36 Facts About Air Berlin


Air Berlin became a German-owned company in 1991, shortly after the reunification of Germany, and eventually joined the Oneworld alliance in 2012.

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Air Berlin introduced scheduled flights in 1997, initially linking a number of secondary German airports to Mallorca.

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In January 2004, Air Berlin announced it would cooperate with Niki, a Vienna-based airline.

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Air Berlin said the delay was due to rises in fuel costs and other market pressures limiting investor demand.

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In March 2007, Air Berlin took over German leisure airline LTU, gaining access to the long-haul market and becoming the fourth-largest airline group in Europe in terms of passenger traffic.

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On 21 August 2007, Air Berlin acquired a 49 percent shareholding in Swiss charter airline Belair, the remainder being owned by tour operator Hotelplan.

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Air Berlin claimed that Air Berlin was an international airline and was not obliged to use Catalan.

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In September 2008, Air Berlin confirmed merger talks with competitor TUIfly, but added it was speaking with all parties.

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Air Berlin had, until 2007, been flying many code-share TUI flights.

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Also in 2009, Air Berlin added Hartmut Mehdorn to the board of directors after his retirement at Deutsche Bahn.

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In July 2010, Air Berlin announced an increase in its shareholding in the Austrian airline Niki.

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Air Berlin founded Follow Me Entertainment GmbH in September 2010 as a joint venture with kick-media ag.

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Air Berlin announced on 19 December 2011 that the Abu Dhabi airline Etihad Airways had increased its share of Air Berlin from 2.

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On 11 May 2012 Air Berlin opened its triweekly non-stop flight from Berlin to Los Angeles in the summer schedule, a destination which until then had only been served from Dusseldorf.

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On 18 December 2012 Air Berlin announced that topbonus, its frequent flyer program, would be sold to Etihad Airways; only a 30-percent minority share would be retained.

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Air Berlin announced the expansion of the existing codeshare agreement with Etihad Airways on 20 December 2012.

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On 7 January 2013 Air Berlin appointed Austrian Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, former Chief Strategy and Planning Officer, as the company's CEO, replacing Hartmut Mehdorn.

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Air Berlin started flights between Berlin and Chicago on 23 March 2013.

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In March 2013 Air Berlin announced the closure of its seasonal hub for leisure destinations at Nuremberg Airport.

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Also in October 2014, Air Berlin announced the termination of flights to Palma de Mallorca from both Bremen Airport and Dortmund Airport, therefore withdrawing entirely from these two German airports.

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In November 2015, Air Berlin announced the closure of its Palma de Mallorca Airport hub by ceasing all of the hub's seven Spanish domestic routes by 3 April 2016.

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On 30 December 2015, the administrative court in Braunschweig ruled in favour of the German civil aviation authority and against Air Berlin regarding some of their codeshare operations with Etihad Airways.

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In July 2016, Air Berlin confirmed that it no longer owned any of the aircraft it operates, having sold and leased back the last of the aircraft it had previously owned.

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In July 2016, Air Berlin announced the increase of flights to the United States from 55 to 78 nonstops per week for 2017.

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In December 2016, Air Berlin announced Stefan Pichler's departure after serving two years as CEO and replacement by former head of Germanwings, Thomas Winkelmann on 1 February.

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Air Berlin, including its subsidiaries Belair and Niki, planned to cut 40 of its fleet of 118 narrowbody jets, leaving Air Berlin with its own fleet of 75 aircraft.

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In October 2016, Air Berlin announced plans to close four of its seven airberlin Technik maintenance facilities and lay off 500 of their staff.

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On 5 December 2016, Air Berlin announced plans to sell its entire 49-percent stake in its Austrian subsidiary Niki to its own minority owner, Etihad Airways.

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In January 2017, Air Berlin announced that for summer 2017, most leisure routes were to be either transferred to Niki or cancelled altogether and that some domestic and European city routes were to be dropped, leaving little more than the Berlin-Tegel and Dusseldorf hub operations.

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In May 2017, Air Berlin announced it would buy Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter entirely, in which it had a controlling stake since 2009.

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On 9 October 2017, Air Berlin told its staff that it would cease all remaining operations under its own AB flight numbers due to its negative financial outlook and bankruptcy proceedings.

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Air Berlin trained its own pilots since 2007 in a joint venture with the TFC Kaufer flight school.

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Air Berlin had its own maintenance and overhaul branch, airberlin technik with facilities in Berlin, Dusseldorf, Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Hamburg, and Nuremberg, which employed 1300 staff as of October 2016.

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In October 2016, Air Berlin announced it would close the technical bases in Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Nuremberg while laying off 500 staff due to restructuring measures.

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At the beginning of 2012, Air Berlin started the renewal of its long-haul cabin, equipping both economy class and business class with new seats and a new in-flight entertainment system.

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In contrast to European pure low-cost carriers, Air Berlin offered free in-flight snacks and drinks until September 2016.

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