Last updated: 10:12 PM ET, Thu November 29 2012

Airberlin Sets Major Expansion of U.S. Gateways, Frequencies in 2013

Features & Advice | James Shillinglaw | November 29, 2012

Airberlin, Germany’s second leading airline after Lufthansa, is taking on its bigger competitor in the U.S. market by expanding flight frequencies and adding U.S. gateway for 2013. At a press conference in New York City, the airline’s executives said they plan to launch a new nonstop service between Chicago and Berlin in March 2013. Airberlin also will add more frequent flights on its existing U.S. routes from New York JFK, Los Angeles and Miami staring in summer 2013.

All this comes from an airline that many Americans may not have heard of before, but one that was actually started in 1979 by an American pilot, Kim Lundgren, who founded the company known then as Air Berlin Inc. in Oregon as a charter carrier for German holiday travelers to Spain. Thirty-four years later, airberlin has grown from a charter airline with two aircraft to the second-largest airline in Germany and the sixth largest in Europe, with a global network of 170 destinations in 40 countries and a fleet of 158 aircraft. In addition, the airline said it views the U.S. as an important growth market that will play a decisive role in the realignment of its network strategy as of summer 2013.

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