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Is Air Berlin In Danger?  
User currently offlineapruzesse13 From Ukraine, joined Dec 2012, 34 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 16884 times:

Rumors in press about Etihad-led drasting restructuring to be announced next week

Will Air Berlin continue to operate as a single entity? That's the question being asked following the cancellation of the airline's annual press conference today.

Air Berlin will not comment, but reports in the German aviation media suggest that Etihad Airways, which owns a 30 per cent stake in the German carrier, would like to see it split into two separate divisions.

One division would handle the tourism business, which includes flights within Europe, while the other would concentrate solely on feeder routes to Etihad's hub at Abu Dhabi.

It is unclear whether or not the "tourism business" would cover Air Berlin's transatlantic flights.

If the division was to proceed then it is understood that Etihad might increase its investment in the financially troubled carrier. Website airliners.de has reported that Air Berlin's financial results were negative in five of the past six years.

If Air Berlin were to increase its feeder flights to Abu Dhabi, then it would be good news for passengers, but not such good news for national airline Lufthansa because of potential traffic losses over its long-haul network.

45 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinePolot From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2188 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (6 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 16751 times:

Quoting apruzesse13 (Thread starter):
If Air Berlin were to increase its feeder flights to Abu Dhabi, then it would be good news for passengers, but not such good news for national airline Lufthansa because of potential traffic losses over its long-haul network.

If would be better for LH than a strong hub in Germany from AB though.

Nevertheless AB desperately needs to figure out what it is and what it wants to be. Today it acts as a semi-LCC charter airline/full service airline hybrid that is confusing for customers and lacks a clear strategy. Breaking Air Berlin into 2 divisions, a "tourist" one and a full service one, might be helpful as long as the distinction between the 2 is clear to potential passengers.


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25381 posts, RR: 49
Reply 2, posted (6 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 16408 times:

As we have discussed here before, the AB business model and market placement is utterly confusing.

It needs to pick what it will be, either a European LCC, a network operator, or long haul vacation package operator. Mixing and matching creates nothing but brand cunfusion, and inefficiency as its not focused and optimizing itself on a specific segment.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9376 posts, RR: 29
Reply 3, posted (6 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 16282 times:

All Airlines carry all kinds and mix of traffic. LH dos that as well as AB. Splitting up AB would take synergies away and would be even more desastrous than it is already now.

Etihad will have to be careful not to exceed more than 49.9% in ownership, that is the paramount concern they must have. Loans may Count as equity and the LBA is very quick to shut such Airlines down.



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9376 posts, RR: 29
Reply 4, posted (6 months 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 15960 times:

Looks like that without Etihad they would be kaputt. EY is searching for a new way to bring their European assets under the umbrella, which would likely be a Holding construction.

It is interesting to see what they will come up with and how the LBA and the EU will view that. Basically a re-organisation where the man with the Money must observe that his ownership does not exceed the Magic 50%.

An open Money pit for lawyers.



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlineseahawk From Germany, joined May 2005, 1050 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (6 months 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 15738 times:

This division actually makes sense. One could bring back the LTU brand for the tourist ops (which was very stupid to kill off as you even today hear people on holiday flights with AB saying how much they miss LTU) and keep Air Berlin for feeder routes for Ethiad.

User currently offlinetxlbased From Germany, joined Oct 2013, 116 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (6 months 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 15655 times:

LTU is not coming back, promised. It might have been a well known brand for leisure flights from Germany, but never has been profitable. AB on the other hand has been profitable as long as they concentrated on their european leisure business. But with buying (struggeling) airlines like DBA and LTU, profitable times where over. Anyhow, the brand "airberlin" is much stronger today, than LTU ever was.

It clearly makes sence to split AB into a leisure branch and a "European City Shuttle / AUH Feeder". Call the leisure business "airberlin" and the Shuttle/FeederBusiness "Etihad whatever" - maybe it works.



You have your office cubicle. I have mine - it roars!
User currently offlineRubberJungle From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (6 months 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 15628 times:

From the airline:

"Air Berlin PLC is currently in advanced discussions on options, which, if implemented, would have a substantial effect of the company. The company therefore postpones its annual press conference and the analysts & investors conference from 20 March 2014 to 27 March 2014."


