Air Berlin, Germany’s second largest airline, has faced a financial struggle in recent months, causing leading investors to put pressure on the airline to make drastic cost-saving measures that will ultimately see planes grounded and jobs terminated.
Despite the large cutbacks made earlier in the year, Air Berlin reported in August that it has not been enough and that they intend to counter their financial risks “by ensuring that it rigorously continues its current restructuring program to improve efficiency and reduce costs – particularly in the operating areas and in the organizational structure”.
How far is the company willing to go? By the end of 2016, Air Berlin is expected to cut 1,000 jobs and reduce its number of planes to just 70. Even that may not be enough for the airline’s biggest shareholder, Etihad Airways, which has its own ideas on how to make the company turn a profit.
Reports have indicated that Etihad has been in talks with Lufthansa and TUI to sell off parts of Air Berlin, including 17 planes owned by the company’s Austrian subsidiary and a leasing agreement of 40 planes, and their crew, to Lufthansa — a move that would take away the economical risk of operations.