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Airberlin to drop Las Vegas, San Francisco and Vancouver while increasing service to American Airlines hubs

Airberlin (Berlin) is realigning its route map to increase its growing relationship with American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) while dropping non-AA hub destinations like Las Vegas, San Francisco and Vancouver. The German carrier is also increasing its already large presence at Palma de Mallorca in Spain. The airline issued the following statement:

Airberlin has strategically revised its route network for next summer. The timetable modifications have been designed to increase efficiency and mainly refer to the intercontinental routes to the USA as well as the airline’s hubs in Palma de Mallorca and Vienna. The important consideration was not to reduce but to transfer capacities, thereby enhancing the airline’s profile in strategic core markets. In future Airberlin will also be focusing even more on the synergies emerging from its association with its strategic partner Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) and the oneworld® carriers, to derive even greater benefit from the potential stemming from the existing alliances and partnership.

The United States are a strategic growth market for airberlin. This will continue to be the case in the future. By restructuring its network in North America, Airberlin has set the course for further growth in this market from summer 2013 onwards. The new nonstop service between Berlin and the American Airlines hub of Chicago (O’Hare) from March 2013 underpins the strategy of the second largest German airline as regards developing the existing synergies from that association.

Against this background, Airberlin will also be increasing its nonstop services to New York (JFK), Los Angeles and Miami from May 2013 onwards, while at the same time cancelling its seasonal nonstop flights from Düsseldorf to Las Vegas, San Francisco and Vancouver.

The restructuring of the North American network is therefore aimed at selectively weeding out low-frequency routes while simultaneously strengthening the strategically important, high-turnover routes and making the best use of a strong network of partners. Consequently both San Francisco and Las Vegas will continue to be available for booking as codeshare flights with American Airlines, since this airline operates a far more frequent service to these destinations than Airberlin – and throughout the year.

The expansion and optimization of services from Berlin and Düsseldorf to the American Airlines hubs of New York (JFK), Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago (O’Hare) is an important element in Airberlin’s network strategy for summer 2013. Consequently Airberlin will be increasing the number of nonstop flights between Düsseldorf and New York (JFK) from seven to ten flights per week, thereby ensuring greater timetable consistency with the same arrival and departure times throughout the year.

The number of flights from Düsseldorf to Miami is also being increased: from May 2013 a daily service will replace the previous five flights a week to this major US destination. Another new feature at Airberlin’s Düsseldorf hub is that the number of nonstop flights to Los Angeles will be increased from three to four per week. The flights are scheduled for Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Since the service from Berlin to Los Angeles will still continue in summer 2013 with three flights a week – on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays – Airberlin passengers will be offered a daily flight from Germany to West Coast USA from May 2013 onwards.

The times of the flights between Berlin and Los Angeles, a service that Airberlin has been offering since May 11, 2012, have also been optimized for better connections to and from destinations in Airberlin’s growth markets of Scandinavia and Russia. The service between Berlin and Miami is also being increased from three to five flights a week.

With 7.8 million passengers a year, the Airberlin group has been the carrier with the highest passenger volume at Majorca’s Son Sant Joan airport for nine consecutive years. With the start of its summer timetable, Airberlin will be transferring capacities to achieve a 12 percent increase in its services from Germany, Austria and Switzerland to Majorca, thereby further extending its market leadership on the Balearic Island. This means that in summer 2013 alone, Airberlin will be operating 402 flights a week to this Mediterranean destination. The move represents a 14 per cent increase on the previous summer (summer 2012: 352 nonstop flights a week from Germany). The summer will also see new additional flights to Palma de Mallorca from Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich.

Along with transferring its capacities, airberlin will be reducing the total number of destina-tions on the Spanish mainland available via a connecting flight from Majorca from 16 to 13. From summer 2013 passengers will therefore no longer be able to fly airberlin to Barcelona, Madrid and Santiago de Compostela via Majorca. Instead, airberlin plans to offer the route from Majorca to Madrid in cooperation with its oneworld partners starting in summer 2013. A new interline agreement with Vueling and Air Europa, which is also to come into effect in summer 2013, will allow passengers to carry on booking a connecting flight from Majorca to Barcelona via the airberlin website. Furthermore, airberlin will continue to operate its non-stop services from Berlin, Düsseldorf and Vienna to Barcelona. Both Barcelona and Madrid can also be reached from several German airports via non-stop flights operated by our codeshare partner Iberia.

While remaining at a total of 23 planes, the Niki (Vienna) fleet will be standardized to operate only Airbus aircraft. This total concentration on Airbus will increase the number of seats available on existing routes. The route network from Vienna will be expanded on the one hand by extending the range of services to new tourist destinations in Greece, such as Kalamata, Karpathos, Kavala, Lesbos and Volos, and on the other hand by increasing the frequency of flights to existing destinations in Egypt, Spain or Turkey.

In addition Airberlin is promoting its Eastern European services from its hub in the German capital. As a result, the services from Vienna to Sofia, Bucharest and Belgrade will no longer be offered as nonstop flights from Vienna as of summer 2013, but increasingly transferred to Berlin.

In summer 2013 passengers will have a choice of nine destinations in Eastern Europe (Warsaw, Krakow, Gdansk, Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Budapest, Sofia, Bucharest) from Berlin. The airline will also be offering nonstop flights to Riga, the Latvian capital, in conjunction with its codeshare partner airBaltic (Riga).

On the financial side, the company issued this statement for its third quarter:

Airberlin, Germany’s second-largest airline company, significantly improved its net income for the traditionally strong third quarter, in comparison with the previous year. At the same time, it was able to offset strongly increasing external cost through the successful efficiency-improvement program “Shape & Size”, which will lead to an improvement of EUR 230 million in operations this year.

In the third quarter, airberlin was able to increase its net income to EUR 66.6 million (2011: EUR 30.2 million), an increase of more than 120 percent over the corresponding quarter of the previous year. The operating result improved by 4.5 percent to EUR 101.2 million (EUR 96.8 million). Revenue increased by 1.4 percent over the previous year, to EUR 1,395.1 million (EUR 1,375.5 million), despite a targeted capacity reduction of 5.4 percent. Capacity utilization increased slightly by 0.4 percentage points to 84.54 percent (84.14 percent). Yield (revenue per passenger) improved by 3.1 percent to EUR 115.84 (EUR 112.39).  EBITDAR (Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and leasing expenses) increased by 3.8 percent to EUR 279.5 million (EUR 269.3 million). Total equity at the end of the quarter amounted to EUR 186.3 million, which corresponds to an equity ratio of eight percent.

Airberlin recorded a continuing reduction of direct operating costs – excluding fuel costs – as a result of the “Shape & Size” program, which yielded a contribution of EUR 70 million in the third quarter. Over this period, fuel costs increased by EUR 35 million.

Top Copyright Photo: Javier Rodriguez. Airbus A330-223 D-ABXB (msn 322), deployed on long-range and heavy routes, climbs away from the Palma de Mallorca base.



Bottom Copyright Photo: Eurospot. The seven Embraer ERJ 190s will now be phased out at Niki. ERJ 190-100LR OE-IHA (msn 19000285) completes its final approach into Palma de Mallorca.