airberlin builds presence in Asia

GERMANY’s second largest airline, airberlin, is set to further strengthen its regional hub in Bangkok after it becomes a full member of oneworld early next year.

The carrier established Bangkok as its regional hub late last year when it started to operate codeshare flights on Bangkok Airways’ Bangkok-Phnom Penh route, said general manager for Thailand, Stefan Magiera.

He added that talks were ongoing as to whether the codeshare agreement would be extended to Bangkok Airways’ lucrative Bangkok-Siem Reap route due to compatibility of flight schedules.

“We will be able to announce (other destinations) after the complete integration of our membership with oneworld,” said Magiera.

According to Bangkok Airways, airberlin supplied 12,463 passengers last year through codeshare flights to Koh Samui, Phuket, Chiang Mai and Phnom Penh. This is almost a 100 per cent increase compared to numbers in 2009.

airberlin operates nine flights a week from Germany to Bangkok and four-weekly flights to Phuket during its winter timetable from November to March. For its summer schedule, the airline flies daily to Bangkok and connects passengers to domestic destinations via codeshare flights with Bangkok Airways, an agreement that started in 2009.

By Sirima Eamtako

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