April 28, 2017 / 9:40 AM / 3 months ago

Air Berlin reports record annual net loss as it restructures

2 Min Read

BERLIN, April 28 (Reuters) - Air Berlin reported a record net loss of 782 million euros ($854 million) in 2016 and a widening loss in the first quarter of 2017, due to restructuring costs, impairments and pressure on ticket prices, the German carrier said on Friday.

Air Berlin, 29 percent owned by Abu Dhabi-based Etihad, is undergoing a restructuring that will see the size of its fleet halve to about 75 aircraft as it battles to become profitable.

Last year, Air Berlin faced more competition on Mediterranean routes as rivals shifted capacity from Egypt and Turkey to Spain.

This year, it has faced ground staff problems at its Berlin hub, including strikes that hurt all carriers and delays to its flights and baggage delivery due to a change of ground handler.

The results show the scale of the challenge facing former Lufthansa manager Thomas Winkelmann, who took over this year.

In presentation slides, the company said it had sufficient liquidity and financing to continue restructuring but results would only show improvements the end of the second quarter.

"This also now means sounding out new opportunities beyond the existing strategy," Winkelmann said, without giving details.

The 2016 net loss of 782 million euros includes impairment and restructuring charges of 335 million euros and compares with a loss of 447 million euros reported for 2015.

For the first quarter, it reported a net loss of 293 million euros, compared with 182 million one year ago.

Its market capitalisation is just under 61 million euros.

$1 = 0.9156 euros Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Edmund Blair

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