Air Berlin files for insolvency but flights continue

Air Berlin files for insolvency but flights continue

The loan cash is expected to last for three months, the government said, after which the airline's future is uncertain.

Air Berlin submitted the insolvency filing in a local Berlin court, though it said it won't seek bankruptcy protection for the Niki Luftfahrt GmbH and Leisure Cargo GmbH units.

An aircraft of German carrier Air Berlin seen at Berlin-Tegel airport in Berlin on June 9 this year.

EasyJet could spread its wings in Germany as it emerged as a potential buyer for parts of Air Berlin, which filed for administration on Tuesday. In addition to ongoing negotiation "to take over parts of the Air Berlin group", Lufthansa says it is "exploring the possibility of hiring additional [Air Berlin] staff".

Lufthansa intends to conclude these negotiations successfully in due time. "The return of these travelers to Germany with Air Berlin would otherwise not have been possible [without the loan]". However, airberlin's business has deteriorated at an unprecedented pace, preventing it from overcoming its significant challenges and from implementing alternative strategic solutions.

The discount carrier already has links to Lufthansa, once its arch-rival, following an agreement to lease out part of its fleet to Europe's third-biggest airline group.

Analysts said that a Lufthansa takeover would indeed mainly be to thwart the likes of Ryanair.

Pilots' union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) blamed the shortcomings of past management at Air Berlin for its woes and expressed anger with Etihad.

"Our priority now is to secure jobs".

Shares in Air Berlin, not listed on the Dax, plunged more than 35 percent to 0.51 euros. "Air Berlin must proceed with the utmost transparency and provide all necessary information".

News agency Bloomberg estimates that Air Berlin has burnt through nearly €2 billion in six year.

Air Berlin, which became famous for its "Mallorca shuttle" services, piled up debt after a series of takeovers and concerns over its finances have hit bookings in recent months.

It added that two members of the board of directors, who joined after being nominated by Etihad, had resigned.

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