FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany's Air Berlin (AB1.DE), partly owned by Abu Dhabi-based carrier Etihad, wants to cut costs by 15 percent, including at least 500 full time jobs, Die Welt newspaper reported on Saturday, citing a letter written by its chief executive to staff.
"The goal is to cut costs by 15 percent in the next two years," Hartmut Mehdorn's letter said, according to the daily.
A spokesman for Air Berlin declined comment.
Air Berlin, which has not posted an operating profit since 2007, has about 9,300 employees.
The cost cutting drive is part of the carrier's so-called Turbine 2013, which aims to steer the loss-making airline back to profit starting next year.
Mehdorn said last month the airline would present details of the plan by the end of December.
In his letter, Mehdorn said the airline planned to cut its fleet to 138 aircraft and would focus on its core markets, which he defined as the short-haul and medium-haul segments.
As of end-September Germany's second biggest airline after Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) had 159 planes. It had said out of nine aircraft to be sold, there were still seven remaining.
(Reporting By Marilyn Gerlach; editing by James Jukwey)