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Air Berlin says talks with easyJet continue

13 October 2017, 12:22 | Darnell Patrick

Air Berlin says talks with easyJet continue

Air Berlin says talks with easyJet continue

He said he decided not to submit a bid as it was a "conspiracy" between the German government, Lufthansa, and Air Berlin that would drive up prices for customers.

Lufthansa has agreed to buy Air Berlin's Austrian leisure travel airline Niki, its LG Walter regional airline and 20 additional aircraft.

"This contract provides new opportunities for jobs for a large part of our workforce".

Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said earlier he expected the European Union to approve the transaction by the end of 2017.

Ryanair previously described the negotiations as a "stitch-up" meant to strengthen Lufthansa.

Andreas Mundt, head of the German cartel office, said the Commission would take a close look at the deal and that the German authorities would follow the process closely.

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While Air Berlin officials have been in negotiations for weeks with Lufthansa and easyJet about selling parts of the business, the airline dealt with years of financial losses before its biggest shareholder, Gulf carrier Etihad, stopped financing the company.

Britain's easyJet has a base in Schoenefeld airport in Berlin and has been negotiating the acquisition of between 27 and 30 aircraft, though one report earlier in the week said those talks might fail. Air Berlin previously said others, such as Thomas Cook's Condor, could pick up some parts of the business.

"We will see a milestone in the history of Lufthansa and Air Berlin today", Mr. Spohr told Rheinische Post. While the authorities investigate, Air Berlin will operate flights as a subcontractor, as insolvency rules forbid it from flying on its own account after October 28.

The group's finance chief Ulrik Svensson had said in August that Lufthansa was interested in helping to shape the Italian aviation market but was not willing to take over the struggling national carrier in its current shape.

Spohr rebuffed the accusation that Lufthansa was becoming a "threatening monopoly", pointing out that the airlines global market share was just 3% globally, and 14% in Europe.



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