Air Berlin to cut 500 full-time jobs

Airline to focus on short- and medium-haul markets

A letter from Air Berlin’s CEO to employees, published in the newspaper Die Welt and quoted by Reuters, mentions plans to cut cost by 15%, including at least 500 full-time jobs. The fleet will be cut to 138 planes (currently 142 aircraft plus 64 orders), with focus projected back to the airline’s core short- and medium-haul markets.
“The goal is to cut costs by 15% in the next two years,” CEO Hartmut Mehdorn’s letter said. Reuters said that an Air Berlin spokesman refused to comment on the letter.
Air Berlin, which is part-owned by Etihad Airways, currently has around 9,300 employees. The carrier has not posted an operating profit since 2007, but is implementing a restructuring scheme, Turbine 2013, which aims to bring the airline back to profit starting next year. The cuts announced in the letter are part of this scheme. Further details will be made public by the end of 2012.