LABOR >Germany's Air Berlin says will cut 900 jobs

BERLIN - Agence France-Presse

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Germany's number two airline, Air Berlin, said on Tuesday it would slash about 900 jobs or nearly 10 percent of its workforce in a bid to get back in the black after nearly five years of losses.
The troubled airline unveiled details of what it called its two-year "Turbine" programme extending across all its business divisions and focusing "on its key markets on the basis of a stringent business model".
"'Turbine' has defined initiatives of around 400 million euros ($535 million) by the end of 2014 to achieve a lastingly competitive result," the company said in a statement.
"The programme 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." Air Berlin, which has been in the red since 2008, in October announced the cost-cutting drive without providing details. On Tuesday it said it would also reduce its fleet to 142 from 158 planes.
Battling powerful headwinds in the aviation sector, especially in Europe, Air Berlin's net losses in the first nine months of the year amounted to 102 million euros.
However, the third quarter showed a moderate turnaround, with a net profit of 66.6 million euros on turnover of 1.39 billion euros, which the firm put down to results from its belt-tightening and a tie-up with Etihad Airways.
Earlier this month, chief executive Hartmut Mehdorn stepped down to be replaced by Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, who was previously chief strategy manager at the airline and held chief executive positions at Jet Airways in India and British Midland International.
By about 1015 GMT, shares in the company had gained 0.12 percent to 1.71 euros.


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