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Air Berlin administrator seeks up to €2bn in damages from Etihad

A German insolvency court will consider a move by administrators of collapsed carrier Air Berlin to seek damages of up to €2 billion ($2.3 billion) from the carrier's former shareholder Etihad Airways.

Regional court Landgericht Berlin says insolvency administrators for Air Berlin have lodged claims for payment of €500 million and a finding for further damages, and puts the provisional total value at up to €2 billion.

Without specifying the insolvency administrator – Flotter & Wissing were appointed as administrators when Air Berlin collapsed in August 2017 – the court says the applicant is arguing that Etihad violated commitments made in a letter dated 28 April 2017. The claim argues that this document confirmed Etihad's intention to provide Air Berlin with the support necessary to meet its financial obligations over the following 18 months.

The German leisure operator filed for insolvency on 15 August, saying it had been informed by Etihad that the Gulf carrier "no longer intends to provide Air Berlin with financial support". Etihad held a 29% stake in Air Berlin. The German group's assets have since been broken up, with several parts sold off.

Etihad has been given until the end of January 2019 to respond with a statement of defence, after which the court will discuss the next procedural steps.

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