Air Berlin to end leases early to cut fleet by eight aircraft

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Air Berlin aims to implement its recently-announced fleet reduction by attempting to end some existing aircraft leases earlier than planned.

The German low-cost carrier announced a major restructuring on 18 August that included dropping routes - particularly from German regional airports - and reducing its fleet by eight aircraft.

A company spokeswoman declined to disclose which types of aircraft would be cut from the inventory. The vast majority of routes to be cut are intra-European and the airline operates more than 50 members of the Airbus A320 family and more than 60 Boeing 737-700 and -800s in the short-haul sector.

The carrier hopes to have achieved the reduction in numbers by the end of 2011. The spokeswoman declined to say which lessors would be affected.

Air Berlin's Boeing 787 order will not be affected by the restructuring, she added. The carrier has 18 787-8s on firm order and a further five options.