German airlines

Air Berlin wins US partner as Condor seeks savings

Air Berlin will cooperate with US domestic carrier JetBlue for connecting flights while Condor wants staff to forego benefits in exchange for a pay rise in order to cut costs.

August 10, 2017
Air Berlin will cooperate with JetBlue
Photo: Jetblue

Air Berlin’s new partnership will replace the former alliance with Oneworld partner American Airlines and enable the German carrier to offer connecting flights across the USA. American cancelled a code-share agreement last year due to a dispute over new Air Berlin transatlantic flights.

From September 12, passengers from Germany will be able to connect to JetBlue flights from New York (JetBlue’s main hub), Boston and Orlando to 31 domestic destinations. Air Berlin itself flies to New York twice-daily from Düsseldorf and daily from Berlin.

“We are delighted that we have a new, strong partner at our side with JetBlue, in the important growth market in the USA. This is only the beginning of our co-operation. Together, we are working to extend our partnership in the coming months,” said Götz Ahmelmann, Chief Commercial Officer of Air Berlin.

Moreover, Air Berlin will launch two new North America routes from Düsseldorf next May, with four weekly flights to Toronto and five weekly flights to Chicago. Overall, the airline will have 57 weekly flights from Düsseldorf to the USA and Canada next summer.

Meanwhile, Condor is seeking cost savings from its 4,000 staff, according to cabin crew union UFO. The airline wants staff to forego overtime supplements and holidays and to work longer in exchange for a 2% pay rise over two years. This could enable the airline to reduce labour costs by 7%.

A Condor spokesman said only there are different ideas under consideration. The Thomas Cook airline flew into the red last year and is in the midst of a cost saving programme designed to bring it back into profit this year.

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