Airberlin is launching non-stop service between Chicago and Berlin on March 23, making it the first airline ever to provide a connection between the...

Airberlin is launching non-stop service between Chicago and Berlin on March 23, making it the first airline ever to provide a connection between the major U.S. metropolis and the capital of Germany.

The route announcement follows the inauguration of Airberlin’s non-stop flight between Los Angeles and Berlin in May.


This photograph shows a line-up of four of Airberlin's Airbus A330s at one of its major hubs, either Berlin or Dusseldorf

Airberlin will start operations on the new route with three-times-weekly round-trips, in time for the Easter holidays at the end of March 2013. When the summer schedule starts in May 2013, Airberlin will increase its non-stop flights from three to five a week.

“The new Chicago-Berlin service by European carrier Airberlin is a win for travelers coming to and from Chicago, one of the most accessible cities in the world,” says Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

“In addition to more travel choices for passengers, airberlin’s new routes will provide an annual regional economic impact of $130 million a year and create new jobs,” adds Emanuel. “This is a welcome development as we continue to grow Chicago as a major destination for tourism, culture and business.”

“Chicago is already the seventh U.S. destination to be included in Airberlin’s flight schedule and the airline is thus setting the course for further growth in the United States of America,” remarks Paul Gregorowitsch, chief commercial officer of Airberlin.

Airberlin became a member of the oneworld alliance on March 20, 2012. This photograph shows one of the carrier's Airbus A330-200s featuring the oneworld name

“The direct flight from Chicago is a strategically important step for us to further promote connectivity between our Berlin hub and our partners’ hubs,” adds Gregorowitsch. “Chicago is also the second-largest hub for our oneworld partner, American Airlines. This network expansion will provide a wide range of connections in Europe and in the USA for Airberlin customers and for those of American Airlines.”

“The new route does not only connect the city of Chicago with Berlin, it also provides numerous connections for travelers from Central and South America via the Chicago hub to Berlin,” notes Burkhard Kieker, CEO of VisitBerlin, Berlin’s official tourism agency. “We anticipate increased business opportunities for Berlin as a convention destination.”

Between March 23 and April 31 2013, Airberlin will operate the direct Berlin-Chicago round-trip every Monday, Thursday and Saturday, using Airbus A330-300 widebodies.

From May 1, 2013, the carrier will operate the eight-hour flight to Berlin from Chicago O’Hare International Airport on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Airbus A330-300 D-AERK, inherited by Air Berlin in its take-over of LTU in March 2007, takes off at Düsseldorf

The flight departs from Chicago O’Hare International Airport (IATA code ORD) at 15:25 p.m.. arriving at the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport Willy Brandt (BER) at 7:00 a.m. the next day, local time.

AirBerlin’s flight from Berlin will leave BER at 10:00 a.m. and land at Chicago O’Hare airport at 12:10 p.m the same day, local time.

Connecting flights on Airberlin from Berlin are available to eight other cities in Germany as well as to Vienna, Zurich, Budapest, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Gothenburg, Oslo, Stockholm and Russia. Flying from Chicago also gives passengers access to airberlin’s extensive European route network.

In addition, passengers can connect to and from Chicago on American Airlines’ network, which offers connections from destinations across North America.

Air Berlin began three-times weekly service between Berlin and Los Angeles on May 11, 2012, using Airbus A330-200s. The carrier's inaugural Berlin-Los Angeles flight was met at Los Angeles International Airport with a traditional water-cannon salute from airport fire-department vehicles

Tickets for the new flights to Berlin are available at www.airberlin.com, through the company’s service center (phone: 1-866-266-5588) or through travel agents.

Airberlin is Germany’s second-largest airline. The carrier has a workforce of 9,200 employees and a fleet of 165 aircraft (as of March 31) with an average age of five years, making it one of the most modern fleets in Europe.

As one of the major European airlines, Airberlin flies to 162 destinations in 40 countries. In 2011, it carried more than 35 million passengers.

In December 2011, Airberlin entered into a strategic partnership with Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways, which bought a stake in the German carrier.

Airberlin has a mixed mainline short-haul fleet which includes both Airbus A320-family and Boeing 737NG jets. This photograph shows one of AirBerlin's Boeing 737-800s in flight

Since March 20, 2012, Airberlin has been a full member of the oneworld alliance. Airberlin operates codeshare flights with oneworld members American Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines and Japan Airlines.

To find hotel deals in Berlin, click here. To find hotel deals in Chicago, visit here.

  • Dan

    July 27, 2012 #1 Author

    Think twice before flying Air Berlin. They might steal some items from your baggage.

    I was unlucky enough to board a flight AB 8121 on 08.11.11 from Zurich to Berlin. As a result, Air Berlin delayed my baggage for several days and, upon its recovery, I found that two souvenir Swiss Army knives were missing. Of course, they didn’t return or compensate the stolen items. They very reluctantly condescended to answer my emails.

    Well, it was a horrible experience. You diligently pay money for their services. In return, they delay your baggage, spoil your holiday and, as a crowning achievement, dispossess you of your belongings.

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