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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Xetra  >  Air Berlin Plc    AB1   GB00B128C026


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Air Berlin Plc : airberlin comfort service: new benefits for frequent flyers and business travellers »

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03/07/2012 | 06:47am EST


airberlin comfort service: new benefits for frequent flyers and business travellers

• strategic partnership between airberlin and Etihad Airways
• airberlin becomes a full member of the global airline alliance oneworld®
• intensified activity at the Berlin, Dusseldorf und Vienna hubs
• new: the topbonus Platinum Card for frequent flyers
• two years of business points: 10,000 members

The main areas of focus for airberlin in 2012 are the strategic partnership with Etihad Airways, membership in the global airline alliance oneworld, intensified activity at its hubs both at its future home base at Berlin-Brandenburg (BER), but also in the expansion of the hubs in Dusseldorf and Vienna and the continuation of its comfort initiative. airberlin CEO Hartmut Mehdorn said: "In collaboration with our new partner Etihad Airways and as a member of the oneworld airline alliance, we are able to offer our customers a significantly improved and more attractive range of flights, as well as the opportunity to earn topbonus award and status miles on all flights with Etihad Airways and across the entire network of the oneworld Alliance. Award miles can be redeemed for award flights all over the world. airberlin is thus taking the next step towards even greater globalisation. We are systematically implementing the comfort initiative which we began last year."

Strategic partnership with Etihad Airways

On 19th December 2011 airberlin and Etihad Airways announced that they were entering into a strategic partnership. The two airlines transport a total of over 40 million customers each year and operate 233 aircraft. Their combined route network covers 239 destinations in 77 countries. The hub in Abu Dhabi offers airberlin customers a gateway to Africa, Asia and Australia. Etihad Airways already markets numerous airberlin flights, such as those from Berlin to Austria and Switzerland and from Dusseldorf to Miami and New York. Good connections to Spain via Dusseldorf and Munich are also available for Etihad Airways passengers. The frequent flyer programs of the two airlines are integrated so that topbonus members can earn status and award miles on all flights operated by Etihad Airways.

Membership in the oneworld airline alliance

Following just 20 months of intense preparation, Germany's second largest airline will become a full member of the global airline alliance oneworld on 20th March. airberlin's membership in the alliance will add another 70 destinations to the oneworld network. oneworld will then offer flights to 800 destinations in 150 countries with a total of around 9,000 departures every day. The combined fleet amounts to 2,500 aircraft. airberlin has already set up active codeshare agreements with American Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Royal Jordanian, S7 and Japan Airlines. airberlin's frequent flyer program is already integrated with the frequent flyer programs of several other oneworld members. From 20th March 2012 topbonus members will be able to earn and redeem award miles on the entire network of the oneworld Alliance.

Further expansion of the hub at the BER home airport in Berlin

airberlin recorded a total of approximately 7.9 million flight guests in 2011 alone and in the same period, airberlin operated over 70 nonstop flights from Berlin. One third of the airline's passengers depart from Berlin. Since 2010 airberlin has expanded its hub in the German capital and initiated a hub structure based on six waves of traffic. During peak times, up to 24 airberlin aircraft can land and the airline records a total of up to 17,000 connecting passengers every week. The expansion of the hub also means improved connectivity for customers of airberlin's codeshare partners. At the new Berlin airport (BER), airberlin expects up to 750 flights per week and 10,500 connecting flights. There are three new connections weekly to Los Angeles and two new flights weekly to Danzig. airberlin offers three nonstop long-haul connections from Berlin to Abu Dhabi, Los Angeles, Miami, New York (JFK) and Windhoek. Just recently, airberlin has started flying to Budapest on a daily basis. The nonstop connections to Abu Dhabi, Krakow and New York will be extended to daily services, as will the connection to Bangkok and Phuket via Abu Dhabi. With the start of the summer schedule, flights to Stuttgart, Vienna, Gothenburg, Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm will also be increased in number.

Expansion of the Dusseldorf hub

airberlin is also offering new connections and an increased number of flights from its hub in Dusseldorf. There will be a new daily connection to Abu Dhabi from 25th March and a new weekly flight to Mombasa. In future, airberlin will offer two flights per week on the route from Dusseldorf to Las Vegas, making the airline the largest provider of nonstop flights from Dusseldorf. In addition, the number of flights offered to the USA will be increased to five weekly departures to Miami and three connections per week to San Francisco. airberlin will operate flights from Dusseldorf to Palma de Mallorca 38 times a week. The number of departures to Naples, Venice and Vienna will also be increased.

Increased activity at the Vienna hub

The hub in Vienna will see a growth in activity through the new connections to Eastern Europe. airberlin operates flights several times a day to Sofia and Bucharest (3 departures a day) and to Belgrade (twice daily). These flights are scheduled at times which are particularly attractive for business travellers. There are up to six flights every day from German airports to the hub in Vienna.

topbonus frequent flyer program: Introduction of the topbonus Platinum Card

airberlin is constantly extending its topbonus frequent flyer program. At the start of this year, airberlin was the first airline to enable customers to earn status and award miles when paying with their airberlin credit card. This allows frequent flyers to maintain their status or to reach the next status level more quickly. On 20th March topbonus will introduce the new Platinum status for its most active frequent flyers who have collected 100,000 topbonus status miles within twelve months This status level includes privileges such as Platinum Service with a personal customer service team, upgrade vouchers for Business Class on airberlin flights or a topbonus Silver Card for the member's partner. The topbonus Platinum Card is equivalent to oneworld's Emerald status and allows the holder to use oneworld status benefits, such as access to oneworld First Class lounges across the entire oneworld network. Gold status corresponds to oneworld's Sapphire status and holders of a topbonus Silver Card can enjoy the same benefits as oneworld members with Ruby status. On 20th March, all topbonus status cardholders will receive a new topbonus Card which shows their corresponding oneworld status. Silver Card and Gold Card holders who have not reached Platinum status will keep their current status.

The 10,000th member of the business points program

Just two years after it was introduced, airberlin's business points program has more than 10,000 registered customers from small and medium-sized companies. Today, during the International Tourism Fair (ITB), airberlin CEO Hartmut Mehdorn congratulated Roman Schikorsky, managing director of Berlin's mmpro GmbH, on being the 10,000th member of the corporate program for small and medium-sized companies. "The business points program is especially popular with small and medium-sized companies, which do not have their own travel departments, because it can be managed online and involves hardly any administrative burden," explains airberlin CEO Hartmut Mehdorn. Other advantages of the program are the crediting of points immediately after departure, the ability to book award flights online on the day of departure (subject to availability), or free rebooking of an award flight on the day of departure. "This really sets us apart from our competitors and provides added value for our customers," says Mehdorn.

Press contact:
Uwe Berlinghoff
Senior Vice President Communications airberlin
Phone: +49 30 3434 1500
Fax: +49 30 3434 1509
email: abpresse@airberlin.com

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