Mass Cancellations

TUI-Air Berlin Plans Spark Travel Chaos

Flugzeuge von Tuifly und Air Berlin parken am 06.10.2016 am Flughafen in Hannover (Niedersachsen). Bei Tuifly und Air Berlin sind erneut Flüge gestrichen worden oder um Stunden verspätet, nachdem sich Crews von Tuifly kurzfristig krank gemeldet hatten. Ein Drittel der Tui-Flotte fliegt samt Besatzung für Air Berlin. Foto: Julian Stratenschulte/dpa +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++
Employees worry about merger plans of TUIfly and Air Berlin.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    If the merger of part of Air Berlin and TUIfly falls apart, it will complicate Air Berlin’s aim to return to profitability.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Air Berlin and TUIfly, Germany’s second and third-largest airlines, are struggling against low-cost rivals such as Easyjet and Ryanair, forcing them to reorganize.
    • The two German firms announced Wednesday plans to merge part of their operations into a new airliner focuses on tourist destinations.
    • Gulf-based carrier Etihad, which owns 29.2 percent of Air Berlin, would own 75 percent of the new group.
  • Audio

    Audio

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TUIfly, part of London-listed holiday group TUI, was forced to cancel all of its 108 flights on Friday as many pilots and crew members called in sick, the German airliner said in a statement.

Germany’s third-largest airline company, which wants to merge with parts of struggling rival Air Berlin, canceled around half of its flights on Thursday under similar circumstances. Around two dozens of Air Berlin’s flights were also canceled on Thursday and Friday due to TUIfly’s staffing problems. TUIfly operates 14 planes for Air Berlin.

The labor action casts doubts about the feasibility of the airline’s plan to merge TUIfly with parts of Air Berlin as employees fear job losses and a deterioration of working conditions.

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