Airberlin to Stop Flying on October 28
Airberlin will cancel all flights from October 28th “at the latest” as it formally declares bankruptcy.
The German carrier began insolvency proceedings in August, seeking protection from its creditors.
A temporary solution was found when airberlin was bailed out by a £137 million loan from the German government, which has kept planes flying until now. However, these funds have now been exhausted.
The final crisis began when Etihad, which holds a 29 percent stake in the German company, finally lost patience with the loss-making airline and withdrew its funding. The Abu Dhabi-based carrier had injected £227 million into Air Berlin as recently as April.
In a statement Etihad added: “airberlin’s business has deteriorated at an unprecedented pace, preventing it from overcoming its significant challenges and from implementing alternative strategic solutions.”
airberlin’s 8,600 employees are being urged to seek jobs elsewhere. The airline has begun talks with labour leaders on terms for letting employees go, according to a letter released by chief executive Thomas Winkelmann.
Airberlin is also involved in the process of selling planes and airport slots. Deutsche Lufthansa and easyJet among those bidding for the company’s assets.
airline was set up in 1978 in what was then West Berlin and, after adopting a low-cost business model following Germany’s unification in 1990, the carrier sold shares public in 2006.
A statement from airberlin read: “As far as we are currently aware, flight operations under the IATA airline code AB will no longer be possible during the insolvency proceedings, at the latest from October 28th 2017.”
However, NIKI flights are not affected and will be continued. Passengers who booked before August 15th will not be able to claim the cost of tickets back, the carrier said.