Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Part of Air Berlin to be sold to Lufthansa

Part of Air Berlin to be sold to Lufthansa

As part of the deal Lufthansa will take over Air Berlin's low-priced leisure airline Niki, its LG Walter regional airline as well as 20 additional aircraft - bringing the total to around 80 planes.

Air Berlin has struggled in attempting to turn a profit the last 10 years, and on August 15 filed for insolvency and a loan by the government has kept planes flying while the administrator negotiated with potential buyers for different parts of the airline.

Air Berlin's announcement followed an interview that Lufthansa Group CEO Carsten Spohr gave earlier in the day to the Rheinische Post newspaper.

A Lufthansa spokesman declined to provide further details because the agreement had not yet been signed.

Last month it said negotiations it was holding with Lufthansa as well as easyJet, based in Britain, would continue until October 12.

He added that 80 planes was the largest addition to Lufthansa's fleet that competition authorities would accept. "But we can only really breathe again when the EU Commission approves the deal", Air Berlin Chief Executive Thomas Winkelmann said.

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The statement, sales process, Committee on creditors, institutions responsible for bankruptcy process in Germany and approval of European competition institutions were transferred.

The operations available also include access to slots for taking off and landing at hubs for Air Berlin in Tegel in the capital of Germany as well as Dusseldorf.

In the race for exclusive talks, Lufthansa and Easyjet reportedly beat out IAG - owner of Iberia and British Airways - and three bids of between 500 million and 600 million euros apiece from private investors.

Air Berlin, Germany's second largest carrier, will cease operating flights this month, capping a turbulent summer for European carriers.

This is unedited, unformatted feed from the Press Trust of India wire.

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