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airberlin Expands Codeshares with oneworld Partners

Search ASIA Travel Tips .com Send to Friend ASIA Travel Tips.com Latest Travel News Tuesday, 14 June 2011

airberlin's CEO Joachim Hunold has said that becoming a member of the global airline alliance oneworld has been one of the most important business decisions since the company's public offering.

At airberlin's Annual General Meeting in London last week, Hunold said, "International networking offers a huge opportunity for growth. Therefore, we have already concluded codeshare agreements with American Airlines, Finnair and S7. The contracts with Iberia and British Airways will follow shortly."

Plus, from 20 June 2011, airberlin's most recent transatlantic flight – Berlin/New York – will codeshare with American Airlines.

Membership in oneworld provides the prerequisites for connecting to important markets in America and Asia. airberlin passengers will be able to earn bonus miles on all flights operated by the 13 oneworld partners, and will be able to check through to 900 airports in 150 countries.

"Although the cost of becoming a member of the oneworld alliance will run in the lower two-digit millions, in the long term, under normal circumstances, we are expecting clear annual additional returns that exceed this one-time cost," Hunold said. "The most important task lies in establishing compatibility with the booking systems of our future partners. To a large extent, this would have been necessary, even if we had decided not to become a member of oneworld, namely it would have been imperative to meet the current market requirements."

At the start of 2011, airberlin, the German market leader in Northern Africa, was faced with flight cancellations, and thus loss of revenue, due to the political unrest in Egypt and Tunisia. "Flights to these two countries are still being booked reluctantly, and the increased capacities to the Canary Islands cannot entirely make up for this loss," Hunold explained. "The company is also burdened by the German air travel tax, which, for airberlin, constitutes approximately 4% of total revenue, and the increased cost of kerosene. Furthermore, the air travel tax leads to a distortion of competition, since freight and transit connections are exempt from this tax."

airberlin does however see the opening of the Berlin-Brandenburg International (BBI) Airport in June 2012, together with its upcoming membership in oneworld, as a huge opportunity for growth.

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