21 JANUARY 2013
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Oneworld member Air Berlin, which has not made a profit in years, is to reduce its workforce by 900 (10%) in a cost-cutting drive.
Air Berlin is now 30% owned by Abu Dhabi-based Etihad, and although non-aligned has close connections with Air France. Air Berlin had pinned its hopes in benefiting from the opening of Berlin Brandenburg but has been dealt a double whammy, forced to stay at Tegel and not able to develop its new Willie Brandt International hub. (see BTN 14 January)
A turnaround plan aims to make savings of €400m by the end of 2014. The programme covers all areas of operation, fleet size and relationships with business partners as well.
Long haul services from Berlin and Düsseldorf are to be expanded. Airports in Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart, Vienna and Zurich will remain primary bases.
Years of losses at the airline cost founder Joachim Hunold his job as Chief Executive in 2011. Interim Chief Executive Hartmut Mehdorn stepped down last week, handing over the controls to the airline's strategy chief Wolfgang Prock-Schauer who’s CV includes the position of CEO Jet Airways (India), and the very last CEO of bmi. www.airberlin.com
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