Air Berlin, Germany's number two airline, said Tuesday it had been forced to delay orders of 11 Airbus A320 and eight Boeing 737 aircraft by three years.
The airline, which is undertaking a cost-reduction programme, said the deliveries originally scheduled for 2012 and 2013 would be postponed until 2015 and 2016.
"In light of the current market environment and the ensuing changes in demand for new aircraft, Air Berlin ... has reached an agreement with the aircraft manufacturers, Airbus and Boeing, with regard to an optimization of its order books," it said.
Through the agreement, "Air Berlin's debt load is eased, in particular for the years 2012 through 2014, and the delivery of new aircraft is also secured until 2016," it said.
Ulf Huettmeyer, Air Berlin's chief financial officer, said its investment requirements would be reduced by $508 million in 2012 and $1.13 billion in 2013, based on current average list prices.
Air Berlin has been in the red since 2008 and is expected to remain so this year.
by Hui Min Neo
(c) 2011 AFP