Etihad Airways, the National Airline of the United Arab Emirates with their base in Abu Dhabi has stakes in AirBerlin and VirginAustralia, among a number of other international airlines. Etihad is building a global network of cooperation and partnership different from airlines alliances like Star Alliance of Oneworld.
Effective 1st August 2013 and subject to government approvals, airberlin and Virgin Australia will commence a range of codeshare services in Australia and Europe, in addition to offering reciprocal frequent flyer benefits for members of the respective top bonus and Velocity programs.
Airberlin will place its “AB” code on flights beyond Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney to six Australian destinations served by Virgin Australia, providing airberlin guests an opportunity to experience some of Australia’s huge diversity. The cities are: Adelaide, Ayers Rock, Cairns, Darwin, Gold Coast and Perth.
The codeshare agreement with Virgin Australia complements the existing codeshare offer with Etihad Airways on flights from Germany via Abu Dhabi to Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, and at the same time increases the number of Australian destinations accessible by an airberlin codeshare flight from Germany to a total of nine.
An additional component of the new codeshare agreement will see airberlin putting its “AB” code on Virgin Australia’s non-stop flights from Abu Dhabi to Sydney and from Phuket to Perth.
“The new codeshare agreement with Virgin Australia will provide our flight guests with even better access to key parts of Australia,” says Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, airberlin’s Chief Executive Officer. “The six-destination increase coupled with the an expansion of existing codeshare flights with Etihad Airways and additional codeshare connections with Virgin Australia from Abu Dhabi to Sydney will make this possible. The new codeshare agreement further exemplifies the far-reaching synergy effects resulting from our strategic partnership with Etihad Airways.”
The codeshare agreement with Virgin Australia enhances airberlin’s existing codeshare offering with Etihad Airways concerning flights from Germany via Abu Dhabi to Sydney.
Berlin to Sydney will now see connections going from four per week to daily via Abu Dhabi. Furthermore, airberlin is the only German airline to offer the connection from Berlin to Sydney with just a single stop-over.
From August 1, a double-daily connection to Sydney from Dusseldorf via Abu Dhabi will be available through the existing Etihad Airways codeshare and the new connections with Virgin Australia.
Similar to services offered from other German cities, departing Frankfurt and Munich airberlin will offer the option of flying in comfort to Australia with only one stop-over, via Abu Dhabi, in codeshare with strategic partner Etihad Airways.
Elsewhere, the daily airberlin non-stop flights from Berlin and Dusseldorf to Abu Dhabi will carry the Virgin Australia’s “VA” flight code and provide Virgin Australia guests with improved access to Europe.
As a result of the linking of the two frequent flyer programs, top bonus members can collect and redeem award miles on flights with Virgin Australia and enjoy the added privileges that their respective top bonus status accords, such as access to selected airport lounges.
The codeshare flights can be booked from today at airberlin.com, through the airline’s 24-hour service enter at 030/3434 3434 (local rates apply) or at a travel agency.
Airberlin is one of Europe’s leading airlines and flies to 150 destinations in 40 countries. The second largest airline in Germany carried more than 33 million passengers in 2012. Airberlin offers a global route network through its strategic partnership with Etihad Airways, which has a 29.21% share in airberlin, and through membership of the oneworld® airline alliance. The airline with the award-winning service operates codeshare flights worldwide with 14 airlines. The fleet has an average age of five years and is among the most modern and eco-efficient in Europe.