Airberlin Ceasing Operations As Of November 1, 2017?

A few days ago we learned that airberlin will be ceasing all longhaul routes as of October 15, 2017. We knew the day would come eventually, though the timing here seems impacted by them having to return their fleet of A330s to their lessors. The A330s have found new homes pretty quickly, as they’ll be split between Eurowings and Malaysia Airlines.

Now the question is just when airberlin will cut their shorthaul routes. Airberlin’s assets are in the process of being sold off and the airline just has a temporary government loan, so it’s going to happen sooner or later. Throughout this whole process we’ve seen hints that suggest when various routes will be cut, and they’ve been remarkably accurate. It looks like we now have our latest “hint.”

It looks like airberlin may stop flying as of November 1, 2017. What suggests that this is the case?

  • Through October 31, airberlin is selling fare classes as usual for all flights, including discounted fares
  • As of November 1, airberlin is only selling their highest economy and business class fares — available fare classes include J, C, Y, and B

Airberlin is likely only selling these expensive fare classes in anticipation of no longer operating their own flights as of that date. Presumably other airlines would be happy to take over their passengers for those types of fares, while they wouldn’t if airberlin were just selling discounted tickets.

Just as an example, here are the fares between Berlin and Dusseldorf on October 31:

Meanwhile here are the fares on November 1:

While the timing doesn’t perfectly coincide, also keep in mind that Lufthansa will be opening some 747s between Frankfurt and Berlin in November. Presumably this is to increase capacity in light of airberlin no longer operating at that point.

With the future of airberlin’s assets to be revealed soon, I think it’s pretty safe to assume that the airline won’t be around beyond November 1.

Comments

  1. It gives an indicator of the stitch up though which is a pity. I can actually imagine the routes transferring to LH and the prices tripling and quadrupling as a result. Eurowings is price competitive with Air Berlin, but LH will be able to push capacity to wherever they can balance yield and profitability so this is bad.

    It’s shameful that LH if they buy the airlines core assets in what seems to be quite a biased process, aren’t unilaterally honouring air Berlin tickets issued pre government guarantee and starting with customer winning good will.

  2. @brendan joseph
    Are you crazy or just an idiot?

    Why would buying assets considered bias? And why the hell buying assets also entitles the buyer to honor the ticket?

    LH is running a bussines, not a charity. Its your fault on choosing air berlin. You pay peanuts you get monkey.

  3. I’m in Germany now and I’m suppose to fly air Berlin from Düsseldorf to lax On November 2nd. No one is answering the phones at Air Berlin. Can anyone tell me what I need to do?

  4. “It looks like we now have our latest “hint.”” This is not totally true for two reasons:

    The price increase for flights after Oct 31st is not new but was already installed a few weeks ago.

    Prices for NIKI flights are quite normal, even for bookings for summer 2018.

  5. Given I’ve just had a flight with them that was booked months ago for tomorrow cancelled, and left in the lurch as to how to get where I need to go, I’d say the answer of when they are cancelling their short-haul flights is pretty clear.

    Do not book anything with this arline, they are already cancelling flights.

    Means it’s not covered by travel insurance too, given it’s due to insolvency.

  6. I just received a notice from AB, my flight from TXL-BUD on Oct 9 has ceased to operate. No alternative flights were given. This is suppose to be shorthaul and the bridging loan from German government should keep it going. But no. It just cancelled.

    So AB may cease operating sooner than we think.

  7. Our flight was canceled 3 days before we were supposed to take off. We bought out tickets in June 2017. We were supposed to fly out today 9/29/17 to Venice with a stopover in Dusseldorf. Don’t chance buying any tickets from Air Berlin. The staff made us think arrangements would be made to fly out today, but it was just crap. Stuck home for 2 weeks!

  8. I have just booked my monthly commuter flights for November and December between DUS and ZRH on SWISS and noticed something that surprised me a bit – first of all, LX have reintroduced their late-evening ZRH-DUS flight LX1028 (which they had discontinued several years ago), and added another rotation (LX1024/1025) in the early evening, more or less at the same time at which the AB flights on that relation used to depart. After reading this article, that suddenly makes sense.

    This seems to have happened on quite short notice, as those flights hadn’t been available for booking three weeks ago when I booked the october trip – looks like the other airlines already know more about the state of AB than us.

  9. After 4 hopeful days that Expedia would contact Air Berlin & the flight my husband & I booked in August for Oct. 17 – Oct. 26 would get rescheduled within a few days of original flight…… I am heartbroken. No Flight – No Refund. Now fights are double the amount we originally paid Air Berlin. We are not wealthy world travelers, just a couple of 50 somethings that work hard for our money. We were going to Germany to celebrate the birthday of a very dear friend. I can not fully express how disappointed we are. Instead of an angry verbal conversation this morning Expedia had to deal with my (embarrassing) tears. Air Berlin has NO honor! Flights that were booked & paid for should have been fulfilled.

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