Qantas has advised members of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program that they will no longer earn points and status credits when flying Air Berlin. The brief notice published in the Partner Earnings tables, states
Effective for travel on or from 15 November 2017, Qantas Frequent Flyer Members will no longer earn Qantas Points or Status Credits on flights with an airberlin or affiliate airlines flight number.
Air Berlin has been under severe financial pressure recently. It put itself into administration after shareholder Etihad airlines signalled it was ending financial support. At present, it is going through the process of seeking bids from potential buyers.
Following the news of administration, the oneWorld alliance affirmed that Air Berlin remained a member of oneWorld.
The removal of the ability to earn Points or Status Credits steps it up a notch for Qantas Frequent Flyers. It may well be that Air Berlin has flagged to Qantas that they may not be getting paid for the points being offered. Remember that when earning points on partner airlines, the partner pays Qantas for the points you earn.
On removing points earn, Qantas seems to have moved first. A review of other OneWorld partner earn tables in otther programs has not shown any others to have introduced such a removal. This may, however, change over the coming days.