19 JUNE 2017
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Moves to “safeguard operations” were announced by airberlin last week after the carrier, Germany’s second largest after Lufthansa, said it was seeking state aid in the form of a request to the governments of Berlin and North-Rhine Westphalia to guarantee its debts.
The company said the application, under which it must present a viable concept for its future, had been made “from a fundamental consideration point of view regarding the further development of the new airberlin”.
A spokesman added the move should be an important sign to airberlin’s 7,500 employees and its passengers that the German carrier is safeguarding operations. He said the development was unconnected with the end of talks about a joint venture between Abu Dhabi-based Etihad and the German travel company TUI Group about a new European airline group.
Airberlin reported a loss of €781.9m (US$824m) in 2016, compared with a €446.6m loss for the previous year. First-quarter 2017 losses also increased to €293.3m, up from €182.3m for the equivalent period of 2016.
The carrier said recent results had been dominated by the transition to a new business model, with the old model and high restructuring costs having a “huge impact” on last year’s performance. Recent bookings however looked positive.
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
David Starkie, United Kingdom
It will be interesting to see whether a German dominated EU keep to state-aid rules although Lufthansa will be keen that it does so.