Air Berlin continues to sell aircraft

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German carrier Air Berlin has agreed to sell two aircraft to a third party carrier, according to a presentation made at a Commerzbank conference last month.

The transaction follows a sale-and-leaseback transaction for five Airbus A320s with Minsheng Commercial Aviation. The carrier also sold an A320 and a Boeing 737-800 aircraft from its orderbook to the Chinese lessor, which has an option on four more 737NG deliveries.

Air Berlin will be able to “materially improve its leverage profile” as a result of these transactions, says the carrier.

Net debt at the end of the second quarter totalled €770 million ($1.2 billion) but Air Berlin anticipates €150 million in proceeds from the 13-aircraft divestment.

“Sale and sale and leaseback of aircraft significantly strengthen Air Berlin’s financial position without threatening the operational performance and flexibility,” says the carrier.

At 30 June 2013, Air Berlin operated a 147-aircraft fleet including 64 Airbus A320 family aircraft, 52 Boeing 737 Next Generations, 14 A330s, seven Embraer 190s and 10 Bombardier Q400s.

Its operating fleet is expected to drop to 143 aircraft by the end of 2013.