Air Berlin cancels flights after pilots call in sick

Reuters

Reuters

Ailing German carrier Air Berlin was forced on Wednesday to cancel a new round of flights following another wave of pilots ringing in sick.

As Air Berlin teeters on the brink of collapse, thousands of its passengers have had their travel plans wrecked by a "sick-out" involving flight crew.

But he added that the firm could if necessary buy up all of Air Berlin's assets, including 140 leased aircraft and prized landing and takeoff slots at German airports.

After losing the lifeline of regular cash infusions from Gulf carrier Etihad in June, Air Berlin filed for insolvency on August 15.

A total of about 30 flights were canceled on Wednesday after more than 100 services were axed on Tuesday, said Germany's second-biggest airline, which last month filed for insolvency.

Pilots union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) said it was surprised by the absences and that it had not called on its members at Air Berlin to call in sick.

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Air Berlin has announced it will end long-haul flying, which many crew regard as the best option - it offers higher earnings and, for some, a better lifestyle.

While a German government loan is helping keep Air Berlin alive, the carrier has also been forced to scrap some long-haul destinations from September 25.

Nuremberg-based Woehrl first rose to prominence when he bought airline Deutsche BA from British Airways for a symbolic one euro in 2003, later selling it to Air Berlin.

Thomas Cook's German carrier Condor is preparing a bid for parts of Air Berlin, another source said, while media reports say easyJet may want up to 40 planes.

Later, Irish low-priced airline Ryanair accused Lufthansa and the German government of conspiracy to carve up the assets of the collapsed airline.

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