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Insolvent carrier Air Berlin to cease operation by Oct 28/2017

Flights operated by insolvent German carrier Air Berlin (AB1.DE) will end by Oct. 28 at the latest, it said on Monday, urging staff to seek jobs elsewhere while it works toward a carve-up of its assets.

Air Berlin filed for insolvency in August and a government loan is keeping its planes in the air to give it time to negotiate with investors for parts of the business.

Talks with Lufthansa and easyJet are due to run until Thursday and once a deal for parts of its business has been agreed Air Berlin will have to wind down the rest of the operation.

“After purchase contracts have been agreed, the company must end its own operations step by step,” Air Berlin said in a statement.

Between the signing of a deal and obtaining competition approval, which could take several months, the Air Berlin business will operate under wet leases, whereby the carrier will rent out crewed planes.

Air Berlin’s Niki, which flies to tourist destinations, and regional airline LG Walter are not insolvent and those will continue to run, the company said.

Most Air Berlin long-haul flights have already been canceled and the remainder will end on Oct. 15.

Lufthansa is interested in Air Berlin operations with about 81 planes, including Niki and LG Walter, while easyJet is in talks for parts of the business with about 27-30 planes, Air Berlin administrators have said.

Those operations also include access to take-off and landing slots at Air Berlin’s hubs in Tegel and Duesseldorf. (full story reuters)

AirBerlin statement:

Adjustments to the airberlin schedule
airberlin will need to cease its long-haul flight operations by 15 October 2017, as the aircraft leasing companies are gradually withdrawing their Airbus A330 jets. The connection between Dusseldorf and Los Angeles has therefore been discontinued by 25 September 2017. Further cancellations will follow on 16 October 2017. On 29 September 2017, airberlin will discontinue services between Hamburg and Munich and between Cologne/Bonn and Munich.
  
For passengers who booked their plane ticket directly with airberlin, the following applies: for tickets purchased after the insolvency filing on 15 August 2017, we will reimburse the purchase price free of charge. Passengers affected may submit any additional costs incurred via the website www.airberlin.com/complaint. Tickets that were booked before the insolvency filing cannot currently be reimbursed due to insolvency regulations. Rebookings on other airlines are not possible.

More on flight cancellations & passengers by AirBerlin.

 

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