By Azania Post
GERMANY’s second largest and Europe’s 10th biggest overall airline has announced bankruptcy, prepares to stop all service at end of this month.
Already German Lufthansa has shown intention to buy Air Berlin assets after the budget carriers’ insolvency.
According to Lufthansa Chief Executive Officer, Carsten Spohr, his company will sign a deal to buy Air Berlin’s 81 planes and take on its 3,000 employees. Spohr said the deal was scheduled to take effect this week.
Lufthansa Chief Executive Officer, Carsten Spohr
Air Berlin, confirmed last month it was negotiating with other airlines to sell its assets after filing for insolvency in August.
Its insolvency came after its main shareholder, Etihad, stated it would not give further financial support to the German airline.
The carrier, which had accumulated debt since 2008, announced a record loss of over €780 million ($910 million) last year.
In a letter to its employees on Monday, the airline said that flights under the airline code AB "according to the current state of things, will no longer be possible."
Flights operated by its subsidiaries; Niki, an Austrian budget airline, and LG Walter, a German regional airline, will continue.
Air Berlin is currently in talks with Lufthansa (German’s biggest carrier) and UK-based Easyjet about selling parts of its business. The company said in the letter that "in a few days we'll know more" about this.
Aviation expert John Strickland told the Telegraph: "This has been expected for some time. It's now a question of how much capacity will be picked up by Lufthansa and most probably easyJet, and how many jobs this will protect."