airberlin’s still evolving network strategy sees more than 30 routes dropped and over 40 added during the last year
Germany’s second biggest airline (and future oneworld member), airberlin now operates an extremely mixed fleet of almost 150 aircraft ranging from 76-seat Q400s to 387-seat A330-300s. This gives it the flexibility to operate a wide variety of routes from long-haul flights to Bangkok and New York, to short domestic routes such as those to the island of Sylt.
With significant profitability still proving somewhat elusive, the airline has been busy refining its network, especially in light of the introduction of ‘eco-taxes’ in Germany and Austria. Analysis undertaken by anna.aero on OAG schedule data for August 2010 and August 2011 has identified 34 routes which were operated last summer with at least two weekly flights and that are no longer served this summer.
|From||To (Weekly Frequency in August 2010)|
|Berlin Schönefeld (SXF)||Palma de Mallorca (4)|
|Berlin Tegel (TXL)||Cairo (2), Gdansk (4), Memmingen (12)|
|Cologne/Bonn (CGN)||Bari (5), Cagliari (3), Faro (2), Innsbruck (2), Klagenfurt (5), Pisa (3), Rimini (3), Venice (5)|
|Düsseldorf (DUS)||Bourgas (2), Krakow (4), Paris Orly (14), Tenerife Norte (2), Varna (2)|
|Frankfurt (FRA)||Malaga (3)|
|Hannover (HAJ)||Catania (2), London Stansted (13), Naples (2), Olbia (2), Venice (2)|
|Münster/Osnabruck (FMO)||Rome Fiumicino (3)|
|Karlsruhe/Baden (FKB)||Vienna (12)|
|Nuremberg (NUE)||London Stansted (11), Milan Malpensa (7), Nice (2), Venice (2)|
|Paderborn (PAD)||Alicante (4)|
|Stuttgart (STR)||Bari (5), Brindisi (2), Valencia (3)|
|Vienna (VIE)||Innsbruck* (18)|
|Source: OAG iNet schedules for August 2010 and August 2011
*Operated by niki
The introduction of the Austrian departure tax appears to have put paid to the domestic route between Vienna and Innsbruck, which partner niki began operating in November 2008. The decision to axe the double-daily German domestic route between Berlin Tegel and Memmingen at the end of last October means that airberlin no longer serves the Bavarian airport. This is a route that has been operated from Memmingen since the airport opened four summers ago, initially by TUIfly.com, but then taken over by airberlin at the start of the winter 2009 season.
The Hannover flights to London Stansted were moved to London Gatwick in early February, but this service too will end on 14 August. Nuremberg flights to London Stansted were also moved to London Gatwick and continue to operate throughout the summer period.
Over 40 new routes started during the same period
It should be noted that during the same period, airberlin has started over 40 new routes, notably at least 10 routes from both Berlin Tegel and Düsseldorf. New routes to Italy account for around a quarter of all the frequencies associated with the new routes, while the highest profile new route was the Berlin Tegel to New York JFK service, which launched at the beginning of May with four weekly flights.