The day finally arrived: airberlin took off for the first time from Berlin to Chicago, thus becoming the first airline with a nonstop connection from the German capital to the city on Lake Michigan
After Fort Myers, Los Angeles, Miami and New York, Chicago is now the fifth US destination to which airberlin flies nonstop from Germany. Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, CEO airberlin, and Hartmut Mehdorn, Chief Executive of Berlin Brandenburg Airport, inaugurated the new connection in an official ceremony at Tegel Airport attended by special guests Klaus Wowereit, Governing Mayor of Berlin, and James Melville, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of the United States of America. Flight AB7420 took off at 10:00 from Berlin-Tegel and landed at 13:10 local time at the fourth largest airport in the world, Chicago O’Hare International Airport.
Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, CEO airberlin, made the following statement on the occasion of the inaugural flight event: “The addition of the new connection between Berlin and Chicago is in line with our network strategy for 2013. With this nonstop service we are not only strengthening our Berlin hub, but at the same time continuing to build up our presence in the USA which is a strategically important growth market for airberlin. The Midwest is a major economic and industrial centre, and Chicago is the trade and logistics centre of the United States of America. At the same time, this new connection enables us to further maximise the synergies available with our oneworld® partner American Airlines. Starting today, we will extend the existing American Airlines codeshare agreement in the U.S. by 41 connecting destinations from Chicago.”
Klaus Wowereit, the Governing Mayor of Berlin, added: “The nonstop service from Berlin to Chicago makes a strong mark on international aviation and is an important step in the expansion of our transatlantic connections. Thanks to airberlin’s commitment, our city is directly connected to the third-largest metropolis in the United States. The foundation for new economic and cultural contacts has been laid. I will be speaking locally with my Chicago colleague Rahm Emanuel and business representatives about the opportunities opening up for Berlin as a result of this.”
Hartmut Mehdorn, Chief Executive Officer of Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH: “airberlin’s new long-haul service to Chicago further boosts the appeal of Berlin-Brandenburg as an aviation location. Passengers can now fly from Tegel Airport to four cities in the United States: Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and New York. I am very pleased that airberlin is continuing to expand its hub in Berlin.”
James Melville, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of the United States of America: „We are delighted that the United States is the favorite long-distance travel destination for Germans and we want to give a warm welcome to everybody who comes to us as a tourist or business traveler, for education or family visits.”
The 295 guests enjoyed jazz music, mini burgers and cupcakes at the gate in anticipation of their flight to Chicago. The flight guests include a Berlin delegation with Klaus Wowereit, the Governing Mayor of Berlin, as well as airberlin CEO Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, who will be marking the occasion of the maiden flight by visiting the third largest city in the US and meeting with business and media representatives there.
airberlin operates the service on its new route to Chicago on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays with an Airbus A330-200. Starting 1st May, Germany’s second largest airline will also fly every Wednesday and Sunday, thus increasing the number of weekly flights from three to five. With the optimal departure times in Berlin, airberlin currently offers feeder flights from eight German cities as well as twelve further European destinations including Helsinki, Krakow, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Stockholm, Vienna and Zurich. The connecting flights to Chicago via Berlin are particularly attractive for travellers from Warsaw, the new European destination in the airberlin route network. In the U.S. airberlin offers its flight guest, due to the expanded codeshare agreement with the oneworld partner American Airlines, also numerous connections from all airberlin destinations in North America in almost every region in the United States. Travellers from Berlin can easily reach major American cities such as Minneapolis, New Orleans and Seattle with only one stop via Chicago.
All flights can be booked online at airberlin.com, through the airline’s 24-hour Service Center at 030 / 3434 3434 (local rates apply) or at a travel agency.