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
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
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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