Air Berlin cancels more than 70 flights due to pilots' "sick-out"

Air Berlin pilots call in sick and it has pushed the airline to cancel more than 100 flights

Pilot action forces Air Berlin cancellations

Insolvent Air Berlin said it has cancelled around 70 flights so far on Tuesday, affecting both its own operations and flights it carries out for Lufthansa's Eurowings, after pilots called in sick in unusually high numbers. He states: "We are in the middle of final talks with potential investors".

The airline filed for insolvency in August after its main shareholder, Gulf carrier Etihad, withdrew financial support.

Passengers booked to travel on the cancelled services as part of a package deal should contact their tour operator, Air Berlin said in a statement.

Air Berlin pilots calling in sick makes airline cancel more than 100 flights
A board shows canceled Air Berlin flights at Tegel airport in Berlin Germany Reuters

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

According to a report in Germany's Bild newspaper, the pilots are responding to a decision by Air Berlin's management to cut off negotiations over transferring 1200 pilots to a potential new buyer for the carrier.

Departures information on Air Berlin's website showed flights cancelled from a range of German airports including Berlin Tegel, Duesseldorf, Hamburg and Cologne.

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On Sunday his company Intro offered 50 million euros immediately for the stricken airline, with up to 450 million euros of further payments "depending on performance", he said.

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

Frank Kebekus, the company's chief representative, said the events "seriously endanger the entire insolvency proceedings under self-administration" and that if the situation did not change quickly, "we will have to cease operations and thus any restructuring efforts".

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Board member Christine Behle states: "All talks about insolvent Air Berlin revolve around economical interests, but not the jobs of more than 8,000 employees".

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