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airberlin delays plane orders as it seeks return to profitability

airberlin delays plane orders as it seeks return to profitability

airberlin has reached an agreement with the aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Boeing to postpone the delivery of 19 aircraft as the carrier seeks to shrink its operations.

The agreements stipulate deliveries of new aircraft originally scheduled for 2012 and 2013 will be partly postponed until 2015 and 2016 as the carrier implements an earnings-improvement program.

The agreements relate to Boeing 737 family and Airbus A320 family aircraft.

For 2012 and 2013 31 aircraft will be delivered to airberlin, whereas the delivery of 19 aircraft will be postponed.

Through this reconfiguration airberlin will ease its debt load, in particular for the years 2012 through 2014.

Ulf Hüttmeyer, airberlin’s chief financial officer, commented: “The agreements for 2012 and 2013, including the postponement of 11 aircraft of the Airbus A320 family and eight aircraft of the Boeing B737 family, illustrate our cooperation with Airbus and Boeing, which is based on mutual trust.

“The agreements are also an important step for airberlin towards the optimization of our fleet requirements in light of the current market conditions.

“At the same time, our investment requirements, based on current average list prices, will be reduced in particular by $508 million in 2012 and by $1.1 billion in 2013.”

airberlin confirmed chief executive Joachim Hunold would step down earlier this year as the carrier underwent a radical overhaul designed to shrink its operations and return to profitability.