User currently offlinevfw614 From Germany, joined Dec 2001, 4003 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (6 months 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 15546 times:

There is talk about a de-listing.

User currently offlineseahawk From Germany, joined May 2005, 1050 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (6 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 15438 times:

Quoting txlbased (Reply 6):
LTU is not coming back, promised. It might have been a well known brand for leisure flights from Germany, but never has been profitable. AB on the other hand has been profitable as long as they concentrated on their european leisure business. But with buying (struggeling) airlines like DBA and LTU, profitable times where over. Anyhow, the brand "airberlin" is much stronger today, than LTU ever was.

It clearly makes sence to split AB into a leisure branch and a "European City Shuttle / AUH Feeder". Call the leisure business "airberlin" and the Shuttle/FeederBusiness "Etihad whatever" - maybe it works.

I am certain that from 1955-2007 LTU was not always losing money. And while Air Berlin is the stronger brand in general, LTU is imho the stronger brand for holiday destinations. airberlin has gone through so many changes that the brand is well known but it stands for nothing. When booking holiday flights many people prefer TuiFly and Condor because they are closely linked to holiday flights for most people. airberlin is another LH for some, a holiday carrier for others and a lowco for a third group.

Although I think your version of the future is likely.


User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9376 posts, RR: 29
Reply 10, posted (6 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 15439 times:

De Listing is very likely. The exciting part in this Transaction will be how the only Player in the ring who has the Money to pay for this can circumvent the 505 clause.


As zto Splitting up into a leisure and a scheduled part. That may work on flights to the Caribbean, but even those have some Business part because they are a convenient way for businessmen to fly to the DomRep or Cuba or similar.

How do you split up the Feeder flights to AUH which use the same Equipment. You cannot separate the Business People travelling to india or Australia from the tourists who connect to Thai Tourist Resorts.

Same goes for the European destinations. I used the PMI hub several times, the flights to BIO had been busines, the flight to SVQ was leisure. Do I care what the Intention of the other 179 People is when i go on Business to a Greek island because flying AB saves hours over connecting at ATH?



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently onlinesteman From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 1391 posts, RR: 7
Reply 11, posted (6 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 15293 times:

I really hope airberlin manages to fix their business.
They are good. I´ve flown with them several times on european routes
in the past two years and I always had very pleasant experiences.
Flights were punctual, planes were clean and tidy, crew was always very friendly
and professional.
In some cases they proved to be better than BA and IB and on a par with LH
or even a little better if you consider that they offer a sort of IFE
even on short haul flights.
There are lots of people working for AB here in Berlin and I think
the airline is a big asset for the city.
I´m not happy of the EY involvment but I guess it is necessary to keep them flying.


User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9376 posts, RR: 29
Reply 12, posted (6 months 2 days ago) and read 15125 times:

Quoting seahawk (Reply 9):
I am certain that from 1955-2007 LTU was not always losing money

OIn most of These years LTU was a highly profitabel, mostly Family owned Business. Many of the customers/passengers had Shares in the Tristars through "KG" models which tied them in as part owners of the Equipment and customers. I think LTU was the first carrier to offer a yearly season ticket with which you could fly as much and as often on European routes. Actually LTU was the inofficial flag carrier of Northrhine-Westphalia.

When the owner family dropped out the Problems began and the brand vanished. A re-incarnation of LTU would not be such a bad idea.



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlineseahawk From Germany, joined May 2005, 1050 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (6 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 14342 times:

For holiday travel from Germany I think only Condor is a stronger brand.

User currently offlineLondonCity From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2008, 1494 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (6 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 13459 times:

According to Reuters, Norwegian Air has denied it is in talks to buy some or all of Air Brelin.


www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/21/u...ir-airberlin-idUSBREA2K0AY20140321


User currently offlineFarzan From Sweden, joined Jul 2007, 180 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 13333 times:

Quoting steman (Reply 11):
I really hope airberlin manages to fix their business.
They are good. I´ve flown with them several times on european routes
in the past two years and I always had very pleasant experiences.
Flights were punctual, planes were clean and tidy, crew was always very friendly
and professional.
In some cases they proved to be better than BA and IB and on a par with LH
or even a little better if you consider that they offer a sort of IFE
even on short haul flights.
There are lots of people working for AB here in Berlin and I think
the airline is a big asset for the city.
I´m not happy of the EY involvment but I guess it is necessary to keep them flying.

