Air Berlin to axe fleet further by summer 2012

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German carrier Air Berlin is to cut 18 aircraft from its fleet by summer next year, more than double the number it said it would axe as part of a restructuring effort.

The carrier disclosed last month that it planned to reduce its fleet by eight aircraft by terminating leases early.

But Air Berlin, which also plans to cut its route network, is putting additional measures in place to bring its fleet down from 170 to 152 by summer 2012.

"With a reduction in flight hours of only 4%, productivity per aircraft will increase," said the airline.

Air Berlin forecasts that the strategy will generate a €200 million ($274 million) improvement in its operating results.

But it added: "In light of the actual, volatile, economic development, a statement with respect to the further performance of the 2011 year is currently difficult to make."

Air Berlin is intending to disclose more details about the restructuring scheme - which it has branded "shape and size" - on 21 September.