Air Berlin has two different markets. First of all it is still a charter airline -which their old main business, they started with as "Air Berlin USA" in the 1970s (with 707s).
Due to the success of all the other LCC around like Easyjet and Ryanair, they decided a few years ago to go into that market, too.
on the other hand was once "Deutsche British Airways" (German British Airways)-like the name says it was the German subsidiary of British Airways.
Since the airline was not successful BA
sold it to Mr. Woehrl -a man who made his fortune in fashion AFAIK.
Since that DBA has to change everything that is still a reminder of their roots with British Airways (that is why they had to remove the blue belly on their aircraft to plain white and the name Deutsche British Airways had to be changed into just DBA. DBA
was the offical abbreviation on their aircrafts before but now it has no meaning at all). DBA
is flying mostly routes within Germany while Air Berlin "flies Europe" (We Fly Europe -is or was their nonsense slogan).
The situation of Air Berlin and DBA is completely different. Air Berlin wanted to expand and grow with their order.
I didn´t mean to say that DBA is not interested in Airbus Aircraft at all. But in my opinion Boeing 737s would make much more sense for them.
is buying or leasing new aircrafts to replace their existing fleet. Since DBA has already a lot of Pilots with 737 type rating the training costs wouldn´t be to high. DBA is not one of the wealthiest airlines in Germany. Air Berlin is the second largest airline after Lufthansa. Air Berlin bought these A320 family aircraft in addition to their 737-800 fleet and not as a replacement. They have to hire new pilots and maintenance crew anyway. Besides Mr. Hunold the CEO of AB was very angry with Boeing and took the next plane to Toulouse after the sales people in Seatle were warning him not to expand so fast and wouldn´t give him the price he wanted
[Edited 2005-01-03 21:13:11]
[Edited 2005-01-03 21:14:03]