Air Berlin to join Oneworld in March

2 Feb 2012 by BusinessTraveller

Oneworld has confirmed Air Berlin will officially join the alliance on March 20, with subsidiary Niki also joining as an affiliate member.

The BA-founded alliance announced Germany’s second largest airline would be joining back in 2010 (see online news July 27, 2010), and a statement said that Air Berlin has “received its green light to board Oneworld after successfully completing a thorough review of its readiness conducted by British Airways, which is sponsoring its entry into the alliance, with the Oneworld central team”.

Austrian airline Niki, a subsidiary of the Air Berlin group, will also join Oneworld as an affiliate member.

Oneworld currently has 12 full members (although Mexicana’s membership is described as “inactive” since the carrier suspended operations in 2010), as well as around 20 affiliate members.

Oneworld says Air Berlin will add almost 70 destinations to the alliance’s network. Its inauguration come ahead of the carrier’s move into the new Brandenburg airport in Berlin this June.

Kingfisher Airlines is also scheduled to join Oneworld this month (see online news December 12, 2011), and Malaysia Airlines is set to join later this year (see online news June 6, 2011).

Often viewed as a low-cost carrier, Air Berlin offers free snacks and drinks on flights, as well as complimentary newspapers, assigned seating, and a frequent flyer loyalty scheme. Rival German carrier Lufthansa is a founding member of Star Alliance.

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Report by Mark Caswell

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