Route Expansion

Air Berlin Suddenly Changes Course

Air Berlin's flock may not be culled after all. Credit: Imago/Jochen Tack
Air Berlin's flock may not be culled after all.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    • Air Berlin is in a partnership with Gulf airline Etihad that has verged on failure following ill-timed takeovers by charter competitors and a costly fleet expansion at a time when air travel demand was down.
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  • Facts

    Facts

    • Air Berlin suffered a €294 million operational loss last year.
    • Chief Executive Stefan Pichler orginally planned to cut unprofitable connections and 1,000 jobs.
    • But a surprise new strategy would reportedly focus on expanding long-distance connections.
  • Audio

    Audio

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The news from Air Berlin hasn’t been good lately. Just a few weeks ago, Chief Executive Stefan Pichler announced major cuts to the troubled airline’s service, particularly in Europe.

But it now appears that Air Berlin, Germany’s second-largest airline, has chosen to focus on expansion instead, with a surprise new plan set to be discussed by the supervisory board on Tuesday. 

Company insiders told Handelsblatt that the new concept would add connections to the United States, like Dallas for example, and possibly acquire two more Airbus A330s to service the new routes. There would still be cuts in Europe, but they wouldn’t be as severe as originally planned. Just four aircraft would be pulled from Air Berlin’s fleet instead of the 20 that had initially been discussed.

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