Air Berlin flights hit by 'ill' pilots

Sep 13, 2017, 00:31
Air Berlin flights hit by 'ill' pilots

As Air Berlin teeters on the brink of collapse, thousands of its passengers have had their travel plans wrecked by a "sick-out" involving flight crew.

TUIfly was also forced to cancel flights a year ago after many pilots called in sick, with their union saying staff were concerned that merger talks, since failed, could lead to job and pay cuts.

Domestic and global flights have been affected, stranding passengers.

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The airline's statement on its website indicated that 750 flights had been scheduled for today.

Air Berlin announced on Monday that it would end its flights to the Caribbean from Düsseldorf beginning September 24. The German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy said that Air Berlin was holding negotiations with Lufthansa and another company on selling some of the company's assets. "That is the only way to secure as many jobs as possible", Mr Winkelmann said.

The airline had long struggled for survival, and booked losses amounting to 1.2 billion euros ($1.4 billion) over the past two years.

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After losing £2m per day in 2016, and seeing its financial life-support cut off when Etihad abandoned its investment in the company in April, Air Berlin is in liquidation.

Germany's giant services sector union Verdi on Tuesday expressed solidarity with the absent pilots and warned that more workers could call in sick.

Air Berlin continues to operate due to a 150 million euro ($180 milliom) credit loan from the German government.

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They announced the cancellation of more than 100 flights on Tuesday.

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