Air Berlin has been forced to cancel over 100 flights after an “unusually high number” of pilots called in sick in what appears to be a co-ordinated protest.
Air Berlin has warned its staff that they were “playing with fire” after 250 pilots called in sick today. It is widely believed to be a wildcat strike against possible redundancies at the bankrupt airline.
The carrier’s website cited “operative reasons” for the cancellations on Tuesday, and kindly asked passengers not to come to the airport.
Last month, Air Berlin filed for administration after its largest shareholder Etihad declared it would not be providing further financial support.
The German government has granted a bridging loan of €150m to keep the airline operating for the next three months whilst negotiations for a Lufthansa takeover continue.
An estimated one-sixth of the airline’s 1,500 pilots called in sick, which is likely to represent more than one-third of the total rostered to work.