Air Berlin, which has quietly become one of Europe’s largest low cost carriers, announced today they’ve acquired primarily domestic German airline dba.
dba is one of those wayward airlines that has drifted from owner to owner over the years. Originally, it was Deutsche BA, owned by British Airways, but it performed so poorly that they sold the airline for 1 single lonely euro. Since that time, dba has focused primarily on the domestic German business market with a tight agreement with LTU to feed their long haul flights.
Now that Air Berlin is taking over dba, we can expect some changes but not too many.
- The airline will continue to operate as dba, but it will now be marketed lamely as “Air Berlin powered by dba.”
- Schedules will be fully integrated by summer 2007
- It sounds like Air Berlin is going for more of a business traveler focus, so some of dba’s practices may be brought over. They were proud to say they had obtained 62 new corporate contracts, so they’ll have to make sure they keep those people happy.
- They get slots in airports like Munich and Dusseldorf, places they wouldn’t have been able to expand on their own. Expect to see some of those flight schedules shift around if they find better opportunities.
Sounds like a good move for Air Berlin to me.