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Air Berlin cancels 100 flights after 200 pilots call in sick

Air Berlin cancels 100 flights after 200 pilots call in sick

German investor Hans Rudolf Woehrl has unveiled a 500-million-euro ($600 million) offer for bankrupt Air Berlin, hoping to buy the country's second-largest airline whole rather than see it split up.

Lufthansa's low cost subsidiary, Eurowings, which is renting aircraft and pilots from Air Berlin, also had to cancel flights.

Passengers booked to travel on the cancelled services as part of a package deal should contact their tour operator, Air Berlin said in a statement.

It prompted the airline to accuse them of sabotaging rescue talks with potential investors.

It seems like sickness is in the air since their cancelled flights aren't.

Air Berlin declared bankruptcy last month following years of losses and the decision of its biggest shareholder, Gulf airline Etihad, to cease payments.

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Thomas Winkelmann claimed the move by almost 200 pilots to call in sick at short notice was "the equivalent to playing with fire" and would cost the troubled airline "several million euros". It is essential that operations be stable in order for these negotiations to go well.

Some 200 of its 1,500 pilots suddenly called in sick.

"That's the only way we can secure as many jobs as possible", he added.

Verdi board member Christine Behle said: "All the conversations surrounding insolvent Air Berlin are always about its economic interests, never about the jobs of its more than 8,000 employees".

Several corporations, including German flag carrier Lufthansa, are expected to submit bids for Air Berlin's assets before a deadline slated for Friday.

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