Etihad and airberlin add new Germany-Abu Dhabi flights

Etihad and airberlin add new Germany-Abu Dhabi flights

Etihad and airberlin are dramatically increasing flights to Berlin and Düsseldorf, in a move that may woo business travellers onto the airlines' combined network.

With new flights from Berlin and Düsseldorf added to existing Etihad flights to Frankfurt and Munich, the partnership opens up new daily one-stop flights from Australia to Germany's capital and to the Rhine-Ruhr region, its largest metropolitan area and economic powerhouse.

Berlin flights will move from the city's Tegel airport to the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport once the new facilities open later this year.

However, be aware that airberlin is 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:

airberlin's old top offer (still seen on some routes) is a business class recliner...

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.

...while its new business class is an angled lie-flat seat...

That's compared with the excellent fully flat beds Etihad uses on its long-haul flights from Australia and on to Germany:

...yet Etihad's is a fully flat business class bed with direct aisle access for everyone.

So if you need to get some proper sleep or be productive en route, aim for an Etihad plane.

(Take a look at our guide to the different styles of business class seat and cabin layout if you need a refresher on why airberlin's recliners and lie-flats don't stack up to Etihad's beds.)

In a curious twist to the airline partnership tale, airberlin will join the oneworld alliance and thus become a Qantas partner on 20 March, even as it shacks up with the competition: Etihad is Virgin Australia's partner for European flights.

That means you could book a flight on an airberlin plane, earn miles in the Etihad Guest frequent flyer program to redeem for Virgin Australia flights, and hop into a oneworld airline lounge with your Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold or Platinum card.

New flights: schedules and starting dates

From March 25, airberlin will increase to daily flights to Abu Dhabi from Berlin and will add daily Düsseldorf-Abu Dhabi services.

From April 15, Etihad will add extra flights to make its Düsseldorf schedule daily.

Etihad has existing daily flights between Abu Dhabi and Munich, plus double-daily flights between Abu Dhabi and Frankfurt.

All in all, the new schedule will mean 42 weekly flights between Abu Dhabi and Germany from the four German cities.

John Walton

John Walton (John Walton)


Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.


  • sagidec


    8 Feb, 2012 05:32 pm

    Can Velocity Frequent Flyers earn points on Abu-Dhabi to Berlin flights as that segment is operated by airBerlin with EY codeshare on it?

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  • John Walton

    John Walton

    9 Feb, 2012 09:46 am

    I had the same idea, asked Etihad's PR rep about this a month or two ago, and he came back with a definite no. 

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  • sagidec


    9 Feb, 2012 05:45 pm

    So, the only way I can not lost out on points would be flying Qantas to Bangkok and connect with airBerlin from there... That seems to be the only option.

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  • fra gre

    fra gre

    13 Feb, 2012 12:28 pm

    Hi there. As I'm thinking of going to Berlin later in the year this is pretty interesting. However when exploring flight options from SYD - BER return (BER is the code for the new Brandenburg Airport) I get an error message. The airberlin site doesn't even have Sydney as a destination on their list. Any ideas? Are the code share flights not organised yet?


    No member give thanks


19 Jan, 2018 06:55 am


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