Air Berlin slots to be re-allocated shortly

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Airport slots given up by Air Berlin as part of its capacity reduction programme will shortly be re-allocated to other carriers, according to Deutsche Flughafenkoordination.

The Frankfurt-based agency, which is responsible for the distribution of landing and takeoff rights at Germany's 17 main airports, said no airline has yet made any specific requests to take over Air Berlin's former routes.

The vacated slots have been added to a pool of available traffic times, which are to be allocated to applicant airlines "over the next days", a spokeswoman said.

This will depend on different priorities such as the current route network of bidding carriers and how long they have been on the waiting list.

She added that "many" airlines are waiting for slots during the winter 2011/12 schedule.

Air Berlin revealed last week that it will axe a significant number of domestic and international routes from German airports. This includes flights between Frankfurt and Hamburg, a central domestic trunk route where the airline faced stiff competition from Lufthansa.

Other former routes include Dusseldorf to Paris and Munich to Cairo.

The airline has also dramatically cut its services from regional airports and completely withdrawn its flights from Erfurt.