NIKIs Press Releases

2010-04-09 14:00

NIKI and Air Berlin – a powerful force on the Italian market

  • Further increase in services between Austria and Italy
  • Soprano trio Appassionante to act as musical ambassadors

Air Berlin and NIKI are raising their profile on the Italian market with a summer 2010 schedule that includes up to 29 non-stop flights per week from Austria to the Apennine peninsula. Flights will be running from Vienna to Bari, Cagliari, Lamezia Terme and Olbia, and a wider selection of non-stop services to Milan (11 times a week) and Rome (13 times a week) is also now available.

New connections to Sardinia are the driving force behind this expansion in the route network operated by Air Berlin and partner NIKI, and services from Vienna to Olbia (twice weekly) and Cagliari (weekly) have been added to the schedule.

As Niki Lauda noted: “This increase in flights to Italy means even greater choice for our passengers, and also enables us to reach new customers with our business model. It is also a logical next step in the ongoing network development process.

Italy is a key market for Air Berlin,” said CEO Joachim Hunold at today’s press conference in Vienna, adding: “We aim to capitalise on the excellent opportunities to develop our services there. The expansion of our European and German domestic networks will provide an attractive source of additional growth.

Besides the addition of more non-stop flights and a rise in frequencies to Italy, the expanded summer 2010 schedule also offers a wider range of connections to and from Spain and Israel. The companies’ hybrid business model, providing convenient links to major European cities, is aimed not just at private travellers but also at business travellers and tour operators. Air Berlin will be running services to 154 destinations around the world in summer 2010 in collaboration with NIKI – up from 127 a year earlier. Thanks to its improved hub structure, the German airline is posting strong growth, particularly in Berlin, where it offers a large number of good connections to Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. Air Berlin also operates long-haul flights to attractive destinations such as North America and the Caribbean via Düsseldorf.

Appassionante – the new face of Air Berlin in Italy

In the next few years the Air Berlin Group’s Italian advertising will be fronted by soprano trio Appassionante, who launched the airline’s campaign with a specially composed song. The three classically trained singers teamed up in 2002 to form Appassionante, a unique pop-classic crossover which showcases their extraordinary vocal talents.

Stefania Francabandiera hails from the south Italian port city of Barletta in Apulia and studied classical singing in Bari. Before joining Appassionante she worked with a host of big-name stars including Zucchero and Eros Ramazzotti.

Mara Tanchis was born in Sardinia. Her studies at the Bologna Academy of Music were such a success that she was invited to perform at the Vatican during an audience with the Pope.

Rome-born Giorgia Villa grew up just to the south of the Italian capital. She studied classical and modern music in London, where she performed with the likes of Gary Barlow and Robbie Williams.

Air Berlin PLC & Co. Luftverkehrs KG
Air Berlin is Germany’s second-largest airline and has been a listed company since May 2006. Last year Air Berlin carried a total of 27.9 million passengers worldwide. The airline currently employs around 8,200 people. The company regularly lifts numerous awards for service and quality. Air Berlin has one of Europe’s newest fleets, and the average age of its aircraft is 5.5 years. Thanks to their low fuel consumption these state-of-the-art jets make a major contribution to lower aviation emissions.

NIKI Luftfahrt GmbH
NIKI’s Airbus and Embraer fleet, and list of destinations has been growing steadily ever since the company’s foundation in November 2003. Air Berlin acquired a 49.9 percent interest in NIKI Luftfahrt GmbH early in 2010 (subject to the approval of the competition authorities). The alliance between NIKI and Air Berlin is the first between European low-cost-airlines. In 2009 NIKI Luftfahrt GmbH was in the black for the sixth year in a row, with profits up by 76% on 2008. NIKI Luftfahrt GmbH employs 600 people. In 2009 the airline carried approximately 2.6 million passengers.

Press contact at Air Berlin
Diane Daedelow
Air Berlin press officer
Tel:    49 (0)30 34341500

Press contact at NIKI
Milene Platzer
Tel:    43 (0)1 70126445