Air Berlin Cancels More Long-haul Routes

Pilot action forces Air Berlin cancellations

Pilot action forces Air Berlin cancellations

Insolvent Air Berlin said it has cancelled around 70 flights so far on Tuesday, affecting both its own operations and flights it carries out for Lufthansa's Eurowings, after pilots called in sick in unusually high numbers.

Germany daily Bild reported Tuesday that the airline is in a dispute with pilots about the transfer of staff to a potential buyer.

The Gulf-based company said last month the decline of Air Berlin was "extremely disappointing", especially as it had provided extensive support to the German carrier over the past six years, notably with a €250m (£227m) cash injection in April this year.

Lufthansa's low-priced subsidiary Eurowings, which is renting aircraft as well as pilot and crew from Air Berlin, has also been forced to cancel some flights.

Mr Winkelmann said: "This day is costing us several million euros".

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"At the moment more than 110 flights have been canceled, with about 12,000 passengers affected", the spokeswoman said.

"We are in the middle of final negotiations with potential investors".

The airline had long struggled for survival, and booked losses amounting to 1.2 billion euros ($1.4 billion) over the past two years.

In an internal memo, chief operations officer Oliver Iffert said: "We must return to stable operations. That is crucial in order to bring talks with investors to a successful conclusion", he added. A decision on the fate of Air Berlin could come as quickly as September 21, three days before the German national election.

Board member Christine Behle states: "All talks about insolvent Air Berlin revolve around economical interests, but not the jobs of more than 8,000 employees".

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