Air Berlin trims operating loss over second quarter

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Germany's Air Berlin slightly reduced its operating losses in the second quarter, to below €30 million ($37 million), as its efficiency programme lessened the impact of external costs.

But the carrier's net loss for the three-month period deepened to €66 million.

Revenues increased by 1.7% to €1.1 billion and the airline's load factor rose slightly to 77.8% during the quarter, and its 'Shape & Size' cost-saving programme exceeded its €45 million target by €5 million.

Over the first half of the year Air Berlin cut nearly 20% from its operating loss, reducing the deficit to €179 million.

But it says "market value losses" meant its net loss at the interim point worsened slightly to €169 million.

"We were able to compensate for sharply-rising external costs with internal measures," says chief executive Hartmut Mehdorn, insisting that the airline's results show it is "on the right track".

"With our targeted fleet reduction, we will be less affected by seasonal fluctuations in the future. We are also investing in the expansion of long-haul flights in an effort to further increase earnings and fly in the profit zone as planned next year," he adds.