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Lufthansa to buy large parts of bankrupt Air Berlin

13 October 2017
Lufthansa to buy large parts of bankrupt Air Berlin

Insolvent German airline Air Berlin AB1.DE is continuing talks with easyJet EZJ.L on Thursday, a spokesman for Air Berlin said, without saying whether a contract was expected to be signed with the British airline.

Lufthansa plans to use the Air Berlin assets to quickly expand its Eurowings budget business.

Further negotiations to pick up the leftovers of Air Berlin are ongoing with easyJet.

Analysts in London lifted the target price for shares of Lufthansa to €29 from their previous €25, citing the soon to be signed deal to acquire much of Air Berlin, a new labor deal that was multi-year with its pilots that it announced earlier this week, and a strong trading performance for 2017.

Ryanair is set to challenge a Lufthansa deal to to buy parts of failed German carrier Air Berlin.

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

"We will only be able to breathe when the Commission has finally confirmed the transaction", Air Berlin boss Thomas Winkelmann said in the company's statement.

Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr had earlier suggested that Lufthansa would purchase 81 of Air Berlin's 144 planes, as well as take on around 3,000 of the company's staff.

Lufthansa has yet to say how much it will pay under the deal, but Spohr told newspaper Rheinische Post today that the group would invest 1.5 billion euros (USD 1.8 billion) in its low-priced subsidiary Eurowings following the takeover.

EasyJet, which has a base at Berlin's Schoenefeld airport, has been discussing acquiring 27 to 30 planes.

Air Berlin, the second largest carrier in Germany, will end all operation of its flights during October, capping a tumultuous summer for carriers in Europe.

Lufthansa's Spohr said on Thursday while he was not interested in the Italian carrier in its current shape he would be interested in talks to create a new Alitalia.