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Air Berlin to change network, sell frequent flyer

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Airline to better align with Etihad and oneworld partners

Air Berlin is planning to boost earnings for 2012 with a fourth-quarter sale of a majority stake in its frequent flyer program, topbonus. As the carrier’s CEO Hartmut Mehdorn put it, “We have decided to migrate topbonus into a new entity and sell the majority of it.” The topbonus program has more than 3 million members and 120 partners.
Air Berlin has also revealed plans to change its network to better align it with part-owner Etihad Airways and oneworld alliance partners such as American Airlines.
It will restructure its North America network, starting a new non-stop Berlin Tegel-Chicago route and boosting frequencies to JFK, Los Angeles and Miami, while replacing seasonal flights from Dusseldorf to LA, San Francisco and Vancouver with a codeshare with American.
It will “weed out” low-frequency routes, for example to Barcelona, Madrid and Santiago de Compostela via Majorca. But it will add capacity to Palma de Mallorca, Egypt, Spain, Turkey and to Greek holiday destinations.
ATW

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