FRANKFURT Oct 7 Air Berlin said it
cancelled around 50 flights on Friday due to a staffing shortage
at TUI's carrier TUIfly, from which it leases some
planes including crew.
A remaining roughly 40 Air Berlin flights that were meant to
be operated by TUIfly on Friday were able to take off because
Air Berlin called on staff to put in extra hours and leased
additional aircraft from other airlines, it said in a statement.
Pilots and crew at TUIfly have been calling in sick this
week, forcing the cancellation of dozens of flights, following
news of plans to merge TUIfly with Air Berlin's leisure travel
Workers at TUIfly are concerned that a combination with part
of Air Berlin in a holding led by Abu Dhabi-based Etihad, Air
Berlin's biggest shareholder, could mean job and pay cuts, union
Verdi said this week.
TUIfly had said late on Thursday it had to scrap 108 flights
scheduled for Friday, bringing the total to around 180
cancellations this week.
(Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)