"Air Berlin is also a victim of the constant postponements of
the new airport," the weekly newspaper on Wednesday quoted
Thomas Winkelmann as saying.
Winkelmann's comments came a day after Air Berlin, Germany's
second-largest airline, filed for bankruptcy protection after
key shareholder Etihad Airways withdrew funding following years
The German capital's new airport was meant to open in 2011,
replacing Air Berlin's home airport Tegel and Schoenefeld.
"We have Berlin in our name, are the prime carrier here and have
designed our whole concept based on transfer traffic at this new
airport. That is not possible at Tegel, my predecessors made
that painful experience," he added.
Several opening dates for the planned new airport have been
postponed as the project faced red tape and technical problems
with smoke ventilation systems, cabling and doors.
Winkelmann told Die Zeit that he believed he could save most of
the Air Berlin jobs through a restructuring.
The German government has granted a bridging loan of 150 million
euros ($176 million) to allow Air Berlin to keep its planes in
the air for three months and secure the jobs of its 7,200
workers in Germany while negotiations continue.
(Reporting by Maria Sheahan; editing by Alexander Smith)
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