Air Berlin is another of Europe's desperate carriers. The airline was saved late last year by Etihad Airways, which bought a 29.2% stake and became its single largest shareholder. More importantly, Etihad provided $255 million in financing over a five-year period. Only six months later, Air Berlin has drawn on almost the entire credit facility. The carrier admitted that it had used up a €169.2 million Etihad loan by June 30.
The statement illustrates how serious its financial woes have been and how serious they remain. Air Berlin's second-quarter loss widened, reaching €66.2 million, compared to €43 million a year earlier. Sales rose 1.7%, but costs were up 2.5%. CEO Hartmut Mehdorn nevertheless claims the airline is on track to make a profit next year.