American Airlines, Air Berlin step up their cooperation

American Airlines and Air Berlin announced Monday that they plan to expand their code-sharing deal to take advantage of Air Berlin’s new flights between Berlin and New York’s Kennedy International Airport.

Air Berlin (airberlin in its branding) launched four weekly flights between Berlin and JFK on May 1. As of Friday, American will put its code on that Air Berlin flight.

The two carriers began the code-sharing in November. American puts its code on air Berlin’s flights from Dusseldorf and Berlin to American’s Miami hub; on flights from Dusseldorf to Fort Myers, Fla., Los Angeles and San Francisco.

In turn, Air Berlin puts its code on American’s flights between Dallas/Fort Worth Airport and Frankfurt, and between New York Kennedy and Zurich. Air Berlin also puts its codes on some of American’s domestic flights out of New York, Miami and Los Angeles.

“The U.S. is an increasingly important market for airberlin with 26 weekly nonstop flights from our two German gateways, Berlin and Dusseldorf,” Air Berlin CFO Ulf Huttmeyer said.

“The codeshare agreement with American Airlines will help airberlin to further strengthen our position in that growing market and allow airberlin passengers to make use of the extensive American Airlines network,” he said. “We look forward to intensifying our partnership with American Airlines and signing more codeshares in the future.”

Virasb Vahidi, American’s chief commercial officer, called Air Berlin “a valuable partner” and said that “this new service will link American’s JFK cornerstone with Germany’s capital and airberlin’s home base.”

Air Berlin is joining Oneworld, the global airline alliance that American helped found. It is expected to become a full member in early 2012.

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