Last Thursday, American Airlines (AA) announced via its website that it launched the codeshare partnership negotiated this past July, with the second-largest airline based in Germany, Air Berlin. Only very few details were released by American Airlines about which flights operated by each of the carriers are part of this new codeshare. But in the press release, American identified its three North American "cornerstone markets" as Kennedy International Airport in New York (IATA: JFK; ICAO: KJFK), Miami International Airport in Florida (IATA: MIA; ICAO: KMIA), and Los Angeles International Airport in California (IATA: LAX; ICAO: KLAX). And Air Berlin connects to each of those three American airports from its hub in Düsseldorf through its wholly-owned subsidiary LTU International. (Air Berlin plans to fly a Berlin-New York non-stop route beginning next May.) One therefore imagines that, at the least, the Air Berlin trans-Atlantic routes involving these three American cities, will be part of the codeshare.
Also according to the agreement, members of the American Airlines frequent flyer program traveling on flights operated by Air Berlin but booked under an American Airlines flight number, can put miles earned from the flights operated by Air Berlin toward American Airlines frequent flier rewards. In anticipation of Air Berlin's expected admission to the Oneworld airline alliance in early 2012, the two airlines are working toward a more comprehensive, reciprocal arrangement allowing members of Air Berlin's frequent flier program similar privileges, when flying routes operated by American Airlines.
This codeshare also extends to Air Berlin's "strategic partner," the Austrian semi-low-fare carrier Niki. Air Berlin's expected admission to the Oneworld airline alliance in early 2012 is also planned to coincide roughly with the grand opening of Berlin's brand new international airport. The new facility is expected to entirely replace the already closed (in 2008) Tempelhof Airport south of central Berlin, and the currently operational Tegel Airport northwest of the city (IATA: TXL; ICAO: EDDT), which is expected to close in 2012, and where Air Berlin holds a plurality of the passenger market share. Another Berlin airport, Schönefeld southeast of the city (IATA: SXF; ICAO: EDDB) will be expanded and adapted to form part of the new facility, which itself will be named after former West German Chancellor Willy Brandt, and will also be called Brandenburg International Airport.
American Airlines was founded in 1930 in New York, when dozens of smaller airlines combined to form American Airways. It now operates 621 aircraft to 260 destinations, in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. It is the second-largest airline in the world by the former measure, and is the world’s third-largest airline by the latter measure. The company moved its main offices to Dallas, Texas in 1979. This relocation was criticized as a betrayal by then-New York mayor Ed Koch. American’s main hub is Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (IATA: DFW; ICAO: KDFW), and its main offices are in Dallas.
Air Berlin is a German airline operating a semi-low-fare business model. Air Berlin was formed in the American state of Oregon in 1978 as Air Berlin USA, by former employees of Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) and the supplemental carrier Modern Air Transport. It acquired LTU International in March 2007. It operates 148 aircraft to 154 destinations in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America. Air Berlin relocated to the German city whose name it shares, in 1985. It has hubs in the German cities of Berlin, Düsseldorf, and Nuremberg, and also on the Spanish island of Mallorca.
Air Berlin makes codeshare agreements with Finnair and American (July 29, 2010)