Airberlin – General Information
Air Berlin is the second biggest airline in Germany after Lufthansa and the sixth biggest in Europe for transported passengers. The airline serves a broad network of regular and low-cost flights, including holiday destinations in the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands, North Africa and distant destinations in Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the United States. However, Air Berlin has concentrated the bigger part of its traffic in Germany and Europe, serving mainly for business trips. The company has flights to 23 cities in Germany – more than any other airline. The main base is located in the international airport – Berlin – Airport Bureau Center.
In 1978 the prior pilot from Pan Am Kim Lundgren and the general director of Modern Air Transport John McDonald established Air Berlin Inc. as an emergency American transporter with main base in Miami, Florida. The reason of that was the special status of West Berlin during the Cold War, whose air traffic from and to the city was limited only for airlines from the United States, United Kingdom and France. In addition the whole crew of the planes had to be from one of the listed counties. Thus, a new airline was established in order to satisfy the citizens’ needs from West Berlin.
The first flight was on 28 April 12, 1979 (from Berlin to Palma De Mallorca) with its first purchased plane of the company – Boeing 707-320.
With the union of Germany on 2 October 1990 (which put an end of the special status of Berlin) the airline was named Air Berlin. German investors acquired the bigger part of the company’s shares and a new era in the history of Air Berlin began. The next year the company is register under the German legislation when it became a member of IATA.
In January, 2004 Air Berlin announced its cooperation with Fly NIKI – an airline, with main base in Vienna, managed by the legendary pilot from Formula 1 – Niki Lauda. As a part of the deal Air Berlin acquired 24% of NIKI’s shares.
On 26 July, 2010 Air Berlin joined the Oneworld consortium.
Currently Air Berlin has flights to 168 destinations in 40 countries and has 148 planes. Most of them are Airbus A320-200 and Boeing 737-800, 39 planes from each model with an average age of 5 years.
Frequent Flyer Program
Like most airlines Air Berlin also has a bonus program for its regular passengers. Points (“Miles”) can be collected from every flight of Air Berlin and Fly NIKI, which subsequently can turn into free flights or benefit from some of the privileges which the companies are offering to its passengers.