Air Berlin Says Grounding Looms Unless Pilots Return to Work

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A sick-out by Air Berlin Plc pilots is threatening an immediate grounding of the insolvent airline, Bloomberg News reported. “What happened today massively jeopardizes the entire insolvency proceedings,” Frank Kebekus, the airline’s general representative appointed by a court, said in a statement Tuesday. “Unless the situation changes in the short term, we will have to end operations and all efforts to reorganize.” Air Berlin canceled some 100 flights after about 200 of its 1,500 pilots said they were unfit to fly, with many notifying their employer just before their scheduled departures. Air Berlin said that behavior resembled “playing with fire” and cost the airline several million euros. With the deadline drawing close for investors to submit bids for Air Berlin, operations are facing increasing disruption. The carrier said Monday it will cancel numerous routes to the Caribbean and some U.S. flights from Sept. 25, and only customers who bought tickets after the company filed for insolvency on Aug. 15 will be reimbursed. Read more.