German investor bids 500M euros for Air Berlin

Sep 14, 2017, 00:55
German investor bids 500M euros for Air Berlin

Bankrupt German airline Air Berlin has said its existence has been threatened by an apparent wildcat strike by staff, after 200 of its pilots called in sick at short notice on Tuesday.

Lufthansa's low-priced subsidiary Eurowings, which leases Air Berlin aircraft and crew, was also affected for a second day.

"We worked hard to be able to make this offer, with help not only from experts but also supportive comments and suggestions from employees, passengers and business partners of Air Berlin", the Bavarian airline tycoon wrote in a Facebook post late Sunday.

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However, the budget carrier expects to carry out the majority of its 650 planned flights for today because it would take measures such as rebooking customers onto other flights or trains and using standby planes and crews.

The company's website reveals canceled flights from several German airports including Berlin Tegel, Duesseldorf, Hamburg, and Cologne.

Representatives from pilots' union Vereinigung Cockpit were not immediately available for comment.

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Germany's second-biggest airline declared bankruptcy last month following years of losses and the decision of its biggest shareholder, Gulf airline Etihad, to cease financing.

They announced the cancellation of more than 100 flights on Tuesday. But a loan from the German government is keeping the carrier afloat while attempts are made to sell off parts of the airline.

Former Formula One driver Niki Lauda is also interested in buying back Niki, the Austrian airline he founded, which merged with Air Berlin six years ago.

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It called on its remaining pilots to support the airline as the sale of its assets nears the home stretch, saying continued flights were a pre-requisite for jobs at Air Berlin to be saved.

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