Air Berlin Cancels More Long-haul Routes

Oscar PerrySep 13, 2017

Insolvent German airline Air Berlin has announced the cancellation of more than 70 flights, Tuesday.

"The fear and anger among Air Berlin staff is escalating because the future of whole families is at stake".

"No company could possibly be seen in a worse light than Air Berlin today", Chief Operations Officer Oliver Iffert said in a internal memo to staff seen by Reuters.

"At the moment more than 110 flights have been canceled, with about 12,000 passengers affected", the spokeswoman said.

"This day is costing us several million euros", Winkelmann said in a statement.

Last month, Air Berlin, the Germany's second-largest airline filed for bankruptcy protection shortly after its principal shareholder Etihad Airways announced the withdrawal of funding for the carrier. "A stable operation is mandatory for these negotiations to succeed".

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Air Berlin continues to operate due to a 150 million euro ($180 milliom) credit loan from the German government.

An estimated one-sixth of the airline's 1,500 pilots called in sick on Tuesday, which is likely to represent one-third to one-half of the total rostered to work.

"Many" of these declarations were made at short notice, during the pilots' pre-flight crew briefings or as they made their way to the aircraft, adds Air Berlin, noting that the ensuing disruption is "life threatening" for the German carrier.

German service-sector union Verdi argues that it is "not at all surprising" that pilots have called in sick, given Air Berlin's current situation.

Air Berlin said once it had received the offers from potential investors on Friday, it hoped to reach a decision by September 21.

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