Air Berlin to save €200 mln with reduced fleet

Air Berlin to save €200 mln with reduced fleet
Photo: DPA
Air Berlin, Germany’s second-largest airline, is announcing dramatic savings plans to improve its results by €200 million a year, by reducing its fleet from the current figure of 170 to 152 by next summer.

The idea is to only reduce the company’s flights by four percent – requiring an increased productivity from each plane.

The programme, dubbed ‘Shape & Size’, drastically expands the idea launched about a month ago, to reduce its fleet by eight machines and cut unprofitable routes from the timetable. The idea mooted then was to withdraw from regional airports, pulling back to the hubs of Berlin, Düsseldorf, Palma de Majorca and Vienna.

Air Berlin chairman Joachim Hunold resigned last month after announcing a loss of €32 million in the second quarter of the year, up from the €28 million lost in the first quarter. Reports then suggested that a savings plan would reduce capacity by more than half a million seats in the second half of this year, and at least a million more would be cut next year.

Now Hunold’s successor, former Deutsche Bahn chairman Hartmut Mehdorn, and Air Berlin finance chief Ulf Hüttmeyer said on Tuesday that the uncertain economic situation made it difficult to make any certain prediction for the rest of this year.

Lufthansa issued a profits warning on Tuesday, prompting a drop in its share price.

DAPD/The Local/hc

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