In anticipation of joining the Oneworld airline alliance in 2012, the German carrier Air Berlin has signed codeshare agreements with American Airlines and Finnair. Information posted to Air Berlin’s website on Tuesday explains that these arrangements will give Air Berlin’s customers convenient access to many destinations in Asia, and also to many destinations in North America.
The President and the CEO of American Airlines and Air Berlin respectively, Tom Horton and Joachim Hunold respectively, told the press they were “pleased” and “very pleased,” respectively, at the agreement. The President of Finnair, Mika Vehviläinen meanwhile, was “delighted” at the intent of Air Berlin to join the Oneworld airline alliance, and noted that customers of Air Berlin, through partnership with Finnair, would gain "first class access to destinations in Asia." British Airways will act as the alliance sponsor for Air Berlin.
Indeed, geographically, Air Berlin now stands to gain indirect access to a number of new destinations on both sides of its base. As of this post, it directly operates flights to only seven North American destinations non-stop, year-round. And it directly operates flights to only seven Asian destinations, non-stop, year-round, only two of which are located in the eastern part of Asia. The new partnership significantly increases the number of flights available to customers of Air Berlin.
Finnair was founded in 1923. Its main offices are in the Finnish capital of Helsinki, and its largest hub is Vantaa Airport in Helsinki (IATA: HEL; ICAO: EFHK). Finnair flies non-stop to ten Asian cities. Eight of those are in the eastern part of Asia.
American Airlines was founded in 1930 in New York, when dozens of smaller airlines combined to form American Airways. The company moved its main offices to Dallas, Texas in 1979. American’s main hub is Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (IATA: DFW; ICAO: KDFW).
Air Berlin is a German airline operating a semi-low-cost business model. It is the second-largest German-based airline behind Lufthansa. 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. The airline 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.
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