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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

Bankrupt airberlin desperately needs quick fix

Fast deal required as prospects look bad, says economy minister

An empty counter of German airline airberlin in Duesseldorf, western Germany. Patrik Stollarz / AFP
An empty counter of German airline airberlin in Duesseldorf, western Germany. Patrik Stollarz / AFP

Airberlin needs a swift deal with carriers interested in buying all or part of the insolvent German airline because its prospects look bad, the German economy minister Brigitte Zypries said.

Ms Zypries said she was surprised by criticism of the German government’s €150 million (Dh657m) bridging loan to keep airberlin flying, saying she expects the money to be repaid.

“We hope it goes quickly, as I believe the future prospects are indeed bad, I mean, who is booking airberlin at the moment, even if it’s possible?” Ms Zypries said in Berlin on Saturday.

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Read more:

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Etihad net loss of $1.87bn due to Alitalia and Airberlin costs despite record passenger numbers

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She said the government had created good conditions for talks on the airline’s future and that there were “enough interested parties”, including Lufthansa, easyJet, Ryanair and the German aviation entrepreneur Hans Rudolf Woehrl.

Air Berlin filed for insolvency on August 15 when the main shareholder Etihad Airways withdrew financial support.