News Worms
News Worms


Air Berlin flights hit by 'ill' pilots

Air Berlin flights hit by 'ill' pilots

Bankrupt German airline Air Berlin has canceled dozens of flights, citing an "unusually high" number of pilots calling in sick.

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

A wildcat walkout by Air Berlin pilots could "threaten the existence" of the under-fire carrier, its chief executive has said.

"At the moment more than 110 flights have been canceled, with about 12,000 passengers affected", the spokeswoman said.

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.

It prompted the airline to accuse them of sabotaging rescue talks with potential investors.

Mr Winkelmann said: "This day is costing us several million euros".

Air Berlin received a transitional loan of €150 million from the German government.

Air Berlin, Germany's second-largest airline, filed for bankruptcy protection last month after shareholder Etihad Airways withdrew funding following years of losses. It is essential that operations be stable in order for these negotiations to go well.

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

Some 200 of its 1,500 pilots suddenly called in sick.

Shortly after the insolvency announcement bidders lined up to acquire Air Berlin's assets with major European airline Lufthansa the most likely.

German service-sector union Verdi argues that it is "not at all surprising" that pilots have called in sick, given Air Berlin's current situation.

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