(Corrects to remove analyst's comment with incorrect statement
that Air Berlin does not fly into American Airline hubs)
FRANKFURT, July 27 Air Berlin (AB1.DE) expects
to start flying as part of the Oneworld alliance of airlines in
early 2012 in a move analysts said would bolster its position
against German flagship carrier Lufthansa (LHAG.DE)
In a first step, Air Berlin has entered code-sharing
agreements with Oneworld members American Airlines AMR.N and
Bilateral agreements with British Airways BAY.L and Iberia
IBLA.MC will follow, Air Berlin said on Tuesday.
Joining the Oneworld alliance would allow Air Berlin to
share pricing, scheduling and other information within the
"Strategically, Air Berlin should emerge as a valuable
continental/eastern European feeder carrier for the Oneworld
alliance, with a lucrative airport base," UniCredit analyst Uwe
He estimates joining Oneworld could add as much as 50
million euros to Air Berlin's annual earnings from 2012.
Oneworld has 13 member airlines including British Airways,
Japan Airlines (JAL) JALFQ.PK and Australia's Qantas (QAN.AX).
It competes with Star Alliance, which includes Lufthansa and
United Airlines UAUA.O, and SkyTeam, with members Air
France-KLM (AIRF.PA) and Delta (DAL.N).
Analysts cautioned, though, that any initial earnings impact
from Oneworld entry would be limited.
(Reporting by Maria Sheahan; editing by Simon Jessop)
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