Etihad and airberlin are now running joint flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane through to Berlin and Dusseldorf.
The codeshare arrangement will see passengers from Australia's three largest cities fly with Etihad to Abu Dhabi and then transfer to airberlin's daily service through to Berlin and Dusseldorf.
The transit time at Abu Dhabi is around 2.5 hours, which you can spend at Etihad's Pearl Lounge if you're flying in business class.
Airberlin is Germany's second largest airline after Lufthansa, and is currently refitting its business class from old-school recliners to angled lie-flat seats over the next few months.
Here's the recliner option, which will be disappearing:
The new airberlin business class is a 170cm angled lie-flat seat, similar to what you'll find on many airlines' regional business class -- Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Qantas' first-generation Skybed, and so on.
If you're flying business class with airberlin you'll enjoy a complementary limousine service that's good for trips within 40km of Berlin-Tegel and the new Berlin Brandenburg airport when it opens in June, or in a 60km radius in Dusseldorf.
Travellers can choose to earn points and status on either the Etihad Guest or airberlin topbonus frequent flyer programmes.
For added versatility you can choose to collect Virgin Australia Velocity points and status while flying with Etihad, and funnel the airberlin points to your Qantas Frequent Flyer account (as airberlin is now a member of the oneworld alliance).
About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.