With a fleet of 126 machines, Air Berlin had one of the youngest fleets in Europe. Regularly exchanging aircraft ensured that the fleet remained safe, economical and environmentally friendly. At the end of December 2006, 85 Boeing 737 NG were ordered. In July 2007 50 long-range aircraft of the type Boeing 787 Dreamliner were also ordered.
The history of Air Berlin goes back to Air Berlin Inc., which was founded in 1978 in the USA. Until German reunification, only aircraft of the occupying powers in West Berlin were permitted to land there. The first flight took place in spring 1979 and flew from Berlin to Mallorca. After German reunification, an authorization was required from the Luftfahrt-Bundesamt (LBA). On 16 April 1991, the German "Air Berlin GmbH & Co. Luftverkehrs KG" was finally in place. Joachim Hunold is now responsible for managing the company.
Since 1997, Air Berlin GmbH & Co. KG was a member of IATA, and is thereby officially a scheduled airline. In 2004, Air Berlin took over 24 percent of the then newly founded airline, Niki Lauda, and since then has been operating a low-fare alliance. In spring 2006, the airline went public on the stock exchange. In mid August of that year, Air Berlin PLC & Co. KG took over dba airline aviation Munich. Since March 2007, Air Berlin has also been involved in the Swiss airline Belair. By August 2007 the Federal Cartel Office approved the acquisition of the Dusseldorf-based airline LTU, and the Air Berlin Group was able to operate its first long-haul flights. New shuttle services to long-haul flights and additional flights within Germany have been carried out since winter 2007 with the partner airline LGW Walter mbH.
Airberlin's frequent flyer programme with top-bonus on all flights worldwide with the Air Berlin Group (Air Berlin, LTU, Belair, NIKI and LGW) allows flyers to collect air miles and redeem them for a premium ticket. Business fares for business travellers offer full flexibility, good flight connections and a full service at reasonable rates. The transport of sports equipment at no extra cost and a comprehensive family service with a children's discount round off the service. With the Relax Class and Business Class, passengers can enjoy even more comfort.
Airberlin was chosen airline of the year 2007 by the business magazine Capital in the low-cost category. In an independent survey of airline passengers by Skytrax, Air Berlin was also voted as Europe's best low-cost airline. It flew within Germany from 20 German airports and worldwide to more than 120 popular destinations in America, Asia, Africa and Europe. Cities served included Barcelona, Budapest, Helsinki, Copenhagen, London, Los Angeles, Milan, Miami, Moscow, New York, Paris, Beijing, Rome, Shanghai, St. Petersburg, Stockholm, Vienna and Zurich. Popular holiday destinations were Majorca and the Canary Islands.