Major European airline hosts garage sale

Daisy Doctor

Once the fourth-largest airline in Europe, now defunct and searching for ways to repay debt.

Air Berlin has officially started a garage sale of old inventory.

From leather business class seats to food trolleys and even boxes of Lindt chocolates intended to be handed out to passengers, the airline is taking an “everything must go” approach.

The airline filed to commence insolvency proceedings in August of last year, with the airline conducting its final flight in October.

According to a statement released by Air Berlin in August, “The Federal German Government, Lufthansa and other partners are supporting Air Berlin in its restructuring efforts.

“The Federal Government is supporting Air Berlin with a bridging loan to maintain flight operations for the long-term.”

Germany’s Economy Ministry and Transport Ministry also said that the airline would get a loan of 150 million euros ($A226 million) so that it can continue flights for the time being.

“We’re in a time when many tens of thousands of travellers and vacationers are in multiple international holiday spots.

“The return flgihts of these travellers back to Germany with Air Berlin would not have been otherwise possible.”

Various reports have found the airline had been haemorrhaging money for a number of years before filing for insolvency, with some sources citing a $1.83 billion loss in booking over the last few years.

The history of Air Berlin makes the current situation even sadder, as the airline began in 1978 as an American airline, so as to avoid the restrictions slapped on Berlin’s Tegal International Airport due to the Cold War.

Air Berlin slowly staked out its territory in the airspace, becoming the second-largest airline in Germany after Lufthansa while still operating as a “semi-low-cost carrier”.

According to News.com, the airline also has an enviable safety record, with no accidents or crashes leading to loss of life in its 40-year existence.

The auction house has reportedly received more than 2000 bids within half an hour of the auction going live.