Insolvent Air Berlin scraps flights over 'ill' pilots

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Insolvent Air Berlin scraps flights over 'ill' pilots

Several corporations, including German flag carrier Lufthansa, are expected to submit bids for Air Berlin's assets before a deadline slated for Friday. The measure comes as pilots have called in sick in curiously high numbers.

"Passengers holding tickets for cancelled flights will be offered other travel options", the website states.

Over 100 national and worldwide flights were to be grounded, affecting schedules at major German airports including in Berlin, Dusseldorf and Munich, reports Efe news.

The Gulf-based company said last month the decline of Air Berlin was "extremely disappointing", especially as it had provided extensive support to the German carrier over the past six years, notably with a €250m (£227m) cash injection in April this year.

"A stable operation is an essential precondition for successful negotiations", Mr Winkelmann said.

Pilot union Vereinigung Cockpit says it is "surprised" by the cancellations and stresses that it has not called on its members to call in sick.

The airline had for years struggled for survival, and booked losses amounting to 1.2 billion euros ($1.4 billion) over the past two years.

Air Berlin received a transitional loan of €150 million from the German government.

They announced the cancellation of more than 100 flights on Tuesday. The previous owner Etihad announced Air Berlin's insolvency in August, prompting uncertainty over its future and the search for a buyer.

Other interested airlines cited in media reports include package holiday firm TUI, British low-priced carrier EasyJet, Thomas Cook subsidiary Condor, as well as Bavarian entrepreneur Hans Rudolf Woehrl.

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