German investor bids 500M euros for Air Berlin

Air Berlin scraps more flights as pilots call in sick

The Gulf-based company said last month the decline of Air Berlin was "extremely disappointing", especially as it had provided extensive support to the German carrier over the past six years, notably with a €250m (£227m) cash injection in April this year.

"Besides, long-haul flights are not affected as Air Berlin is not operating any Airbus A330 on behalf of Eurowings".

Lufthansa (Xetra: LHAB.DE - news) 's low-priced subsidiary Eurowings, which is renting aircraft as well as pilot and crew from Air Berlin, said it had also been forced to cancel some flights. It is essential that operations be stable in order for these negotiations to go well.

Air Berlin has also attracted buyer interest from China's LinkGlobal Logistics, German newspaper Bild reported today.

The airline had for years struggled for survival, and booked losses amounting to 1.2 billion euros (USD1.4 billion) over the past two years.

Germany's giant services sector union Verdi on Tuesday expressed solidarity with the absent pilots.




The cancellations come as a deadline approaches for investors to bid for the assets of Germany's second largest airline, with Lufthansa seen in pole position to acquire large parts of its rival.

"That's the only way we can secure as many jobs as possible", he added.

The flight cancellations represent a "massive threat" to Air Berlin's insolvency proceedings, in the view of the carrier's court-appointed executive director Frank Kebekus.

"The fear and anger among Air Berlin staff is escalating because the future of whole families is at stake".

In the meantime, the airline has been kept aloft by a hastily-agreed 150-million-euro loan from the German government.

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