Tobias2702
Topic Author
Posts: 286
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2008 6:49 pm

AB - Why No Stronger Focus On Eastern Europe?

Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:50 pm

Hi guys, in a recent press release, Air Berlin claims to concentrate on the "emerging markets" in Eastern Europe. With Berlin as their major hub, the upcoming oneworld joining (and Malev gone), this seems to be quite a good strategy. But looking at AB's route map, this area is still more like a "white spot", with the only Eastern European destinations served being KRK, GDN, BUD, LED, DME.

Why don't they launch flights to important cities like WAW, PRG, ZAG or BEG?

Also, the Baltic States are missing in AB's network, which otherwise is quite well developed in Northern Europe. So, why not launch e.g. TLL? Even KGD might be a good idea for a new route, because since KDavia went bust, the city is cut off from the big Western European airline networks.

Last but not least, why won't AB launch flights to ATH and IST? Since A3 axed Berlin, there is only the (not even daily) easyJet flight left serving Athens, and (as far as I know) even LH has announced to operate BER-IST starting this summer.

Could it be that AB currently just isn't in the financial shape to expand? Is it really that more lucrative (especially as an alliance member) to offer that many holiday flights to the Mediterranean, instead of deploying the aircraft on "decent routes"?
PA, AF, UK, BA, AB, DL, LH, FR, BD, A3, EZY, DY //// A319/320/346, B733/735/73G/738/744/763, AT4, 146, CR2, DH4
 
User avatar
BasilFawlty
Posts: 810
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2009 11:23 am

RE: AB - Why No Stronger Focus On Eastern Europe?

Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:15 pm

WAW is very expensive, that's why only a few low-cost carriers serve the airport. PRG already has a lot of low-cost carriers, so AB would face a lot of competition. And for the rest like ZAG, BEG, KGD etc. these countries are not members of the EU so you have to obtain traffic rights which can be difficult.
'Every year donkeys and mules kill more people than plane crashes'
 
Tobias2702
Topic Author
Posts: 286
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2008 6:49 pm

RE: AB - Why No Stronger Focus On Eastern Europe?

Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:42 pm

Quoting BasilFawlty (Reply 1):
WAW is very expensive, that's why only a few low-cost carriers serve the airport. PRG already has a lot of low-cost carriers, so AB would face a lot of competition.

But AB is not an LCC. With them joining oneworld, I'd rather call them a "network carrier with lowcost tendencies". Isn't AB interested in getting more feed to its Berlin hub?
PA, AF, UK, BA, AB, DL, LH, FR, BD, A3, EZY, DY //// A319/320/346, B733/735/73G/738/744/763, AT4, 146, CR2, DH4
 
JU068
Posts: 2094
Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:23 am

RE: AB - Why No Stronger Focus On Eastern Europe?

Fri Mar 09, 2012 6:02 pm

Quoting BasilFawlty (Reply 1):
And for the rest like ZAG, BEG, KGD etc. these countries are not members of the EU so you have to obtain traffic rights which can be difficult.

Mmmm maybe for KGD but not for BEG and ZAG. Croatia is set to join the EU in summer and Serbia has the Free Sky agreement in place.
I guess that they are not trying Zagreb for now since there it is a Star Alliance stronghold. As for Belgrade, Niki already has almost double daily flights so I guess that is how they compensate.

Niki had announced major Balkan expansion, so maybe Air Berlin is routing their Balkan passengers via Vienna?
 
EddieDude
Posts: 6241
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2003 10:19 am

RE: AB - Why No Stronger Focus On Eastern Europe?

Sat Mar 10, 2012 4:57 am

On a semi-related note, how important is DUS for AB as a hub? Wouldn't AB have more chances of success by launching new routes such as the ones discussed in this thread from DUS than from Berlin?
Next flights: MEX-LAX AM 738, LAX-PVG DL 77L, SHA-PEK CA 789, PEK-PVG CA A332, PVG-ORD MU 77W, ORD-MEX AM 738
 
columba
Posts: 5045
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 10:12 pm

RE: AB - Why No Stronger Focus On Eastern Europe?