Agree 100%.

My first choice when available for my European destinations.


User currently offlineAerosol From Germany, joined Oct 2000, 558 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (6 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 12154 times:

Etihad Germany for Abu Dhabi feed, Air Berlin for the rest of the business (which will be stripped of assets and slowly fade). My pessimistic view of things. If Air Berlin would have been in a good shape it could have taken advantage of the rebranding of Lufthansa into Germanwings with a cleverly positioned alternative for business travellers.

In 5 years there won't be any Air Berlin left...


User currently offlineDTWPurserBoy From United States of America, joined Feb 2010, 1633 posts, RR: 6
Reply 17, posted (6 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 12052 times:

I had met the owner a number of years ago. We had a great discussion about airplane types and I remember him telling me what a mess their B707 decision had been.


Qualified on Concorde/B707/B720/B727/B737/B747/B757/B767/B777/DC-8/DC-9/DC-10/A319/A320/A330/MD-88-90
User currently offlinemercure1 From French Polynesia, joined Jul 2008, 1476 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (6 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 11932 times:

I suspect EY would like to utilize AB as a proper network carrier along with aligning it with someone like long rumored Air France. (bye bye oneworld?)

To be a proper European full service network carrier it needs to turn the page on its package tourism and beach focus. Forget things like the Palma de Mallorca hub, and longhaul service to Caribbean. Instead a focus on its core German (and maybe Austria) markets with coherent hub strategy instead of its current fragmented network over almost 10 German bases.

Its silly to expect a viable business to be sustained when AB has its eggs spread across so many divergent travel segments.


User currently offlineB-HOP From Hong Kong, joined Nov 2000, 634 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (6 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 11873 times:

Their position were way to confusing, longhaul low cost with optional 'nice food', the brand were too confusing, should have focus everything on DUS for l/h, the charter/low cost, again too confusing and the hub cant beat point to point EZY and Ryanair, I suspect the feeder part are only AUH to smaller cities in EU, is that right? It should seperate into three operation with different branding, Longhaul, low cost and feeder to EY


Live life to max!!!
User currently offlineoykie From Norway, joined Jan 2006, 2751 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (6 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 11799 times:

Financial daily in Norway speculates that Norwegian might attempt to buy Air Berlin. They have new airplanes ans 15 787 on order. Kjos refuses to answer.


Dream no small dream; it lacks magic. Dream large, then go make that dream real - Donald Douglas
User currently offlineua900 From Germany, joined Feb 2014, 316 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (6 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 9296 times:
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Ditch AB name, move long haul to DUS only and rebrand that as LTU, move non-tourist business to EY Regional. BER is years from being completed and it's one reason why AB is in a mess. DUS and NRW will be ten times more proactive in accommodating AB than the governments of Berlin or Brandenburg ever will be.

AB is burning money fast and EY won't be patient forever. One of these days they'll call the loans in and will ask for the planes and the crews. EY understands that the ability to offer regional routes is needed to expand in Europe. EY Regional was set up for that very reason, why not bring AB and eventually JAT into the fold?



2014:LAX|SFO|FRA|ZRH|TXL|SAL|BOG|SCL|EWR|IAD|LIM
User currently offlineAWACSooner From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 1914 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (6 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 9115 times:

Quoting ua900 (Reply 21):
Ditch AB name, move long haul to DUS only and rebrand that as LTU,

Ding ding ding!
This is the most confusing part of it...DUS is their biggest operations by far, but they're called Air BERLIN. Focusing on one hub will make them more profitable in the long run, IMO.


User currently offlinedelta777jet From Germany, joined Jun 2000, 1264 posts, RR: 3
Reply 23, posted (6 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 8708 times:

Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 22):
This is the most confusing part of it...DUS is their biggest operations by far, but they're called Air BERLIN. Focusing on one hub will make them more profitable in the long run, IMO.

Don't think so, it's big but probably at TXL they have more traffic.
TXL is so customer unfriendly simply because it is handling too many passengers. For no other reason than the price I would choose to connect via TXL, if there are other options available. This said, the best decision would be to concentrate their hub only in Duesseldorf. On all my last flights on AB specially between DUS and TXL I saw up to 30 crew members shuttling around to start their duties. They can't sell these seats and what an awful waste of the yearly available maximum duty time. Specially these long haul crews looking really exhausted arriving into TXL and then flying onwards to DUS as passengers. Don't think that they want to make a delisting, would affect a lot of shareholder very negatively if they can't trade their shares anymore.

