Air Berlin is planning several network changes aimed at improving profitability and reducing dependency on seasonal traffic, as part of its restructuring programme.

The German airline says its traditional long-haul base in Dusseldorf is to play an "even more important role" as an intercontinental hub.

A nonstop Berlin-Miami service will be discontinued in May, and the US city will subsequently be served from Dusseldorf.

Meanwhile, capacity on existing routes from Dusseldorf to Los Angeles and New York will be increased through additional frequencies.

The Oneworld carrier insists that Berlin remains a "primary hub" within its network. Frequencies will be raised on routes to Chicago, New York and Abu Dhabi, the home base of its shareholder Etihad Airways.

At the end of this month, Air Berlin will discontinue its flights from the German capital to Barcelona and Oslo. These, it says, were unprofitable.

As part of its increased co-operation with Alitalia, Air Berlin will switch its Milan Malpensa flights to the Italian city's Linate airport on 26 October. The change will also apply to services operated by Austrian subsidiary Niki.

The Vienna-based airline will start twice-weekly flights to Alicante as part of its winter schedule.

Air Berlin's route changes are part of a wider network rejig aimed at increasing frequencies on profitable European routes and lucrative seasonal services across the continent and to Caribbean destinations.

"Our strategy is to serve the key markets [in Germany, Austrian and Switzerland] with higher frequency and to be a strong competitor on these routes," says chief executive Wolfgang Prock-Schauer.

The changes mean a 5% capacity reduction across the network, he says.

Source: Cirium Dashboard