Air Berlin in cash call as losses mount

Air Berlin in cash call as losses mount

Air Berlin is calling on investors to pump in more cash by buying bonds as it unveiled a 2013 loss.

The German carrier said late on Sunday it was issuing a convertible bond worth €300 million, to which its biggest shareholder Etihad Airways has subscribed.

The UAE carrier has also has agreed to extend a $255 million loan, of which Air Berlin has so far drawn $135 million, to the end of 2021 from the end of 2016.

Air Berlin said its recapitalisation would not change its ownership structure. Abu Dhabi-based Etihad owns 29.2% of Air Berlin while Turkey’s Sabanci family own a 12% stake.

The European Union is looking into whether Etihad exercises more control than allowed under the region’s rules for airlines with a European operating licence.

Air Berlin slumped to a 2013 loss before interest and tax (EBIT) of €231.9 million, compared with a profit of €70.2 million the previous year, citing an unexpectedly sluggish summer season due to high temperatures in central Europe and a difficult winter period.

The airline also named Marco Ciomperlik, currently its chief maintenance officer, as the latest member of its management board to oversee its restructuring programme, Reuters reported.

The airline is due to publish full financial results for 2013 on April 30.

Sourced from Travel Weekly

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