September 11, 2017 / 10:42 AM / 2 months ago

Air Berlin scraps more long-haul flights

BERLIN, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Insolvent German airline Air Berlin is scrapping more long-haul flights, this time to the Caribbean from Duesseldorf, to reduce its long-haul fleet and cut costs while it seeks investors, it said on Monday.

The routes to destinations in places such as Mexico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and the Antilles will end from Sept. 25, the carrier said.

Air Berlin, Germany’s second-largest airline, was forced to file for bankruptcy protection last month after shareholder Etihad Airways withdrew funding following years of losses.

Its planes are being kept in the air thanks to a 150 million euro ($180 million) government bridging loan, which will last until the middle of November at the latest.

Investors are currently lining up for the airline, with Lufthansa seen as in pole position to take on large parts of Air Berlin.

Bidders have until Sept. 15 to submit binding offers for the assets, with a decision possible as early as Sept. 21, three days before a German national election.

Aviation investor Hans Rudolf Woehrl late on Sunday said he had submitted a bid for the whole of Air Berlin. Air Berlin confirmed on Monday it had received a letter from Woehrl and was reviewing it.

Air Berlin also said on Monday it was bringing forward again the cancellation of services from Berlin to Los Angeles and San Francisco, and from Duesseldorf to Boston, to Sept. 25. It had previously planned to cancel them on Oct 1.

Last week, it also said it was dropping flights from Berlin to New York and Miami, and from Duesseldorf to Orlando as of Sept. 25.

$1 = 0.8323 euros Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Mark Potter

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