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Aviation

Air Berlin logs quarterly profit, revises route network

Germany's second-largest carrier, Air Berlin, has logged moderate profits in the second quarter, but structural problems remain a headache. The airline announced plans to further reduce its route network and fleet.

Air Berlin logged a tiny profit of 8.6 million euros ($11.4 million) in the second quarter, the carrier confirmed Thursday, adding it was the first Q2 bottom-line surplus in five years.

The struggling airline also recorded a slight rise in turnover, but its operating profit shrank by another 6.9 million euros in the period under review.

For quite some time now, Air Berlin has been able to stay afloat only thanks to heavy investment by major shareholder Etihad from Abu Dhabi which recently injected 300 million fresh euros into Air Berlin in the form of a convertible loan.

No end to reforms

"The bottom line is that we're better off than last year," Air Berlin CEO Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said in a statement, adding that the restructuring process would be continued.

What lies ahead for Air Berlin?

The company announced it would revise its route network and focus on its major travel markets in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Palma de Mallorca. The carrier said it aimed for a 10 percent reduction in flight capacity, accompanied by a shrinking fleet with 10 more passenger planes to be shed.

"We're resolved to restructure Air Berlin thoroughly with a view to leading the company back to sustainable profitability within three years," Prock-Schauer said.

hg/cjc (Reuters, dpa)

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