[Edited 2014-03-21 15:47:43]


Fly easyJet
User currently offlineua900 From Germany, joined Feb 2014, 316 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (6 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 8646 times:
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Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 22):
DUS is their biggest operations by far, but they're called Air BERLIN.

They overreached when buying LT and didn't integrate it. AB grew out of US flying to and from Berlin. When the connections fell off after 1989, they went head to head with DBA and copied their strategy. That merger worked because both airlines were similar in look and feel. LH was dead in the water for 10 years on EU short haul because they couldn't compete on price. LH had to ax one sun destination after another and cut back cabin service.

With buying LT AB intruded on LH's turf ever so slightly, enough to make LH eventually roll out 4U, a carrier against which AB in turn can't seem to compete and also a carrier with a lower product than AB. LH was very used to LT presence in DUS and is likely only there today with long haul planes because of AB. Would make sense then for AB to focus on DUS where they are actually in a position of strength against the minimal LH long haul presence. Plus DUS actually has lots of people who can afford higher prices than people in TXL/BER, I'm sure that would help them tremendously.



2014:LAX|SFO|FRA|ZRH|TXL|SAL|BOG|SCL|EWR|IAD|LIM
25 A388 : Does anyone have an official link of AB about their press event postponing? Someone quoted it here but with no official link. A388
26 Post contains links Mortyman : Here: http://ir.airberlin.com/en/ir/financ...ith-substantial-effects-on-company
27 delta777jet : I think must correct the statement, they are going according to press articles to de-list the company and offering compensation to every shareholder.
28 PanHAM : the 35% shareholders get screwed out by a shabby offering, a margoin above the present approx € 2,00 per share. I thought about buying AB Shares whe
29 ushermittwoch : There is a reason why I burned up all my remaining TopBonus miles recently...
30 Post contains links Tobias2702 : Indeed, it all looks like the ownership construction for AB will change. My guess is that some kind of holding will be created for all of EY's busines
31 s4popo : What would this mean for OneWorld and SkyTeam?
32 PanHAM : Latest Story that emerges is that EY wants to merge AB with AZ and the smaller Airlines they have in their basket. So we will have a Holding Company l
33 Post contains links LAXintl : Air Berlin again delayed release of 2013 results. Also company says its in talks for recapitalization to strengthen its finances as its debts stood at
34 steman : If Ethiad thinks that it can manage AZ and fix it, well...I say goodbye EY...they´re going to get burned. Badly burned. I hope this will not cause t
35 seahawk : AZ and AB - that is an image nightmare - at least for selling tickets in Germany.
36 bennett123 : AFAIK, EY don't own AZ yet. Things have gone very quiet over thee.
37 PanHAM : Merging AZ with AB is not only a joke, it would be a butt of jokes. I could not even think about a serious Name for such a Company. They would have to
38 steman : Is AB situation really that bad? I know they have debts and they are restructuring but isn´t their Turbine program bearing any fruit yet? I have tick
39 Post contains images oc2dc : Interesting idea. Notice I said interesting and not good...Taking several money bleeding airlines and forming them into one seems incredibly risky. M
40 PanHAM : Air Berlin investors are putting pressure on the Airline to release 2013 figures. Technically, AB presently survives only with EY Money, which could r
41 RTFM : Some parallels with what Swissair tried to do with the Qualiflyer group/alliance. And look what happened to that (and Swissair.....) Perhaps the diff
42 seahawk : AB grew too fast. Since taking over DBA they have been growing and they have been bleeding money in most years while undergoing constant restructurin
43 Post contains images PanHAM : They have an unlimited budget, but the present management has already exceeded that. They shrank even faster, seeling aircraft,leasing back some of t
44 seahawk : Another brand, well it seems like EY will need it when they merge AB and AZ, but then giving up AB won´t do them much good in Germany but neither wo
45 PanHAM : Well, the Name (it should read "Niki") is the smallest Problem they have. By the rules and by EU law, EY should not have a majority at all in a Europe
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