Air Berlin transfers C-checks from Dusseldorf to Munich

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Air Berlin appears set to end regular heavy maintenance work at its largest MRO base in Düsseldorf as part of the carrier's "Turbine" cost-cutting programme.

The loss-making German carrier has been evaluating whether to consolidate work between its Air Berlin Technik heavy maintenance facilities in Düsseldorf and Munich in one location.

But Air Berlin has now informed employees that C-checks will be transferred to Munich, says Germany's Verdi union. Details on the timing of the move and whether it covers both short- and long-haul aircraft have not yet been revealed.

Air Berlin Technik supports Airbus A320s and A330s in Düsseldorf, while the Munich base services the carrier's Boeing 737 fleet.

Verdi estimates that at least 70 jobs will be lost in Düsseldorf this year, including 20-30 administrative posts which the airline has already announced.

Tobias Hundhausen, senior vice-president production and accountable manager at Air Berlin Technik, told Flightglobal last October it hoped to finalise its MRO strategy by mid-2013.

Air Berlin plans to cut 900 jobs from its approximately 9,300-strong workforce as part of the Turbine turnaround programme, which aims to save around €400 million ($538 million) by the end of 2014. This will include some 160 job cuts at Air Berlin Technik according to Verdi.

Air Berlin declined to comment on specific measures of its cost-cutting programme.