Air Berlin seeks damages from Etihad — Rheinische Post

Air Berlin’s planes have been kept in the air by a €150 million government loan. (Reuters)
Updated 21 October 2017
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Air Berlin seeks damages from Etihad — Rheinische Post

FRANKFURT: German airline Air Berlin is demanding damages from its part-owner Etihad Airways for letting it become insolvent and it hopes for payment of at least €10 million, Air Berlin’s administrator told a German newspaper.
“We are in negotiations with Etihad and hope to reach a general settlement soon. We are hoping for a two-digit million euro sum,” daily Rheinische Post on Saturday quoted administrator Frank Kebekus as saying.
Air Berlin, Germany’s second-biggest airline after Lufthansa, filed for bankruptcy in August after Etihad, the owner of almost 30 percent of Air Berlin, withdrew funding following years of losses.
Etihad was not immediately available for comment.
The Abu Dhabi-based carrier has been reviewing its European investments after they failed to yield the profits expected. Alitalia, another of Etihad’s investments, is also in administration and is seeking bidders.
Air Berlin’s planes have been kept in the air by a €150 million government loan, which Kebekus said the carrier could repay with the proceeds from a sale of assets to larger rival Lufthansa agreed last week.
“We will in all likelihood repay the loan including interest of around 10 percent,” Kebekus said.
Holders of more than €600 million worth of outstanding Air Berlin bonds will meanwhile likely lose out, he said, as their claims would only be considered after many others, including Air Berlin’s staff, had been paid.
Air Berlin is due to cease operating flights by October 28 at the latest, and Kebekus said that around 4,000 workers could then lose their jobs unless a transfer company was set up that would temporarily employ them until they found work elsewhere.


Ryanair inks new deals with unions in Europe

Updated 12 min 22 sec ago
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Ryanair inks new deals with unions in Europe

  • Ryanair pilots across Europe staged a 24-hour stoppage in September to push their demands also for better pay and conditions

LONDON: Ryanair has inked deals with more unions across Europe, the Irish no-frills airline said Friday as it looks to avoid further strike action threatened by pilots and cabin crew.
“These signed agreements with our pilot unions in Portugal, the UK, Italy and shortly in Spain, demonstrate the considerable progress we’re making in concluding union agreements with our people in our major EU markets,” Ryanair’s head of human resources Eddie Wilson said in a company statement.
But the latest agreements are only a stepping stone toward the key demand of Ryanair staff outside Ireland that the airline stop employing them under Irish legislation.
Employees argue that the status quo creates huge insecurity for them, blocking access to state benefits in their own countries.
Ryanair’s statement came one day after Belgian unions representing the airline’s cabin crew threatened “several strike days before the end of the year” by Europe-wide employees.
Ryanair pilots across Europe staged a 24-hour stoppage in September to push their demands also for better pay and conditions, plunging tens of thousands of passengers into transport chaos at the peak of the busy summer season.
In July meanwhile, strikes by cockpit and cabin crew disrupted 600 flights in Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain, affecting 100,000 travelers.
Earlier this month, Ryanair slashed its profits forecast and signaled job losses in the Netherlands and Germany as it reported on the fallout of the pan-European strikes.
An update on its earnings outlook and past performance is due Monday when Ryanair publishes half-year results.