Germany's second largest airline is to join the Oneworld airline alliance.
A memorandum of understanding between the airline and Oneworld was signed in Berlin last night (July 26), with Air Berlin to start flying as part of the alliance in early 2012, in time for the opening of the new hub airport Berlin Brandenburg International.
The move is thought to mean Air Berlin will offer more destinations through codesharing agreements with fellow oneworld members.
The German carrier has already announced new "co-operative agreements" with American Airlines and Finnair, and said "bilateral agreements" with Iberia and British Airways (BA) will follow.
BA will be Air Berlin's alliance sponsor, helping the airline through the joining process.
As a member of the Air Berlin group, the Vienna-based leisure airline Niki will become an affiliate member of Oneworld.
Air Berlin flies to 160 destinations in some 40 countries. Along with Niki, Air Berlin operates a fleet of 165 aircraft.
Rival carrier Lufthansa, the largest airline in Germany, is a member of Star Alliance.