Air Berlin GmbH & Co. (stylized as airberlin or airberlin.com) was Germany’s second largest airline, after Lufthansa. It operated an extensive network including holiday destinations as well as intercontinental destinations. The airline was a member of the Oneworld alliance. Its largest hub was Berlin-Tegel Airport. After years of losses, Air Berlin filed for insolvency in August 2017 and ceased operations in October 2017.
In 1978, Air Berlin was formed as a US supplemental carrier under the name Air Berlin, Inc. trading as Air Berlin USA. That the airline was founded in the United States rather than in Germany was due to West Berlin’s special legal status during the Cold War era; during that time, all air traffic to and from the city was restricted to airlines of the victorious powers of World War II. In 1990, the eve of Germany’s reunification, the airline was renamed Air Berlin. In 1991, the company moved away from charters and towards scheduled flights.
In 2004, Air Berlin announced it would cooperate with Niki, a Vienna-based airline; In 2005, a partnership agreement with Germania was signed. In 2006, Air Berlin announced that it had acquired 100% of the shares in German domestic airline DBA. In 2007, Air Berlin took over German leisure airline LTU and acquired a 49 percent shareholding in Swiss charter airline Belair. In 2009, a strategic partnership agreement with TUI Travel was signed, which is based on a cross ownership of Air Berlin and its direct competitor TUIfly.
In 2011 Air Berlin announced that the Abu Dhabi airline Etihad Airways had increased its share of Air Berlin to almost 30%, making Etihad the company’s largest shareholder. In 2012, the entry into Oneworld was officially completed. After Etihad stopped financial support of Air Berlin, Air Berlin entered insolvency procedures in August 2017. On 9 October 2017, Air Berlin announced to its staff that it would cease all remaining operations due to its negative financial outlook and bankruptcy proceedings. On 12 October 2017, Lufthansa agreed to buy 81 aircraft and employ 3,000 Air Berlin workers. On 27 October 2017, Air Berlin’s final flight was operated from Munich to Berlin Tegel.
Source: Wikipedia November 2017