Airberlin has asked the governments of Berlin and North-Rhine Westphalia for a guarantee application. ATW understands this is an initial requirement to ask the state governments to guarantee its debts. The carrier must present a viable concept for the future of the company.

“We placed a pre-requirement to these governments to prove a [possible] application [for state-aid],” an airberlin spokesman in Berlin told ATW. “This is now placed with the governments. We have done this from a fundamental consideration point of view regarding the further development of the new airberlin. This pre-requirement is part of a predictive operation management,” he said.  

He added the move should be an important sign to airberlin’s 7,500 employees and its passengers that the German carrier is safeguarding operations.

The spokesman stressed this process “has nothing to do with the end of the negotiations regarding a joint venture between Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Aviation Group and German holiday company TUI Group to establish a new European leisure airline group.”

Airberlin reported posted a record loss of €781.9 million loss ($824 million) in 2016, deepened from a €446.6 million loss in the year-ago period. For the first-quarter 2017, Airberlin reported a net loss of €293.3 million, widened from a €182.3 million net loss in the year-ago period.

The carrier said that 2016 and 1Q 2017 were dominated by the transition to a new business model. The old business model and high restructuring costs had a huge impact on last year’s results.

Airberlin CCO Götz Ahmelmann told ATW last week on the sidelines of the IATA AGM that passenger bookings for the summer look promising. “However, we continue to improve our operational performance,” he said. “Our aircraft are showing good load factors.”

Kurt Hofmann, hofmann.aviation@netway.at