Air Berlin Invited To Join Oneworld

GERMANY’S SECOND largest carrier, Air Berlin, is set to join the oneworld global alliance after accepting an invitation from sponsor British Airways (BA) to join the grouping.  A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed in late July and a formal alliance agreement is expected to be confirmed in the coming months, thus enabling the airline to be incorporated into oneworld in early 2012, ahead of the opening of the new Brandenburg International Airport in Berlin.
“Joining a global alliance is the logical next step in Air Berlin’s development,” explained Air Berlin Chief Executive Joachim Hunold.  “Becoming part of oneworld would be one of the most significant departures so far for our airline, enabling us to offer our customers a truly global network served by partners who include some of the best and biggest airlines in the world.”
As the first stage towards its membership, Air Berlin will begin co-operative agreements with American Airlines and Finnair this winter and bilateral agreements with BA and Iberia are planned to follow.  Under the terms of the preliminary agreement Air Berlin’s Austrian partner Niki will become an affiliate member of the alliance.