Airberlin to install Etihad business class on long-haul flights

By John Walton, April 23 2012
Airberlin to install Etihad business class on long-haul flights

Airberlin is planning to install Etihad's popular fully flat business class beds in all its long-distance planes, which means a more comfortable sleep, direct aisle access and better privacy. 

The airline, which is partner to both Qantas and Etihad, hopes that superior seats will woo business travellers onto its Germany-bound flights.

"At first, we will offer the new Business Class on our flights from Abu Dhabi to Germany and from Abu Dhabi to Thailand (flights operated by airberlin)," an airberlin spokesperson told Australian Business Traveller.

"Airberlin wants to offer a product comparable to Etihad Airways Business Class to all guests flying on airberlin/Etihad Airways codeshare flights from Abu Dhabi to Germany or to Thailand."

"We plan to refit all long-haul aircraft (A330-200) with the new Business Class [which will take] until the end of 2013. They will then operate on all airberlin long-haul routes," the spokesperson told us.

Until then, the Berlin-based airline's seats at present are either a relatively uncompetitive recliner or a newer angled lie-flat seat.

Take a look at our guide to the different styles of business class seat and cabin layout if you need a refresher on why airberlin's recliners and lie-flats are being retired in favour of Etihad's beds.

You'll find airberlin's current offering on its flights from Abu Dhabi to Berlin and Düsseldorf, which connect to Etihad's Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane services.

Airberlin is a Qantas partner through the oneworld alliance and an Etihad partner after the Abu Dhabi-based carrier (a Virgin Australia partner itself) made a sizeable investment in the German airline.

Don't be worried if you're confused by the tangled web of partnerships there, which means you could fly on an airberlin plane, earn points in the Etihad Guest frequent flyer program to redeem for Virgin Australia flights, and hop into a oneworld airline lounge with your Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold or Platinum card. 

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.


15 Apr 2011

Total posts 580

Are the seats going to be completely identical, or will there be changes to the colour scheme/fabrics/IFE etc? This certainly sounds like an enormous improvement...

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Airberlin to install Etihad business class on long-haul flights