Airberlin Is Canceling All Longhaul Routes As Of October 15, 2017

Filed Under: Airberlin

This doesn’t come as a surprise, though finally we have an official statement on this.

In light of airberlin’s insolvency filing in mid-August, the airline is slowly starting to cancel their routes. They have a temporary loan from the German government, which will only keep them operating until they sell off all their assets.

A few weeks ago, airberlin stopped selling seats on longhaul flights out of their Berlin hub for travel as of October 1, 2017. A bit over a week later it was announced that airberlin would be canceling all their flights to the Caribbean as of September 25, 2017. This leaves very few longhaul routes for airberlin.

We found out that these cancelations were due to airberlin’s leasing companies repossessing their A330s, as they weren’t confident that airberlin would be able to pay for them anymore. Well, it looks like airberlin’s leasing companies will now be taking back all the A330s, meaning the airline doesn’t have planes with which to operate longhaul flights anymore.

Per an announcement on their website, airberlin will be cutting all longhaul routes as of October 15, 2017:

airberlin will need to cease its long-haul flight operations by 15 October 2017, as the aircraft leasing companies are gradually withdrawing their Airbus A330 jets. The connection between Dusseldorf and Los Angeles will therefore be discontinued on 25 September 2017. Further cancellations will follow on 16 October 2017. On 29 September 2017, airberlin will discontinue services between Hamburg and Munich and between Cologne/Bonn and Munich. We regret the inconvenience for our passengers.

Shortly we should also find out what companies will be buying airberlin’s assets. It was supposed to be announced today, though I haven’t seen an official announcement yet. The front runners seem to be Lufthansa and EasyJet, as Lufthansa wants to take over both short-haul and longhaul planes for their Eurowings division, while EasyJet is keen to expand within Germany. This is all subject to approval, so it could still be a couple of weeks before everything is finalized.

  1. Does anyone have any opinions on how likely it is that airberlin will still endorse tickets for the cancelled routes on other airlines? Or if, say, Lufthansa buys the long haul assets that they could decide to honour tickets? I have a ticket ORD-TXL-BUD for early December (no credit card protection, booked before 15 Aug) and it would be great to know if I should just give up all hope right now and buy a new ticket – though I realise no one knows for sure.

  2. I have an airberlin flight from SFO-Dusseldorf-BCN booked for November. Would you say its safe to book an alternate flight at this point? I worry about doing so without the official cancellation, but I think this announcement might as well serve as notice.

  3. The crappy thing about this is Airberlin often discouraged people from booking with a credit card, and instead made people use Paypal. This is the type of stuff that AmEx purchase protection comes in handy for.

  4. German language media (e.g. FAZ and Aerotelegraph) report that there will only be talks with Lufthansa (78 planes) and EasyJet (27 planes, predominantly operating out of TXL). So Condor/Lauda, IAG, Wöhrl and Peng seem to be out. This is the absolute dream scenario for Lufthansa – a nightmare for anyone else.

    They deny this decision was taken under political pressure … which sounds absolutely ridiculous. Of course, there was political pressure for this.

    Now all my hope rests on the EU Anti Trust watch dogs … Obviously, such a take over will result in a monopoly out of VIE, DUS, MUC, ZRH …

  5. EU Anti Trust watch dogs is Mutti servile little bitch, not going to happen. Luftwaffe, sorry Lufthansa need lebensraum and screw the passengers.

  6. Yes, Lufthansa and easy jet are the preferred buyers at this point. But it doesn’t justify the vile language Mr No Name: Niki, based in Austria, is likely to go to LH and easy jet appears to be getting the TXL and DUS slots, so LH is not getting a domestic monopoly….
    Besides, in Germany the airlines don’t “own” slots like in the US and any slots that go back to the administrators have to be given first to new airlines to ensure competition… that process applied to the US would certainly free all the hub captives in SFO, DFW, ATL,…

  7. Air Berlin has been mishandling and losing passengers luggage for the longest time. Their ground operations are a total disgrace. Lots & Lots of complaints filed against Air Berlin for mishandling and losing checked bags. There were several passengers arriving at Miami International Airport this past Monday on flight AB7000 whose luggage was missing, including my son’s who was returning from Berlin after running the Berlin Marathon. We went online and found lots of similar complaints from passengers who have flown on Air Berlin. It is evident that their ground operations are a total disgrace (most likely, employees who could care less) and would like to see the company fold. In the meantime, anyone who flights this company is at risk of not having their luggage when arriving at their destination. Really pathetic ! and there is no one available by phone to help. Everything needs to be communicated and reported via e-mail. DO NOT FLY AIR BERLIN ! Period !

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