Home » Archive by Author

Articles by Christian Stampfer

Photo Essay: Auf Wiedersehen, Air Berlin!

MUNICH—Air Berlin, which was founded as a U.S. company based in Oregon in 1978 to operate charter flights in and out of West Berlin, flew its final flight on October 28 after almost 40 years of plying the skies.
After the reunification of Germany, the airline was acquired by Joachim Hunold, a former German leisure airline LTU executive. It became a low-cost long-haul carrier in 2007 after acquiring LTU, and evolved into …

Air Berlin to Exit Oneworld Alliance

Air Berlin to Exit Oneworld Alliance

MUNICH—The oneworld alliance announced on Tuesday that Air Berlin will end its relationship with the alliance along with its affiliate Niki, a low-cost carrier headquartered in Vienna.
The Berlin-based airline “will cease participating in the oneworld alliance with effect from the close of business on 27 October 2017,” the alliance said in a written statement.
The move follows the German carrier’s filing for insolvency over the summer.
Air Berlin’s departure will remove 12 …

Lufthansa Set to Acquire Part of Air Berlin

Lufthansa Set to Acquire Part of Air Berlin

MUNICH—Lufthansa signed an agreement Thursday to purchase part of Air Berlin, formerly Germany’s second-largest carrier. Air Berlin had filed for insolvency over the summer.
The German flag carrier said it would acquire several of Air Berlin’s business units including Niki Luftfahrt and Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter for €210 million ($249 million).
Lufthansa also announced it would acquire 81 planes and hire 3,000 workers from Air Berlin, making the company’s overall outlay €1.5 billion.
No timeline …

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 …