Europe’s thirteenth largest airline has gone under, Air Berlin announced earlier this year that they would be ceasing operations and shuttering their business. The last revenue generating Air Berlin flight from Munich, Germany to Berlin, Germany was met with the airport’s fire trucks lining their taxi route and giving the airline a grand send off with their water canons.
After 40 years the airline is selling off its assets after filing for bankruptcy. Its assets are already being divided up to other airlines. EasyJet will be taking over most of their Airbus leases, Lufthansa will be taking over the airline’s low cost subsidiary Nikki and LG Walter, and some employees will also be taken on to Lufthansa’s payroll.
Despite having a massive footprint in Europe the airline was not able to keep its neck above water after it’s major finance partner Etihad cutoff their share of funding for the airline. Germany attempted to assist Air Berlin by loaning them €150 million ($174 million) but even that only kep them going for a couple of weeks. As of now there are a lot of employees for Air Berlin who have no idea what their future hold for them, nor what they are going to do if Lufthansa or EasyJet doesn’t take them onboard.
Air Berlin will be missed as it has spent so long in the airline industry and worked up a reputation in Europe for being a great carrier. It’s incredible to see how the airline industry is changing and morphing as airlines consolidate and those who not last close down. For competition in the market this takes out another competitor and those in Germany may see changes in prices as power gets consolidated.