Air berlin files for insolvency

Air Berlin, Germany’s second-largest carrier, filed for insolvency on Tuesday after its main shareholder Etihad withdrew funding following years of losses and declared it would not be providing further financial support.

The airline, which has accumulated debt for almost a decade, reported a record loss of 782m euros ($915m) in 2016. However Air Berlin will remain operating thanks to a transitional loan of 150m euros from the German government. At a news conference, Germany's Economy Minister, Brigitte Zypries, said the government's emergency loan should allow flights at the airline to continue for three months. The measure will keep the airline flying and avoid leaving “many tens of thousands of travelers” stranded at the height of the holiday season while negotiations continue.

Lufthansa is in talks to buy part of the Air Berlin Group to prevent the collapse of one of Europe’s largest airlines. Ms Zypries said discussions between Air Berlin and Lufthansa were going well, and a deal whereby Lufthansa takes over part of the insolvent airline should be struck in the next few months.

With the uncertainty surrounding Air Berlin, FCM Travel Solutions has taken the decision to stop selling Air Berlin flight tickets with immediate effect until further notice.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your Corporate Traveler Travel Manager.