Etihad Sued For Up To €2 Bln By Air Berlin Administrators

December 14, 2018

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The administrator for failed carrier Air Berlin is seeking damages of up to EUR€2 billion (USD$2.26 billion) from former shareholder Etihad Airways.

The Landgericht Berlin regional court in a statement said the insolvency administrators are seeking payment of €500 million and “a declaration that the defendant is under an obligation to pay further damages. The Chamber has provisionally fixed the amount in dispute at up to €2 billion.”

Air Berlin’s administrators maintain that Etihad “violated its obligations” agreed to in a document confirming its intention to provide the airline with necessary support “in any event.”

An April 28 letter promised Etihad’s support for an 18 month period to enable the German carrier to meet its financial obligations, but contrary to the commitment, it withdrew financial support from the airline in August 2017 resulting in Air Berlin filing for insolvency, the administrators argue.

“The applicant considers that the defendant has given a legally binding undertaking. Because it had breached that obligation, it had to settle all the creditors' legitimate claims,” the court said.

Etihad, which owned a 29.2 percent stake in Air Berlin at the time of the bankruptcy, has been given a deadline of the end of January 2019 to respond.