The German government has received notification by Air Berlin that its partner Etihad has withdrawn its commitment previously made in writing to securing the airline’s solvency in the short and medium terms. Air Berlin therefore had to file for insolvency.
Under the provisions of insolvency law, Air Berlin would have been required to cease all flight operations immediately upon submitting the application for insolvency. The German government decided to grant Air Berlin a bridging loan of €150 million, in order to make it possible for the airline to continue its flight operations. This bridging loan will be provided by KfW, with a guarantee from the German government. This means that all flights can be operated as scheduled. A situation whereby operations would have had to have been ceased has been averted.
At present, there are tens of thousands of passengers and holidaymakers that are currently at destinations all over the world. Without the bridging loan being granted, these passengers could not have returned to Germany on Air Berlin flights. There was no way of guaranteeing the return of these passengers to Germany on other flights at short notice.
For some time now, Air Berlin has been negotiating with other airlines. Air Berlin’s negotiations with Lufthansa and another airline about the sale of company shares are at a very advanced stage, meaning that a decision will be able to be finalised some time in the coming weeks.
The reasons that led the German government to decide to provide a bridging loan guaranteed by the Federation were the objective of upholding flight operations and the positive negotiations underway with other airlines that are willing to work with Air Berlin so that flight operations can continue under new owners.