Speculations about AirBerlin seeking guarantees by the German government to assure operation turned out to be not necessary. Airberlin’s management has decided not to apply for a government guarantee. CEO Thomas Winkelmann said: ‘We had made a preliminary application for a surety as part of management’s pre-emptive strategy of investigating all restructuring options for airberlin. However, we have at no point made a binding application for a surety, and will not do so,’ said Winkelmann, asserting that the company was making good progress with its restructuring. Cost savings in the double-digit million Euro range have already been achieved for 2018 as a result of successful renegotiations including for aircraft leasing contracts and by lowering operating expenses. ‘There is quite simply no longer any need for a government guarantee to secure any loans,’ Winkelmann added.
As one of Europe’s largest network airlines, airberlin focuses on extremely frequent domestic flights and on services between a number of major European cities and its Berlin-Tegel and Dusseldorf hubs, from where the airline also operates long-haul flights to the US, Caribbean and Middle East. airberlin carried approximately 28.9 million passengers in 2016 and its fleet is among the most modern and eco-efficient in Europe. airberlin is a member of the oneworld® airline alliance, co-founder of Etihad Airways Partners and a strategic partner of Etihad Airways, which has a 29.21 percent share in airberlin.