Germany’s bankrupt Air Berlin is operating its last flights, leaving employees facing an uncertain future and — at least for a while — a likely gap in the country’s aviation schedules.
Air Berlin, which was Germany’s second-biggest airline, is ending operations after 38 years with a Friday evening Munich-Berlin flight. Germany’s No. 1, Lufthansa, plans to take over more than half its fleet but that deal has yet to win antitrust clearance. Talks are continuing with companies including easyJet on taking over other parts of Air Berlin.
Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said this week that 80 to 90 of Air Berlin’s nearly 140 planes will be grounded starting Saturday and “no one can compensate” for that.
Air Berlin had some 8,000 employees. Lufthansa expects to take on up to 3,000.