Air Berlin introduced business class seats in Europe in attempt to position the company in a profitable segment of the market after years of losses. Later this year, the carrier will begin to reserves the first row of German and European flights for premium customers, who will enjoy also priority in check-in and boarding, fast track at security checks and access to a special lounge before the flights. The new offers include food on board in restaurant style, as the customers will be served individually on their seats.
“The change is the beginning of a broader transformation”, said CEO of Air Berlin, Stefan Pichler. “We are making strategic decisions that will pave the way towards a sustainable future of the company and will position Air Berlin in the higher sector. The new product will make us more attractive, especially for business travelers”, added he.
Stefan Pichler became the fourth consecutive CEO of Air Berlin in early 2015. He is under pressure to restructure the company after seven annual losses in eight years. So far he has not submitted a broader strategy for restructuring the company announced last year.
Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, which holds a share of 29.2% from Air Berlin, requires progress after several rescue loans. The competition in Germany is increasing after Europe’s low cost leader Ryanair increases its flights following British vote to leave the EU. Meanwhile, Lufthansa also strengthens its low-cost subsidiary Eurowings.