Air Berlin files for insolvency

Air Berlin files for insolvency proceedings as Lufthansa swoops for takeover

Air Berlin said its flights were continuing.

Air Berlin said that it had applied for insolvency after it was told by Etihad that it was ending financial support after concluding that the Gulf carrier saw "no positive prospects for its continued existence".

Etihad announced on Tuesday that the company was "informed that Air Berlin has filed for administration".

Etihad Airways said on Tuesday it continues to explore options for leisure airline Niki which it bought from Air Berlin for 300 million euros ($351 million) earlier this year.

Lufthansa, which now leases unused planes from airberlin, announced that they too will be playing a role in providing help to the airline where it can by working in tandem with the German government while also exploring options for taking over parts of the company.

The carrier has built up a tab of more than $3.2 million in losses in just over six years and in the last two years has now built up a net debt of 1.2 billion euros.

EA Partners saw its 2020 and 2021 bonds fall to a mid-80s bid price from the low 90s, according to Tradeweb, after the German airline, in which Etihad is a key shareholder, sought bankruptcy protection following years of losses.

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"We have a commercial relationship with Air Berlin across a range of areas, including codeshare operations, and we will support its management during these hard times", it said.

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.

In a statement, Etihad said the company had "deteriorated at an unprecedented pace, preventing it from overcoming its significant challenges and from implementing alternative strategic solutions".

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.

The German government, like Italy's before it with Alitalia, is now helping to find a solution to protect jobs. Eurowings and Austrian Airlines are also owned by LHG.

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

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