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Etihad and Airberlin Expand Partnership

Etihad and Airberlin Expand Partnership

Etihad Airways and airberlin have unveiled an Airbus A320 aircraft in specially designed joint livery, symbolising the close ties between the two airlines and marking the launch of a new ‘Moving Forward’ media campaign.

Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, Chief Executive, airberlin (centre left) and James Hogan, President and Chief Executive, Etihad Airways (centre right), celebrate the unveiling of a new airberlin-Etihad Airways joint liveried aircraft in Berlin

Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, Chief Executive, airberlin (centre left) and James Hogan, President and Chief Executive, Etihad Airways (centre right), celebrate the unveiling of a new airberlin-Etihad Airways joint liveried aircraft in Berlin

At the event in Berlin, Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, airberlin’s Chief Executive, and James Hogan, Etihad’s President and Chief Executive and Vice-Chairman of airberlin, gave details of how air travellers will continue to benefit from the special partnership and the progress made in the first two years.

Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said: “The comprehensive commercial partnership with Etihad Airways has brought many benefits to airberlin, including our shares of joint revenues of €200 million, which is an integral part of our turnaround programme.

“Partnerships are vital in today’s aviation industry. Our partnership provides significant benefits to Etihad Airways and airberlin, as well as to our guests. Not only do we provide an expanded offering of destinations and services, we also have developed synergies through the entire value chain.

“This means an increasingly attractive offer with numerous benefits for customers, and continuously improved productivity and lower costs. The positive response from our guests illustrates that we are on the right path.”

Following the implementation of joint codesharing across the networks, both airlines will strengthen the commercial partnership in 2014. That will include the expansion of joint sales operations, building on the current services provided by 17 joint sales offices located around the world, and representation in more than 50 international markets.

Airberlin’s expertise in the tourism sector, an important pillar of its business, will also continue to be central to marketing the combined network.

The developments in the commercial partnership are set to further increase the number of passengers who fly on the airberlin and Etihad Airways network, which currently serves 228 destinations in 84 countries.

James Hogan said: “Since the launch of the partnership two years ago, commercial ties between Etihad Airways and airberlin have deepened significantly. This has increased the destinations and flight options for guests and enabled both airlines to carry nearly 900,000 guests across the two networks.

“During this time airberlin’s new business strategy has made great progress and Etihad Airways continues to place its full support behind the airline and its management. We are confident that airberlin is on the right path back to profitability and the next phase in the airline’s proud history.”

A new joint ‘Moving Forward’ media campaign will be launched in January and run until March 2014 and will see the new partnership logo of the two airlines featured in advertising and marketing across Germany.

James Hogan added: “During its 35 years of operations, airberlin has established itself as one of Europe’s leading business and leisure airlines, regularly carrying more than 30 million passengers each year.

“This strong history and heritage, as well as its great potential, attracted Etihad Airways to make the equity investment and establish the commercial partnership, and this long term commitment remains key to the Etihad Airways business strategy.”

Etihad and airberlin and operate 42 weekly flights between destinations in Germany and Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. This will increase to 49 weekly flights in February 2014 when a second daily Munich flight commences.

In 2013, 563,000 common codeshare passengers flew across the two networks, a 74% increase on the previous year. Currently, 66 airberlin routes carry Etihad Airways’ EY code and 33 Etihad Airways’ routes carry airberlin’s AB flight code.

Wolfgang Prock-Schauer announced new routes for this year: “We shall continue to expand the joint route network with Etihad Airways and look forward to offering airberlin guests new codeshare destinations in India, Australia and South Korea.”

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, copywriter, editor and proofreader for 50 years, and News & Features Editor for ‘Irish Travel Trade News’ for the past 40 years.

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