Airberlin filed for insolvency in mid-August, and has slowly been shutting down ever since. A couple of weeks ago we learned that airberlin will be ceasing all longhaul routes as of October 15, 2017. Then a bit over a week ago it looked like airberlin would discontinue their short-haul routes by November 1, 2017, based on the fact that they stopped selling “discounted” tickets after that date.
Well, the date by which airberlin will discontinue flights is now official. Bloomberg reports that airberlin has sent out a letter to employees of the airline informing them that they will end flights by October 28, 2017, at the latest. This comes as airberlin is exclusively negotiating with both Lufthansa and EasyJet over their assets, where a decision should be reached by later this week.
The airline is also encouraging employees to find jobs on their own, even though many of airberlin’s planes will be going to other airlines. Per the story:
While the bankrupt carrier is trying to find positions for its roughly 8,600 employees, they should still try to find new jobs on their own because “prospective buyers of parts of Air Berlin intend to appoint new staff in the majority of cases,” Winkelmann and Kebekus wrote. “The Lufthansa group alone has already advertised 1,000 jobs with its subsidiary Eurowings.”
It sure is sad to see such a major airline collapse in front of our eyes so quickly. We see a lot of airlines that struggle financially and end up on life support for years and years (I’m looking at you, Alitalia and South African Airways, just to give a couple of examples), though in this case we’re talking about just over two months from the time the airline filed for insolvency to when they’re liquidating.
This almost makes me want to book another airberlin flight for shortly before they cease operations, just to fly them one more time.
Here’s to hoping that most of airberlin’s ~8,600 employees are able to find new jobs quickly. What a rough situation to be in, especially given how seniority based much of the industry is.
(Tip of the hat to Ray)