Sat Mar 10, 2012 6:15 am

I would say because trains are a big competition on most of the routes as well.
It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
 
PHX Flyer
Posts: 535
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2001 9:52 pm

RE: AB - Why No Stronger Focus On Eastern Europe?

Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:53 am

Quoting Tobias2702 (Thread starter):
Hi guys, in a recent press release, Air Berlin claims to concentrate on the "emerging markets" in Eastern Europe. With Berlin as their major hub, the upcoming oneworld joining (and Malev gone), this seems to be quite a good strategy.

The reason for the lack of focus on East Europe is the lack of revenue potential. There is simply not enough volume to feed a hub dedicated to this market. My prediction is that BER will be a very successful O&D airport, but it will for the foreseeable future not function as a hub.

Quoting EddieDude (Reply 4):
On a semi-related note, how important is DUS for AB as a hub? Wouldn't AB have more chances of success by launching new routes such as the ones discussed in this thread from DUS

DUS cannot work as a true, viable hub for AB either, because of the limited number of slots that are available, and more than half have been gobbled up by Lufthansa. The slot constraints make it next to impossible to organize a sufficient, commercially viable number of flights in banks. This results in a relatively small number of reasonable flight connections (compared to let's say AMS or FRA) and insufficient passenger volumes to feed the flights.

To sum it up: AB is screwed with both BER and DUS, and this explains why they find themselves in such dire straits financially.
 
Tobias2702
Topic Author
Posts: 286
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2008 6:49 pm

RE: AB - Why No Stronger Focus On Eastern Europe?

Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:35 pm

Quoting PHX Flyer (Reply 6):
My prediction is that BER will be a very successful O&D airport,

Just out of curiosity, what percentage of connecting passenger is needed to define a typical hub? Today, AB has around 7 percent connecting passengers at TXL, where there aren't even proper facities to cater for these people. I have always been under the impression that with the new, modern airport and the admission to oneworld, there would come more connecting pax for AB.
PA, AF, UK, BA, AB, DL, LH, FR, BD, A3, EZY, DY //// A319/320/346, B733/735/73G/738/744/763, AT4, 146, CR2, DH4
 
TIA
Posts: 443
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2006 3:42 am

RE: AB - Why No Stronger Focus On Eastern Europe?

Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:25 pm

Quoting Tobias2702 (Thread starter):
Hi guys, in a recent press release, Air Berlin claims to concentrate on the "emerging markets" in Eastern Europe. With Berlin as their major hub, the upcoming oneworld joining (and Malev gone), this seems to be quite a good strategy. But looking at AB's route map, this area is still more like a "white spot", with the only Eastern European destinations served being KRK, GDN, BUD, LED, DME.

Why don't they launch flights to important cities like WAW, PRG, ZAG or BEG?

You're only looking at flights from Berlin. I love Berlin and I would like to see it prosper, but it's not where where the demand from Eastern Europe is. Also the location of Berlin is not the most ideal for connecting opportunities. AB has more flights to Eastern Europe through other hubs and through its subsidiaries. Although I do agree with your assertion that despite their claim, AB is not concentrating in the "emerging markets" of Eastern Europe.
 
User avatar
lightsaber
Crew
Posts: 11866
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 10:55 pm

RE: AB - Why No Stronger Focus On Eastern Europe?

Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:28 pm

I personally believe AB is handicapped until they operate out of one unified airport. Until BER opens and opens up more West-East connections by unifying the flights into one hub.

Quoting TIA (Reply 8):
I love Berlin and I would like to see it prosper, but it's not where where the demand from Eastern Europe is.

Hence the need for connections. I see some opportunity, but not without feed.

Lightsaber
"They did not know it was impossible, so they did it!" - Mark Twain