Well, it’s 27th October. And it’s closing in on D-Day for Air Berlin as the airline winds down and vanishes from the air, where we say Tschüss to the airline.
The case of the airline is well-known now – it developed from a carrier that served the charter market in West Berlin, into a semi-low cost carrier, taking in LTU (LTU International), NIKI and DBA (Deutsche BA), then having a share brought by Etihad and hoping Berlin Brandenburg Airport would solve its problems…
Well – we all know what happened next.
Berlin Brandenburg Airport is currently still being built, and the constrained capacity of Tegal never helped.
Eithad kept putting money in its pocket as it tried to make its own hunter strategy work (which has spectacularly back-fired in most cases), and with Air Berlin loosing money hand over fist, it was a question of not “if” but “when” they pulled the plug.
And that question loomed larger when the Eithad pulled the plug on Alitalia.
On the 15th August – we had an answer, and all hell broke loose.
Yes, there were efforts at improving its brand and trying to attract customers with a good long haul product, and building out its hub at Düsseldorf.
Even if it’s pilots decided to wave goodbye in an… unorthodox manner.
With the assets being a fight now between Lufthansa, EasyJet and Condor… all that is left is for AB6210 to operate from Munich to Berlin (with an A320) on 27 October 2017 to bring an end to the airlines operations.
And after that… all that will be left of Air Berlin are these planes… that look more than a little deflated.
Air Berlin tried to fight its ground – but it seems that battle is lost. Others will now have to take their place – be it Lufthansa’s Eurowings, EasyJet, Ryanair or others.
And there’s no doubt the airline will be missed by many – be it business travellers inside Germany, holiday makes in Palma de Mallorca, as a low-cost transatlantic option when redeem in Avios or for the many other routes the airline flew (although amazingly few to the UK).
But its inability to make a profit and its backers pulling the plug sealed the fate of Air Berlin a long time ago.
It’s just taken this long for the airline to pass into the sunset.
Tschüss Air Berlin!
(and what does Tschüss mean?)