Air Berlin sees flight operations stabilizing on Thursday: staff memo

Laura Christensen
September 14, 2017

Air Berlin, Germany's second largest carrier, has been forced to suspend over a hundreds flights after a large portion of its pilots failed to report for duty.

The airline's chief executive Thomas Winkelmann said some employees are "playing with fire", as the number of short-notice sick days was much higher than usual.

Intro wants "Air Berlin as a whole" rather than buying up chunks, Woehrl emphasised, urging other potential buyers nosing around the airline like Lufthansa, Condor, TUI, Germania and Austrian former Formula One driver Niki Lauda to join his offer. "Air Berlin has informed us on short notice that numerous flights operated by Air Berlin. can not be staffed", says Eurowings.

"Today has cost us several million euros".

The carrier, which declared bankruptcy last month after years of losses, is negotiating the transfer of staff to a potential buyer.

Air Berlin had to cancel flights at Tegel airport in Berlin
AXEL SCHMIDT REUTERS Air Berlin had to cancel flights at Tegel airport in Berlin

The German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy said that Air Berlin was holding negotiations with Lufthansa and another company on selling some of the company's assets. "This is the only way we can protect as many jobs as possible".

Pilot union Vereinigung Cockpit says it is "surprised" by the cancellations and stresses that it has not called on its members to call in sick.

The goal of the loan is to allow Air Berlin to continue operations and maintain its services while it concludes ongoing negotiations to sell its assets.

Air Berlin announced yesterday the cancellation of flights to Caribbean destinations as it is forced to reduce its long-haul fleet.

In order not to leave travellers stranded during the busy summer season, the German government agreed to provide a bridging loan of 150 million euros to keep the airline flying for three months.

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