This doesn’t come as a surprise, though finally we have an official statement on this.
In light of airberlin’s insolvency filing in mid-August, the airline is slowly starting to cancel their routes. They have a temporary loan from the German government, which will only keep them operating until they sell off all their assets.
A few weeks ago, airberlin stopped selling seats on longhaul flights out of their Berlin hub for travel as of October 1, 2017. A bit over a week later it was announced that airberlin would be canceling all their flights to the Caribbean as of September 25, 2017. This leaves very few longhaul routes for airberlin.
We found out that these cancelations were due to airberlin’s leasing companies repossessing their A330s, as they weren’t confident that airberlin would be able to pay for them anymore. Well, it looks like airberlin’s leasing companies will now be taking back all the A330s, meaning the airline doesn’t have planes with which to operate longhaul flights anymore.
Per an announcement on their website, airberlin will be cutting all longhaul routes as of October 15, 2017:
airberlin will need to cease its long-haul flight operations by 15 October 2017, as the aircraft leasing companies are gradually withdrawing their Airbus A330 jets. The connection between Dusseldorf and Los Angeles will therefore be discontinued on 25 September 2017. Further cancellations will follow on 16 October 2017. On 29 September 2017, airberlin will discontinue services between Hamburg and Munich and between Cologne/Bonn and Munich. We regret the inconvenience for our passengers.
Shortly we should also find out what companies will be buying airberlin’s assets. It was supposed to be announced today, though I haven’t seen an official announcement yet. The front runners seem to be Lufthansa and EasyJet, as Lufthansa wants to take over both shorthaul and longhaul planes for their Eurowings division, while EasyJet is keen to expand within Germany. This is all subject to approval, so it could still be a couple of weeks before everything is finalized.