Europe

airberlin files for insolvency

airberlin A319
Tis Meyer/Planepics.org

airberlin has today filed to commence insolvency proceedings under self-administration at the local District Court (Amtsgericht) of Berlin-Charlottenburg, in order to continue with the restructuring process that is already underway.

The Federal German Government, Lufthansa and other partners are supporting airberlin in its restructuring efforts. The Federal Government is supporting airberlin with a bridging loan to maintain flight operations for the long-term.

This means:
–       all flights operated by airberlin and NIKI will continue as planned;
–       the flight schedule remains valid;
–       bookings remain valid;
–       all flights can still be booked.

Negotiations with Lufthansa and other partners regarding the acquisition of business units of airberlin are far advanced and highly promising. These negotiations may be finalised shortly.

Thomas Winkelmann, CEO of airberlin:

“We are working tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome for the company, our customers and employees, given the situation.”

The background of today’s announcement is the notification by Etihad that it no longer intends to provide airberlin with financial support.

Etihad has stated today:

“We have been informed that airberlin has filed for administration.

“This development is extremely disappointing for all parties, especially as Etihad has provided extensive support to airberlin for its previous liquidity challenges and restructuring efforts over the past six years.

“In April this year, Etihad provided EUR 250 million of additional funding to airberlin as well as supporting the airline to explore strategic options for the business. However, airberlin’s business has deteriorated at an unprecedented pace, preventing it from overcoming its significant challenges and from implementing alternative strategic solutions.

“Under these circumstances, as a minority shareholder, Etihad cannot offer funding that would further increase our financial exposure. We remain open to helping find a commercially viable solution for all parties.

“We expect airberlin operations to continue during administration. We have a commercial relationship with airberlin across a range of areas, including codeshare operations, and we will support airberlin’s management during these difficult times.

“Germany is an important market for Etihad and Abu Dhabi, and we remain committed to providing comprehensive air links as a key enabler of trade and tourism.”

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