Auf Wiedersehen Air Berlin: Germany’s Second Largest Airline Ceases Operations After 39 Years

Oct 28, 2017

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

On Friday at 11:46 pm local time, the airline known as Air Berlin landed for the very last time. Air Berlin flight 6210 from Munich (MUC) to Berlin’s Tegel (TXL) would be the last flight for what was Germany’s second-largest airline. This final flight comes less than 11 weeks after Air Berlin declared bankruptcy and began a sharp reduction in service.

The historic last flight was operated by an Airbus A320 with the registration D-ABNW. Just like on Air Berlin’s final transatlantic flight, the pilots of the final Air Berlin flight ever extended their time in the air by just a bit. But this time, it seems the pilots didn’t have to break airline rules to do so. The loops around Berlin created a crude heart over the city it was named after and operated from:

BER4EVR final flight track

The pilots switched the flight’s call sign from AB6210 to BER4EVR before departing MUC, leaving an eerie Status: “Unknown” for AB6210 on flight tracking site FlightRadar24:

AB6210 status unknown

During the day on Friday, the airline posted photos on Twitter from its nearly four decade history using the hashtag “#Forever39” — the memories included everything from the airline’s first flight in 1979 to introducing new crew uniforms in 1992 to joining the Oneworld alliance in 2012.

And with the landing of AB6210 / BER4EVR, Air Berlin has suspended its operations. The airline took to the internet to say one last “Tschüss, auf Wiedersehen and bye-bye.”

Air Berlin final website message2What’s next for the former airline’s operations? EasyJet announced on Friday that it’ll take over the leases of up to 25 of Air Berlin’s Airbus A320s, along with Air Berlin’s takeoff and landing slots at Berlin Tegel Airport (TXL). To staff these operations, the London-based airline has launched a campaign to hire up to 1,000 Air Berlin staff. EasyJet will pay €40 million (~US$46 million) for the leases and landing slots.

However, it’ll take a while before EasyJet can get approval for its plan from the German authorities. In the meantime, Air Transport World calculates that “the German aviation system will lose 60,000 passengers seats and 250 flights every day.”

What’s your favorite memory of Air Berlin?

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.