Airberlin is likely operating its last few weeks as an independent airline, before various assets are sold off to the highest bidder. This comes after airberlin filed for insolvency a couple of weeks ago, and then airberlin’s spun off topbonus frequent flyer program also filed for insolvency.
We recently learned that airberlin is terminating virtually all of their longhaul routes out of Berlin as of October 1, 2017. In reality that may be optimistic, as many question whether their current loan of 150 million Euros will even last them that long. Lufthansa allegedly wants to take over some of airberlin’s widebody planes, and continue to operate their longhaul flights out of Berlin.
Interestingly even though airberlin’s topbonus frequent flyer program has been shut down, up until now no oneworld airline has cut ties with airberlin. I’m a bit surprised by this. Keep in mind that with the global alliances, airlines have to pay one another for the miles they award, when a member accesses a lounge, etc. At the moment you can’t earn airberlin miles for travel on airberlin, though you can earn miles with any airberlin partner.
While airberlin is still technically in oneworld, surely their partner airlines aren’t expecting that they’ll ever be compensated for letting airberlin elite members into lounges, for awarding partner miles for airberlin flights, etc.
Well, it looks like the first oneworld airline has now announced when they’ll cut ties with airberlin, at least when it comes to earning and redeeming miles.
Per the Qantas points earning table, Qantas Frequent Flyer members will no longer be able to earn points or status credits on airberlin flights as of November 15, 2017.
In reality it’s highly unlikely that airberlin will even be operating at that point anymore. Regardless, I thought it was worth passing on that we’re seeing an airline give a date for the first time since this whole mess started. It’s especially interesting that this airline is Qantas, given that they’re probably among the least connected to airberlin of any oneworld airline, and therefore have among the least to lose of any oneworld airline.
I suspect several other oneworld airlines will follow, possibly even with earlier dates than what Qantas has announced.