ailing airline

Keep it Up in the Air

Germany Airberlin
I will survive. Source: Picture alliance.

At first glance, it seems pretty obvious. Air Berlin, Germany’s second-largest airline, has been making losses ever since it went public 11 years ago.

Does it deserve state help? Many say no. After all, managers have come and gone, and shareholder Etihad has pumped in more than €1 billion ($1.12 billion) to no avail.

But there are three reasons why propping up the company wouldn’t necessarily mean a waste of taxpayers’ money but might actually make sense.

Firstly, jobs. A hasty refusal of any state aid wouldn’t penalize past managers who failed to fix the company, but the airline’s 8,000 employees. You could call this argument trite, but that doesn’t make it wrong.

Want to keep reading?

Subscribe now or log in to read our coverage of Europe’s leading economy.