The postponed launches both affect new US connections, namely a twice weekly Berlin-San Francisco service, now scheduled to start on May 29 instead of May 1, (with a third weekly frequency to be added in June), and a four-times-a-week Berlin-Los Angeles service, now due to commence on May 16 instead of May 2.
The airline blames its new ground handling agent AeroGround for the decision, which took over handling services at Berlin on March 26 – the beginning of the summer schedule. The wholly owned subsidiary of Munich airport reportedly caused severe delays during the start-up phase as a result of slow baggage handling.
It is hoped that postponing the launch of the new routes will allow AeroGround time to stabilise its operation. Airberlin CEO Thomas Winkelmann said the delay will allow AeroGround “extra time to improve their performance so that we can again offer a good and stable product to our passengers and especially to our transfer passengers.”
Affected passengers from Berlin Tegel will be rebooked on to alternative airberlin flights via Düsseldorf.
The airline’s new long-haul route from Düsseldorf to Orlando will start as planned on May 6.