Air Berlin’s wings clipped in 2010

FlyNiki’s cooperation partner Air Berlin suffered an operative loss of nearly 10 million Euros last year.The airline said today (Fri) it recorded a loss before interest and taxes of 9.3 million Euros in 2010. Air Berlin achieved earnings before interest and taxes (Ebit) of 28.5 million Euros in 2009. Its turnover however climbed by 14.8 per cent to 3.72 billion Euros at the same time.The firm warned already in January that it could have suffered operative losses “of a one-digit million-Euro sum” in 2010.Air Berlin – which had 33.6 million passengers in 2010 – has been cooperating with Viennese low-cost carrier FlyNiki since 2004. The German aviation company upped its stake in FlyNiki by 25.9 per cent to 49.9 per cent in February 2010. FlyNiki served 3.1 million passengers last year, up from 2.6 million in 2009.With around 8,000 employees, Air Berlin is Germany’s second-largest airline after Lufthansa.Air Berlin, which was founded in 1978, explained today that its 2010 performance suffered under the rough winter weather around Christmas which led to a cancellation of hundreds of flights. The airline added it was also hit hard by the temporary shutdown of European airspace after an ash cloud caused by an erupting volcano in Iceland spread across the continent in March.An unannounced strike of flight controllers in Spain – one of Air Berlin’s most important destination countries – dampened its annual business figures further.Earlier this month, Air Berlin announced it will start to carry out flights between Dusseldorf in Germany and Innsbruck in the Austrian province of Tyrol as of mid-April. The firm also presented plans to do business between the German capital Berlin and Linz in Upper Austrian from May.