Air Berlin remains positive despite losses

Celebrating its 30th year, Air Berlin increased its turnover in 2008 by nearly 7% with an increase in passenger numbers and remains buoyant about prospects for 2009.

At a press conference in Berlin, Joachim Hunold, Air Berlin’s Chief Executive Officer, said; “In an increasingly deteriorating economic environment, Air Berlin has managed to strengthen its position as the second-largest airline company in Germany. We were the first airline company to implement a multitude of measures, enabling us to react to fluctuations in demand in a highly flexible manner, thereby achieving an improved operating income.”

For the 2008 business year, a loss of 72 million Euros, up from 40 million in 2007, was recorded, essentially from expenses connected with the foreign exchange hedging of US Dollar denominated loans for aircraft financing.

In 2008, the total number of aeroplanes increased by one to 125. However, the composition of the fleet changed drastically as 23 new planes featuring state-of-the-art technology replaced older planes, which had a higher fuel consumption and lower efficiency. Air Berlin has also ordered a total of ten Q400s, two of which coming into service in 2008, with the remaining eight aircraft expected to be put into operation by August 2009.