There will be “no second chance” for Air Berlin if a fresh attempt to turn around the airline fails, according to new boss Stefan Pichler.
He was appointed chief executive in February and is the latest in a series of high-profile industry veterans to try to restore the fortunes of Germany’s second-largest carrier, which has turned a profit only once in the past five years.
In an interview with German newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Pichler said: “It’s our last shot. We have managed it now; there won’t be a second chance.”
Etihad Airways has a 29% per cent stake in Air Berlin but the carrier faces competition from budget carriers Ryanair and easyJet as well as Lufthansa.
Pichler, who previously ran Fiji Airways and was a previous chief executive of Thomas Cook AG, is reviewing Air Berlin’s routes, reducing its fleet and trying better to match demand with its ticket prices, The Times reported.
He has set a target of achieving an operating profit next year.
“It is possible to save the company,” he said. “We don’t have much time.”
Etihad invested in Air Berlin in 2011 to target the European short-haul market.
Thomas Cook had tried to merge with the German company in 2008 but the deal fell apart.
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