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Articles by Christian Stampfer

Majority of Air Berlin Likely to Be Sold Off to Lufthansa

Majority of Air Berlin Likely to Be Sold Off to Lufthansa

MUNICH—The disposition of Air Berlin, which filed for bankruptcy in August of this year, may soon be resolved.
German newsmagazine Der Spiegel reported on Friday that Lufthansa will acquire the majority of the insolvent airline’s assets.
Several parties including low-cost carrier Easyjet, holiday airline Condor, and former racecar driver and airline entrepreneur Niki Lauda are reportedly interested in acquiring the remaining assets. British Airways’ parent IAG, which had previously expressed interest, is …

BMW: ‘We Don’t Need No Stinking Keys’

MUNICH—The first ignition keys were introduced by Chrysler in 1949, although car doors required keys prior to that time. Early innovations in car keys included jackknife-like flip keys and keys with elaborate marque’s logos on them. Starting in the mid-1990s, cars began to come with transponder keys, programmed to allow only a specific vehicle to start.
Fast forward to the early 2000s when automakers such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz introduced keyless …

BMW Introduces New 2018 i3 and i3s Electric Vehicles

BMW Introduces New 2018 i3 and i3s Electric Vehicles

MUNICH—BMW introduced a redesigned i3 electric vehicle for the model year 2018 and announced a new model, the BMW i3s, the sport version of the i3.
The new 2018 i3 features an updated design, new standard features, and the same powerplant as the 2017 model, which, in turn was updated for that model year. Both the i3 and the i3s will be available with a Range Extender.
The new BMW i3 has …

‘Challenge Tesla,’ Says Chancellor’s Office to German Auto Industry

‘Challenge Tesla,’ Says Chancellor’s Office to German Auto Industry

MUNICH—The German auto industry should invest more in electric vehicles and not rest on its laurels, said Kanzleramtschef, or Chancellor’s Chief of Staff, Peter Altmaier over the weekend in Berlin.
Mr. Altmaier said he was disappointed by the response of managers at German automakers following the Dieselgate scandal while speaking at the government’s Tag der offenen Tür, an open house.
Calling Dieselgate a Catch-22, he said he was against a ban on …

Air Berlin Files for Bankruptcy Protection After Etihad Pulls the Plug on Financing

Air Berlin Files for Bankruptcy Protection After Etihad Pulls the Plug on Financing

MUNICH—Air Berlin, Germany’s second largest airline, said it filed for bankruptcy protection after its largest shareholder, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad, said it would pull the plug on financing the carrier.
The filing of the provisional insolvency proceeding took place at the local court of Berlin-Charlottenburg or Amtsgericht Charlottenburg.
The move came after years of unsuccessful turnaround attempts at the Berlin-based carrier and comes at the height of the summer travel season.
Air Berlin, which …

Air Berlin to Double Business Class Cabin Size on European Routes

Air Berlin to Double Business Class Cabin Size on European Routes

MUNICH—Air Berlin announced Friday that it will double the size of its business-class cabins on short-haul flights. Previously, business class occupied only the first row of the aircraft.
The new business-class section will be comprised of two rows. Passengers will be guaranteed an empty middle seat and 32” of legroom. The seats will otherwise be the same, as they are currently on intra-European flights.
Business-class passengers will receive a pre-departure beverage, as …

Europe, Sweltering Under Heat Wave, Tries to Play It Cool Without AC

MUNICH—An uncommonly hot summer has caused authorities in 11 central and southern European countries to warn of dangerously high temperatures in recent days, and the heat wave shows no signs of abating.
Visitors and residents in countries that include France, Spain, and Italy are being urged to take precautions amidst the region’s soaring temperatures. The heat wave – nicknamed Lucifer – is the most severe since 2003 and arrived in parallel …