How Air Berlin can sustain a return to profit

Fleet cuts, route changes, cooperation with alliance partners

Air Berlin has presented new measures to sustain a recent return to profit, including fleet cuts, route changes and closer cooperation with alliance partners, the news agency Reuters reports.

Late on Wednesday, Germany’s second biggest airline posted a second-quarter net profit for the first time in five years. It is now planning sustainable profit with a secure margin in three years’ time.

“If we say sustainable it means on a net level and with a certain margin,” the airline’s chief executive Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said. “It doesn’t mean that we would only cross into profitability in the third year, it could be earlier.”

Air Berlin’s first annual net profit in five years came in 2012, but only after Etihad Airways, which owns 29% of the carrier, bought a majority stake in its frequent flyer program. It has effectively been bailed out by Etihad, the most recent cash injection coming in April in the form of €300 million in convertible bonds.


[pictured: airberlin A330; courtesy airberlin]