airberlin topbonus - Air Berlin route cancellations
Jul 10, 12, 7:09 am
AB continues its withdrawal from its non-hubs in Germany. HAM-CGN cancelled since JUN, now FKB, BCN, ZRH, NUE face the cull from the winter schedule onwards, as well as CGN-GWT, STR-MXP and STR-BCN, whilst further cancellations from STR are still subject to discussion. FMO-TXL and FMO-MUC are credibly rumoured to go as well.
In the case of STR, this is good news for Germanwings, in HAM for LX and Vueling.
Oct 17, 12, 1:44 pm
NUE-LGW gets culled in Jan2013.
Which leaves only DUS-STN as a UK route.
(CityJet will take over the NUE route, NUE-LCY)
Oct 18, 12, 3:56 am
Seems that the concept nowadays is cost reduction instead of establishing and holding a customer base for your routes. Not only at AB...
Well I hope that they find their path to profitability soon and then offer a reliable network. Beeing a oneworld member I would have expected some new routes to hubs, not only in the middle east. And what will possibly be the strategy in codesharing with AF? We'll see at one point in the future... :confused:
Oct 18, 12, 7:53 am
Disappointing about the NUE route for those of us who quite like driving to the airport (i.e. not LCY). BUT, the fact that Cityjet takes this route over seems to be in line with AB getting closer to AF
I am most certain AB has experienced analysts working on these cuttings, but for me Air Berlin is losing it's role as alternative to LH:
- my home base CGN stripped off routes to the bone, exposing the airport to Ryanair
- not even the well established national route to Hamburg survived
- not even the longer drive to one of their bases, Dusseldorf, get's me the necessary business connections
- Hamburg and Nuremberg almost only available early in the mornings and late in the evening
- weekend connections to Berlin skinned down
- Eastern Europe via Vienna being skipped and not fully replaced via Berlin
- Southern Europe connections via Palma skinned down (Porto for the first time not available at all in winter in spite of good loads from Portugal to Palma even in off-season; Cologne-Palma reduced capacities...)
- it was the routes from the smaller airports in Germany that made Air Berlin big (Nuremberg, Paderborn, Muenster, Cologne - even to the UK). These are now almost without connection
- it was the national routes inherited from Fly-DBA (which at least had stopped making losses on same), which made them a network carrier in Germany. Now you need to take the train or LH and it won't take long till LH inceases the rates on national flights to 450 Euro again as they charged before AB became an alternative.
- it is documented that other network carriers make money longhaul (especially on business customers) and burn it on feeder flights. But without longhaul connections eastwards (sacrificed to Etihad), no own connections to the BA-hub, hardly no connections from Oneworld-carriers to the AB-hubs and constantly shifting scarce new business class from one aircraft to another, I doubt AB can gain from longhaul.
At the same time the costly wet-leases from TUI remain in place and the former LTU-staff (=longhaul), in spite of all personal sacrifices, continue to dilute all cost-advantages.
And instead of concentrating on either A319-321 or B737-738, both fleets are trimmed, but both remain in the fleet and more efficient units like Dash8 or E190 are being shoved around within the fleet from one sub-contractor to another creating new training-costs.
ABs rise was also fuelled by the motivation of it's employees and for understandable reasons it seems that spirit is no longer as strong as it used to be.
I really hope those analysts know what they are doing, because the alternative would be a dependence on LH, which LH has misused before.