• After years of bankruptcy and failed attempts to sell the brand, the trademark rights of Air Berlin have finally been sold to Marcos Rossello, the founder of charter carrier Sundair.
  • Air Berlin, once known as the "Mallorca Shuttle," faced financial and competitive pressures that led to a decline in routes and ultimately forced the airline to file for bankruptcy in 2017.
  • With the acquisition of the Air Berlin brand, Rossello has the option to revive the airline or completely transform it into a different carrier, but no decision has been made yet.

Just over six years after filing for bankruptcy and ceasing all flight operations, the sale of the insolvent Air Berlin brand has finally reached a new chapter. According to aeroTELEGRAPH, the trademark rights were sold to Marcos Rossello - founder of German charter carrier, Sundair. Could Air Berlin be relaunched and returned to its former glory with a new owner?

The fall of Air Berlin

Founded in 1978 and commencing operations the following year, Air Berlin eventually became the second-largest German carrier and also became known as Palma de Mallorca's number-one airline after a hub was established in 1995. With various connections to numerous airports in Spain and Portugal, Air Berlin was quite the symbol and earned its nickname of the 'Mallorca Shuttle.'

But as financial and competitive pressures rose, the great variety of routes operated from Palma de Mallorca airport declined to just two domestic destinations within Spain. And not long later, Air Berlin was forced to close its Palma hub in December 2015 and ceased all flights to mainland Spain within the first quarter of the following year. Then in August 2017, the airline had no choice but to file for bankruptcy due to continued losses.

Photo: Marcus Krauss | Shutterstock

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The sale of Air Berlin

A few weeks later, Air Berlin ceased all flight operations, and the airline's insolvency process began with the administrator attempting several times to sell the brand. In February 2018, the administrator launched the Air Belin brand along with other trademarks of the airlines, alongside hundreds of internet domains, but there was never any buyer.

The administrator had initially hoped to generate significant income from selling the trademark rights - in several million euros, for the benefit of the insolvency estate. As no buyer ever bit the bait, portions of Air Berlin were subsequently sold to Lufthansa and easyJet, and various adjustments were made to the lessor agreements were made, but the brand remained.

As the years went by, the value declined, and the airline's trademark rights eventually underwent a bidding process with the requirement that they remain usable for the insolvency administration until all proceedings were completed. With these conditions, there was finally an interested buyer this year after the Air Berlin brand was transferred to Fly AIR41 in mid-June.

The possible revival of Air Berlin

Fly AIR41 is currently headed by founder and Chief Executive Officer Marcos Rossello, the man behind the charter carrier Sundair. With the Air Berlin brand transferred to his company, Rossello has successfully acquired the trademark rights from the airline for a reported purchase price of about €120,190 (130,714) - a very far cry from the initial millions the insolvency administrator was hoping for.

9A-ZAG Sundair Airbus A319-100
Photo: Simlinger | Shutterstock

But what will Rossello do with Air Berlin? The aviation operator highlighted not mixing Air Berlin into a new branding for his existing Sundair, especially since the airline has already established itself within the market. That leaves either a possible revival or an entire revamp of Air Berlin into a different carrier entirely. However, Rossello only hints that no decision has been made, and the ideas and possibilities are endless.

Have you flown with Air Berlin before? Share your experience with us in the comments below.

Source: aeroTELEGRAPH