Thursday, 21 June, 2018

Etihad Airways says can not bail out Air Berlin

Passengers board a German carrier Air Berlin aircraft at Tegel airport in Berlin Germany Passengers board a German carrier Air Berlin aircraft at Tegel airport in Berlin Germany
Laurie Berry | 15 August, 2017, 20:06

Etihad's once novel strategy of investing in other airlines has weighed heavily on the company's bottom line. Those talks fell apart in June.

Germany's Air Berlin filed for insolvency Tuesday prompting the government to step-in to keep the country's second-largest airline operating in the short-term.

Bankruptcy protection for Air Berlin's Niki Luftfahrt and Leisure Cargo units will not be sought, according to court documents.

The airline, which didn't answer calls, said in a statement that after Etihad pulled funding, it "came to the conclusion that there was no further positive way ahead for Air Berlin".

In April 2017 Etihad provided 250 million euros of additional funding to Air Berlin as well as supporting the airline to explore strategic options for the business. "We remain open to helping find a commercially viable solution for all parties", the Etihad statement said.

Bill Gates reduces Microsoft stake and donates $4.6bn to charity
In May the couple gave more than $1bn to their foundation , which focuses on children's issues and community initiatives. Bill Gates is giving so much of his money away, he's not going to have any time to recommend books .

Etihad, which owns almost 30 percent of Air Berlin, said the German carrier's business "deteriorated at an unprecedented pace, preventing it from overcoming its significant challenges and from implementing alternative strategic solutions".

"We are working tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome for the company, our customers and employees, given the situation", Thomas Winkelmann, Air Berlin's CEO, said in a statement announcing the insolvency.

The German is stepping in with an immediate loan of 150 million euros so the airline it can continue flights for the time being. In May, Alitalia, which was 49% owned by Etihad, also went into bankruptcy. However, it is unlikely to countenance a full takeover: Air Berlin operates a large Airbus fleet similar to easyJet's but also has more than 100 Boeing planes, as well as high costs and pension liabilities.

The airline is in advanced talks with rival Lufthansa for the sale of some aspects of its business as it already leases aircraft to the German flag carrier.

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