Airberlin, the German budget airline, will become a full member of the Oneworld airline alliance with effect from March 20, 2012. Austrian budget airline NIKI, which is a member of the Airberlin group, will also join Oneworld as an affiliate member.
This means Airberlin will offer the full range of services, such as frequent flyer points, available to Oneworld members. The addition of Airberlin substantially expands the alliance’s network in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, and throughout South and Central Europe. It will add almost 70 destinations to the alliance’s map, extending Oneworld’s global coverage to some 840 destinations in 150 countries.
oneworld CEO Bruce Ashby said: “airberlin makes an ideal oneworld partner. It has an excellent reputation for customer service – right in line with oneworld’s focus on quality. oneworld already features five of Europe’s best airlines. Adding the continent’s sixth biggest carrier and the second largest airline based in the continent’s biggest economy will greatly enhance our coverage throughout this region and, with the other airlines joining us this year, position oneworld more strongly still as the alliance of choice, particularly for global business travellers.”
airberlin CEO Hartmut Mehdorn added: “Becoming a member of oneworld is one of the most significant departures so far for airberlin. It will strengthen our competitive position considerably, enabling us to offer our customers a truly global network together with our partners who include some of the best and biggest airlines in the world, while enabling us also to tap into all the financial benefits that come from being part of a global alliance, through additional passenger feed and participation in various efficiency programmes. We are very pleased and proud to be lining up to join what is clearly the world’s top quality airline grouping on 20 March.”