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Airberlin to cut 900 positions in order to become profitable again

Airberlin (airberlin.com) (Berlin) plans to eliminate almost 10 percent of its workforce of 9,300 (900 jobs) as part of a cost-cutting campaign designed to eliminate is continuing yearly losses.

Airberlin hopes to achieve $535 million in annual savings by the end of 2014. The airline has not posted an annual profit since 2007.

The company issued the following statement today about its “Lean and Smart” “Turbine” turnaround program:

Today Airberlin began to implement its “Turbine” turnaround program. This is a comprehensive scheme to ensure that Germany’s second largest airline focuses on its key markets on the basis of a stringent business model. The two-year program extends across all divisions. The airline will be expediting the optimization of its network, fleet and timetables already under way, improve its offering, sales and customer orientation and slim down its administration and working processes as well. “Turbine” has defined initiatives of around 400 million euros by the end of 2014 to achieve a lastingly competitive result.

Efficient operations, greater cost-efficiency and an attractive, intelligent offering are designed to make airberlin profitable and achieve a sustainable future. That is why the company will continually improve its integrated business model for serving leisure and business customers. The entire change process instituted by “Turbine” will develop the company on the basis of “Lean & Smart” criteria. In this context “Lean” signifies the simplest and most cost-efficient organization possible in conjunction with streamlined processes. “Smart” shifts the focus onto core markets and partnerships as well as towards integrated, intelligent and innovative customer orientation offering “that little bit extra”.

Meetings with staff representatives to discuss the turnaround programme and the planned personnel measures have already begun. airberlin’s management will be implementing “Turbine” in conjunction with employees and on the basis of a constructive dialogue with the employee representatives and will be giving these discussions top priority over the next few months.

The program covers all areas of operation and relationships with business partners as well. It also involves cutting about 900 jobs in which the possibility of redundancies cannot be excluded.

The elements that make up “Turbine” include network and fleet optimisations that have already been initiated, concentrating on profitable routes and increasing flight frequencies in key markets. These measures are specifically designed to strengthen Airberlin’s position in its core market, for example, the D/A/CH region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland). There will be even more flights to Palma de Mallorca. The hubs in Berlin and Dusseldorf with their long-haul services are to be expanded. The airports in Vienna, Hamburg, Munich, Zurich and Stuttgart will retain their function as principal stations within the Airberlin route network. Reducing the fleet to 142 aircraft in the current year, with six earmarked as operational reserves, and optimising the network go hand in hand with further fleet harmonization, stationing concentration and simpler rotation.

Airberlin already has a product with high customer acceptance and will be further enhancing this strong position with intelligent and customised services along its entire travel chain to delight its guests. The offering will continue to feature an excellent price-performance ratio, the “Airline with heart” brand image and trend-setting innovations. Airberlin is planning to concentrate its customer contacts in a single Customer Care section, to offer more technical opportunities for self service and to provide much-enhanced business class facilities on long-haul flights.

Copyright Photo: Javier Rodriguez. The diverse fleet will be reduced to 142 aircraft from 158. Airbus A321-211 D-ABCH (msn 4728) arrives at Palma de Mallorca which will seek further expansion in the AB system.

Airberlin: AG Slide Show

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