Titlu: FlyNiki to strengthen European position as oneworld member
Unora le merge bine, altora nu.FlyNiki to strengthen European position as oneworld member
Vienna-based FlyNiki will strengthen its position in Eastern Europe when Air Berlin (AB) becomes a oneworld member March 20 (ATW Daily News, Feb. 3). FlyNiki, an AB subsidiary, will join the alliance as an affiliate member.
FlyNiki MD Christian Lesjak told ATW in Tel Aviv that alliance membership will generate new potential and secure its position for future growth, especially after Malev Hungarian Airlines ceased operations, which caused oneworld to lose a Budapest hub and some important links to Eastern European destinations (ATW Daily News, Feb. 6).
FlyNiki’s fleet—which includes Airbus A319s, A320s and A321s and Embraer E-190s/195s—will grow from 23 aircraft this year to 26 in 2013 as it adds three more A320s.
Lesjak said the airline is evaluating “new routes to nations like Russia, the Ukraine, the Balkans, Tirana or Sarajevo.”
He said one of the carrier’s highest priorities is hub connectivity within the Berlin Group, such as Vienna (VIE), Berlin, Dusseldorf and Abu Dhabi. Lesjak said that currently less than 10% of the carrier’s passengers are changing aircraft in VIE within the AB group; he expects this to increase in 2012. On some dedicated connecting flights, the transfer share is already around 30% [in VIE], he said. He predicts long-haul routes to VIE will open up, creating growth opportunities for the airline.
In 2011, FlyNiki had a turnover of €435 million ($575.8 million), up 29% compared to €337 million the year before. Lesjak said positive 2011 results will be announced soon. The carrier transported 4.5 million passengers last year, up 32% from 3.4 million in 2010, and is expecting more than five million in 2012.
The carrier operates four Airbus A321s, 10 A320s and seven Embraer E-190s. Two more aircraft will join the fleet this year.