Last month we reported that Eurowings would be expanding at Munich by acquiring a number of A320s from Air Berlin.
But now it appears that, although all the new routes will proceed, they are likely to be flown by Air Berlin itself (rather than Eurowings).
The news is reported by consultancy CAPA and would suggest that, if this development happens at Munich, it may also extend to Frankfurt.
There are several reasons for this:
- The A320s in question are already in service with Air Berlin
- Air Berlin (a member of Oneworld) is more experienced at operating business routes than is Eurowings
- Until now it’s been Lufthansa policy to provide a better product for connecting passengers at its twin hubs of Frankfurt and Munich. That is why, at present, these flights are operated by Lufthansa mainline
- Air Berlin recently introduced business class (albeit one row)
As previously reported, the finances of Gulf airline Etihad have been hit by the current low price of oil.
And that is why it can no longer afford to fund loss-making carriers such as Air Berlin (owned 30 per cent by Etihad) and Alitalia (owned 49 per cent by Etihad).
Now comes news from aerotelegraph.com that Austria’s Niki (also partly owned by Air Berlin/Etihad) will axe all 14 of its city routes in Europe at the end of this month.
The routes in question depart Vienna to mainly business destinations. These include: Barcelona, Hamburg, Hanover, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Rome, Stockholm, Valencia and Zurich.
Instead, according to reports, Niki will concentrate on serving leisure destinations from major airports in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Finally, Niki will drop its sole Gulf route. After three years Niki will drop its Vienna-Abu Dhabi service on March 6.