Air Berlin Files for Insolvency
The German government has stepped in to provide €150m of financing to keep planes in the air after shareholder Etihad stops sending money.
Editor's Remarks: Etihad’s investments in European airlines are going from bad to worse. The Gulf airline owns 49% of Alitalia, which went into administration in May, and now it has decided to cut-off funding to Air Berlin in which it owns a 29% stake. The German airline has lost around €2bn over the past six years, covered by Etihad’s cash injections, but Etihad itself lost $1.9bn in 2016 and may have reached the end of the road in keeping Air Berlin going. The German government has stepped in with funding and Germany’s largest airline, Lufthansa, is said to be in advanced talks to buy the ailing airline’s assets. Easyjet, Europe’s second biggest low-cost airline, is also said to be interested in a purchase. But Ryanair, Europe’s largest low-cost airline, is not happy with Lufthansa’s involvement which it says would run counter to German and EU competition rules.
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