Interesting that they're going to (try to) keep their longhaul flights.... I thought that those would be a goner for sure.
Still will be shocked if it lasts.
From what I hear the longhaul routes of AB are HIGHLY profitable. The money is lost on the short- and medium-haul flights. That is why the new CEO said from the beginning he wants way more longhaul a/c and especially more routes to North America, because these routes print money. So you can expect for the longhaul routes to stay as long as AB doesn't get liquidated.
Sad to see how a once good looking company got killed by bad management.
It was the old management which killed AB. Joachim Hunold. And no one else. The credit crunch in 2009 didn't help, too. Right after the big aquisitions of LTU and dBA and integrating the TUI-fly business, too. On top Etihad made many errors after taking over and is now sorting them out with a new management in place...
Just liquidize the company and create a new airline company, Air Germany.
And hub it at DUS.
Inside AB, the people running the company, would favour BER airport. That is the airport the whole company waits for since years. To finally operate at a real airport with proper connecting facilities in their home market. DUS will stay of course, since LH left the market is way to interesting, but it is clearly their second hub.
I'm excited to learn about the longhaul expansion. More flights to North Amerika?
That is the plan. Like I said above, flights to North America are the money printing routes within AB. Just because the company is in the red (big time), it doesn't mean that they don't have profitable routes.
And I thought nationalism was gone inside the EU.
For many people it is gone, for some not. But wishing for an alliance-bound network carrier to stay, instead of LCCs to take over, has nothing to do with nationalism.
I wonder how they will survive. Getting rid of the leisure routes is getting rid of the core of AB. They were built around the Mallorca Shuttle and in my own experience those routes always had high to very high load factors. Maybe we can have LTU back as the brand of the leisure ops.
If you hear inside the company, the old LTU people are part of the problem within AB. They still feel and think LTU instead of integrating into the new AB. Inside their buildings and offices at DUS airport, there is LTU signage and memorabilia everywhere.
One of the bad decisiones they have made.
Sell owned 737 to lease a320/321..
IMO they should have kept the 737s, too, because they are cheaper to operate. But the A32X series has advantages, too. And "sale and lease back" is a standard procedure in the airline business (and outside, too) for companies which are low on cash. Leasing is often not much more expensive than buying, especially, because you can get new equipment every few years once your leasing contract ends.
Air Berlin had quite a few of the most terrible leasing contracts in the industry with lessors owned by AB founder Joachim Hunold's orbit (hence his anagram nickname Unhold, which is German for fiend), which were gradually shaken off since Etihad got in. Needless to say that it didn't help much, since AB had and has much more less superficial problems.
Exactly what I heard, too. They paid 25-50% over market prices on these leasing contracts with the companies held by Hunold. When he left AB he basically made sure to still get a lot of money out of the company with these contracts. IMHO AB should have gone to court about these contracts. But perhaps Etihad didn't though it is worth the money/hassle.