New Qantas partner as airberlin joins oneworld alliance

By David Flynn, March 19 2012
New Qantas partner as airberlin joins oneworld alliance

Qantas will gain another partner airline this week when Germany's airberlin joins the oneworld alliance.

Airberlin is Germany's second largest airline after Lufthansa, and Australian travellers are now able to earn Qantas Frequent Flyer miles and status credits when flying on airberlin.

Berlin Brandenburg Airport will be home base for airberlin
Berlin Brandenburg Airport will be home base for airberlin

Airberlin's new hub will be at Berlin's new Brandenburg Airport, which opens on June 3 and is located just 18 kilometres south of central Berlin, providing easy access into the German capital.

While "most people see Air Berlin as technically a low-cost carrier they’ve grown out of that and they now describe themselves as a ‘hybrid carrier’ with lower fares than Lufthansa but still offering high quality” oneworld exec Michael Blunt told Australian Business Traveller.

Airberlin is currently refitting its business class from old-school recliners to angled lie-flat seats over the next few months.

Here's the recliner option, which will be disappearing:

airberlin's old top offer (still seen on some routes) is a business class recliner...
airberlin's old top offer (still seen on some routes) is a business class recliner...

The new airberlin business class is a 170cm angled lie-flat seat, similar to what you'll find on many airlines' regional business class -- Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Qantas' first-generation Skybed, and so on.

...while its new business class is an angled lie-flat seat...
...while its new business class is an angled lie-flat seat...

While oneworld has three airlines in Europe, for example, each of these – British Airways, Finnair and Spain’s Iberia – is based on the edge of Europe.

“Air Berlin gives us a fantastic network right in the centre of Europe and it connects all those points together, so for Australians its going to be fantastic” oneworld's Blunt enthuses.

Qantas has nixed reports that it will shortly abandon its flights to Frankfurt (via Singapore) in favour of Berlin Brandenburg, however, with a Qantas spokesman telling Australian Business Traveller "I can confirm that we have no plans to introduce flights to Berlin."

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

30 Sep 2011

Total posts 44

My favourite European airline on the long haul (any flight over 4 hours) they are excellent and have flat beds to Berlin. A very uber airline, great amenities and crew a bit like VA in the early days. Oneworld well maybe I won't loose my Platnium+ after all except that means QF to Singapore again

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

03 Jul 2011

Total posts 182

Cant wait I have flights with AB already booked for later in the year.

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 24

Malev went broke in Janurary didn't they? 

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2392

They did, good pickup there - the oneworld spokesman's comments predated that, so I've removed that ref now!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Nov 2011

Total posts 246

They officially on Oneworld today. How about some report on Frequent Flyer earn and burn report?

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2392

That's on our to-do list.


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