Lufthansa may buy bulk of Air Berlin fleet

Lufthansa is considering buying a majority of insolvent Air Berlin’s aircraft, sources have said, as the German government and rivals race to carve it up.

Lufthansa may buy bulk of Air Berlin fleet

Air Berlin, Germany’s second-largest airline, filed for bankruptcy protection on Tuesday after shareholder Etihad Airways withdrew funding following years of losses.

German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt has backed Lufthansa to buy a major portion of Air Berlin’s assets, saying Germany needed a “national champion” in international aviation. Berlin has granted a bridging loan of €150m that will keep Air Berlin’s planes in the air for up to three months, securing 7,200 jobs in Germany while buyers for its assets are found.

Air Berlin’s demise offers Lufthansa and rivals a chance to acquire slots at airports such as Berlin Tegel and Duesseldorf, with Germany’s largest airline keen to defend its domestic position against low-cost rival Ryanair.

According to sources, one scenario Lufthansa’s chief executive Carsten Spohr has presented to the flagship carrier’s supervisory board is that it could take on as many as 90 of Air Berlin’s roughly 140 planes. Air Berlin has said it is in talks with three aviation firms and aims to strike deals with at least two of them by the end of September.

German media has cited government sources as saying that Lufthansa, its budget carrier Eurowings, and Thomas Cook’s German airline Condor would likely snap up Air Berlin’s most valuable landing slots.

Sources suggest a few slots could also go to Ryanair, which has filed a complaint with German and EU competition authorities over the insolvency process, which it describes as a “conspiracy”.

Reuters

More in this section

Budget 2022 Logo

What impact will this  year's budget have on you and your business.

The Business Hub
Newsletter

News and analysis on business, money and jobs from Munster and beyond by our expert team of business writers.

Sign up
Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.

Lunchtime
News Wrap

A lunchtime summary of content highlights on the Irish Examiner website. Delivered at 1pm each day.

Sign up
Revoiced
Newsletter

Our Covid-free newsletter brings together some of the best bits from irishexaminer.com, as chosen by our editor, direct to your inbox every Monday.

Sign up