Air Berlin Will Stop Long-Haul Flights From Berlin on October 1
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Earlier this month, Germany’s second-largest airline declared bankruptcy after it was denied additional funding by part-owner Etihad Airways. Since then, Topbonus, its frequent flyer program, also announced it was going bankrupt. Now, the carrier is cutting off some of its long-haul operations — another sign that the end is near.
According to German newspaper Bild, flights from Berlin (TXL) to Abu Dhabi (AUH), Los Angeles (LAX), Chicago (ORD) and San Francisco (SFO), as well as its flight between Düsseldorf (DUS) and Boston (BOS) will no longer operate as of October 1, 2017. Flights on the aforementioned nonstop routes are no longer available to book on the carrier’s website.
In addition, Frank Kebekus, Air Berlin’s bankruptcy administrator, told business magazine Wirtschaftswoche that short-term bookings are down 6%.
As for the future of the airline, it’s still unclear. Bild has learned, according to internal sources at Air Berlin, that the next creditors meeting will take place on September 15. Parties interested in the future of the carrier have until two days prior to that to present offers.
Air Berlin is now negotiating a sale with Lufthansa and three other companies. At this time, Lufthansa is interested mostly in Air Berlin’s subsidiary carrier that flies to holiday destinations, Niki, as well as Air Berlin’s long-haul fleet. Specifically, Lufthansa’s eyeing Air Berlin’s 17 A330s, two of which it might base in Berlin, likely for flights to New York and Washington, D.C., and up to 10 others it’s thinking about basing in Düsseldorf (DUS). Bild is also reporting that Topbonus will be rescued.
There’s been no announcement yet from Air Berlin stating that these long-haul routes will indeed be cut, but that should likely come some time in the near future. It’s not clear what the elimination of these routes will mean for you if you’re booked on one of them past October 1. If you don’t yet have anything booked, it would be wise to hold off on booking flights beyond October 1 until there’s official word on the future of the airline.
Featured image by Tomas Del Coro via Wikimedia Commons.
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