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Business

Air Berlin narrows losses with reduced number of routes

Germany's second-largest carrier, Air Berlin, has been unable to move into positive territory in the second quarter. But it was able to drastically narrow losses as capacity utilization increased.

Air Berlin reported August 15 its second-quarter net loss amounted to 38 million euros ($50.5 million), compared with 99.8 million euros in the red in the same period a year earlier.

Germany's number-two carrier after Lufthansa said losses were also narrowed on an underlying basis, with operating results down to minus 8.1 million euros from almost 30 million euros in the April to June period of 2012.

"In the second quarter, Air Berlin further increased its capacity utilization as well as revenue per available seat kilometer and revenue per passenger," the company said in a statement.

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The number of routes flown in the second quarter decreased from 520 in 2012 to 440 in the current year.

"Our key numbers are moving in the right direction," Chief Executive Wolfgang Prock-Schauer commented. But he cautioned that as a result of "generally muted economic conditions", the ability to reach the firm's full-year targets was becoming increasingly challenging.

Air Berlin has been trying to leave its loss-making period behind with the help of a drastic cost-cutting program that is to save the company some 200 million euros this year alone. After an earlier expansion, the carrier has prescribed itself a kill-or-cure remedy that also involves parting with 9,000 employees, a tenth of the company's workforce.

hg/ (dpa, AFP, Reuters)

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