Airberlin files for administration

Airberlin files for administration

Airberlin files for administration

Low-priced airline Air Berlin has filed for bankruptcy after Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, its main shareholder, stopped financing it.

In order to continue with its restructuring, airberlin has filed a provisional insolvency proceeding in self-administration at the local court of Berlin-Charlottenburg yesterday.

This also ensures that all aircraft that are now operated by airberlin under a wet lease agreement for Eurowings and Austrian Airlines will continue operating as before.

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The German government has granted a €150 million ($176 million) bridging loan to Air Berlin to keep its flights running for another three months, at a time when many Germans are still on holiday.

"This manufactured insolvency is clearly being set up to allow Lufthansa to take over a debt-free Air Berlin which will be in breach of all known German and European Union competition rules", said Ryanair in a statement.

Etihad's strategy of buying minority stakes in various far-flung airlines appears to have been particularly ill-conceived: the Abu Dhabi hub carrier reported a US$1.9 billion loss for its 2017 fiscal year. After six years, Etihad realized their efforts weren't going to help the company, and made a decision to pull the plug on future financing.

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Ryanair has accused Lufthansa and the German government of conspiring to carve up collapsed airline Air Berlin. "Otherwise the return flights of these travelers back to Germany with Air Berlin would not have been possible". Air Berlin has a lot of slots that we fly to today and some we don't that we would have looked at. The British budget carrier declined to comment. The business of the discount airline, however, had deteriorated at an unprecedented pace, which prevented it from overcoming its problems and pursuing alternative rescue plans, the spokesperson said.

Winkelmann also said Air Berlin's woes were partly down to constant delays to the opening of the capital's new airport, which was meant to open in 2011, replacing Air Berlin's home airport Tegel and Schoenefeld.

Ryanair and its ilk will be scouring for opportunities too to push into the German market. "This also ensures that all aircraft that are now operated by airberlin under a wet lease agreement for Eurowings and Austrian Airlines will continue operating as before".

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