Air Berlin boosts partners' hubs in summer 2013 schedule

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Air Berlin has revised its summer 2013 schedule as part of an ongoing "efficiency drive" that appears to centre on increasing frequencies to its partners' hubs.

The revised schedule incorporates the cancellation of seasonal flights from Düsseldorf to Vancouver, Las Vegas and San Francisco. The latter two will be available via a codeshare deal with American Airlines.

Other North American services will see frequency increases, with the German carrier boosting flights from Berlin and Düsseldorf to the American Airlines hubs of New York JFK, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago in May 2013.

At Düsseldorf, summer flight frequencies to New York JFK will be increased from seven to 10 per week; Miami will increase from five to seven per week; and Los Angeles from three to four per week.

The Berlin-Miami route will gain two additional flights, bringing the service to five times weekly. Air Berlin had already announced a new direct service from the German capital to American Airlines' Chicago hub, beginning March 2013.

The network alterations are "aimed at selectively weeding out low-frequency routes while simultaneously strengthening the strategically important, high-turnover routes", Air Berlin says in a statement.

Other changes in its summer schedule include a reduction of connecting services on the Spanish mainland via Palma de Mallorca's Son Sant Joan airport. Barcelona, Madrid and Santiago de Compostela are all being dropped from the network.

Unnamed Oneworld partners will take over the Majorca-Madrid segment, Air Berlin says, while a new interline agreement with Vueling and Air Europa will replace the Barcelona service.

The overall number of flights operated by Air Berlin to the Balearic Island will increase by 14% year-on-year to 402 per week, due partly to increased frequencies from Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich.

Last month, the German carrier unveiled a second cost-cutting programme, 'Turbine 2013', which is to run parallel to its pre-existing 'Shape and Size' initiative.