BERLIN, August 15. /TASS/. Germany’s Air Berlin declared opening of the bankruptcy procedure, the company said on Tuesday.
The air carrier will continue scheduled flights and the government of Germany will extend a 150 mln euro loan for the restructuring period.
Financial support by the German government will make possible to support operations of the airline within three months, economy minister of Germany Brigitte Zypries said. "We assume these funds will be enough for three months," she said. The government intends to support normal operations of the air carrier for the period of talks with other market participants, the minister added.
Air Berlin may receive money from sales of slots [arrival and departure time in airports - TASS], Zypries said. "We assume the company will sell its slots and the loan will be repaid in particular on account of these funds," the minister said.
The decision to go bankrupt was made after UAE-based Etihad, the majority shareholder of Air Berlin (holding a stake of 29.21%) refused to allocate extra funds to support the German air carrier. Current management of the company will implement the bankruptcy procedure, Air Berlin said.
Air Berlin is flying from Berlin and Dusseldorf. Its fleet consist of about 120 aircraft.
Company’s debt was about 1 bln euro as of the end of September 2016. The company leased about 40 passenger jets to its competitor Lufthansa.