airberlin set to join oneworld tomorrow20 March 2012
airberlin will become part of oneworld® tomorrow, adding the second biggest airline in Germany and the sixth biggest in Europe overall, to the world's premier global airline alliance. Austria's NIKI, also a member of the airberlin group, will join oneworld as an affiliate member at the same time - at start of operations on Tuesday 20 March 2012.
Its joining ceremony - which can be viewed live via webcast - will be the first airline media event at the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport, which will be airberlin's new home base and Europe's newest hub, when it opens on 3 June. It will also witness the first aircraft to appear in front of the new airport terminal - and the appearance of the first airberlin aircraft to be painted in the special oneworld alliance livery.
The event will be attended by the heads of all oneworld member airlines, hosted by airberlin Chief Executive Hartmut Mehdorn. They will include:
- American Airlines Chairman and Chief Executive, and Chairman of the oneworld Governing Board, Tom Horton.
- British Airways Chief Executive Keith Williams.
- Cathay Pacific Airways Chief Executive John Slosar
- Finnair President and Chief Executive Mika Vehvilainen
- IAG Chief Executive Willie Walsh.
- Iberia Chief Executive Rafael Sánchez-Lozano.
- Japan Airlines Chairman Masaru Onishi.
- LAN International Chief Executive Damian Scokin
- Qantas Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce.
- Royal Jordanian Chief Executive Hussein Dabbas.
- S7 Group Chief Executive Vladislav Filev.
- Member elect Malaysia Airlines Chief Executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya.
- oneworld CEO Bruce Ashby.
Also attending will be NIKI Managing Directors Christian Lesjak and Otmar Lenz.
You can watch airberlin's oneworld joining ceremony live via a webcast from 2 pm Berlin time (1 pm GMT) or on demand later. To view it, go to http://www.airberlin.com/oneworld_media Please note that this website will not be accessible until tomorrow (Tuesday) morning.
Since its launch in 1978, airberlin has grown into Germany's second largest airline - and the sixth biggest in Europe in terms of passengers boarded - after taking over dba and LTU and gaining stakes in Austria's NIKI and Switzerland's Belair.
It serves 162 destinations in 40 countries, carrying more than 35 million passengers in 2011. Its fleet comprises 170 aircraft with an average age of five years, making it one of the most modern and fuel efficient fleets in Europe, contributing towards a long-term reduction in emissions. The group employs 9,200 staff.
It has developed from its origins in the shorthaul leisure market to cater also for business travellers with its Euro Shuttle service providing high frequency connections between many of the continent's key destinations and now also flies longhaul. It offers the full-range of services associated with a full-service network carrier, including its frequent flyer programme topbonus, and, for Business Class passengers and top tier cardholders, lounges, priority check-in and, for all passengers, free drinks and meals or snacks on every departure.
On its shorthaul services, it offers a single-class cabin. On its longhaul routes, it offers two-classes, with a premium business cabin and individual in-flight entertainment screens for each passenger.
airberlin's hubs are Berlin Tegel (moving to Brandenburg in June), Dusseldorf, Palma de Majorca and Vienna. Among its international destinations, it serves oneworld hubs Helsinki, Los Angeles, Madrid, Miami, Moscow Domodedovo and New York JFK.
oneworld aims to be the airline alliance of choice for the world's frequent international travellers. It brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business - airberlin (from midnight tonight), American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN, Qantas, Royal Jordanian and S7 Airlines, and around 20 affiliates including Austria's NIKI, American Eagle, Dragonair, LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador and LAN Peru. Malaysia Airlines is on track to join later in 2012, with India's Kingfisher Airlines also a member elect. Malev Hungarian Airlines and Mexicana are inactive members of the alliance.
Between them, oneworld's active member airlines:
- Serve some 800 airports in 150 countries, with more than 8,750 daily departures.
- Offer more than 550 airport lounges for premium customers.
- Carry almost a million passengers a day on a combined fleet of nearly 2,500 aircraft.
- Generate some US$ 100 billion annual revenues in total.
oneworld enables its members to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. These include a broader route network, opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flyer miles and points across the combined oneworld network and more airport lounges. oneworld also offers more alliance fares than any of its competitors.
oneworld is current holder of more international awards for airline alliances than any of its competitors - named the Best Airline Alliance by Global Traveler in its GT Tested Reader Survey 2011 Awards for the second year running, the World's Leading Airline Alliance in the 2011 World Travel Awards, for the ninth consecutive year, and the Best Airline Alliance 2011 in Australian Business Traveller's debut awards.