEL SIEMON, DIRECTOR OF QUALITY ASSURANCE (QA) & ENGINEERING MANAGER.
ELKE SCHUETT, DIRECTOR SALES PERSONNEL & GENERAL PURCHASING.
PETER HAUPTVOGEL, DIRECTOR COMMUNICATIONS.
MARTIN BIESEL, DIRECTOR INTERNATIONAL TRAFFIC RIGHTS (2011-09).
MICHAIL TOUNAS, BOEING FLEET MANAGER.
MARCUS PUFFER, MANAGER LOYALTY & PARTNERSHIPS DEPARTMENT (2011-11).
HARTMUT KUNKEL, MAINTENANCE MANAGER (2000-09).
MARC HEINICKE, EURO SHUTTLE MANAGER.