* Swings to Q2 net profit of 8.6 mln euros
* CEO says to stick to current business model
* CEO aims for sustained profits in 3 years
* Shares rise 7.8 pct in after-hours trade
(Adds more comments on restructuring, CEO comment, costs)
BERLIN, Aug 20 Air Berlin, Germany's
second largest airline, said it will cut the number of seats it
offers and reduce the number of aircraft it operates as it
launches a new plan to return to profits.
The company, 29-percent owned by Abu Dhabi-based Etihad,
will reduce capacity by 10 percent, shrink its fleet by about 10
aircraft and shut down five crew bases, it said on Wednesday as
it reported second quarter results.
It is also in talks for a close bilateral cooperation with
Alitalia, which Etihad has just agreed to buy almost half of,
thus rescuing the loss-making Italian carrier.
Air Berlin's fleet currently comprises planes made by Airbus
, Boeing and Bombardier, but it said it
will aim to harmonise its narrow body fleet.
Air Berlin, found itself saddled with debt after a period of
rapid expansion, is already cutting 10 percent of its workforce
and has halted unprofitable routes as part of the Turbine
It said on Wednesday that it had managed to reduce costs per
available seat kilometre excluding fuel by 2.8 percent and
improve yield by 3 percent, as it reported a net profit of 8.6
million euros, against a year-earlier loss of 38 million.
"We are determined to restructure Air Berlin to ensure the
airline moves back to a sustainable profitability within three
years," Chief Executive Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said in a
statement on Wednesday.
Part of Air Berlin's problem, analysts say, is that it has
no clear business model or pricing strategy. It serves holiday
charter routes to places such as Majorca, plus short-haul
European city destinations as well as some long-haul routes to
the United States.
Prock-Schauer said on Wednesday however that Air Berlin
would stick to its business model.
After plummeting over the last 18 months, Air Berlin shares
trade at just 1.30 euros, giving it a market capitalisation of
155 million euros. Its shares were up 7.8 percent in Frankfurt
(1 US dollar = 0.7526 euro)
(Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Maria Sheahan)