Lufthansa Agrees Air Berlin Deal
Lufthansa has agreed to acquire parts of insolvent German airline Air Berlin in a EUR€210 million (USD$248 million) deal.
Lufthansa will buy Austrian leisure airline Niki and German regional carrier LG Walter, plus a number of Air Berlin aircraft which it will transfer to its growing Eurowings subsidiary.
Administrators for Air Berlin have been negotiating with Lufthansa and easyJet since the airline entered insolvency proceedings last month. Negotiations were due to conclude by Thursday, but no agreement has been reached yet with easyJet. The UK carrier was reported to be interested in some of Air Berlin’s A320 aircraft and crew.
Air Berlin has continued flying only because of a German government loan, but announced this week it would stop flying completely by October 28. The airline had previously announced the end of its long-haul routes as aircraft lessors started taking back planes from the bankrupt carrier.
The airline has made annual losses in all but one year since 2008, with financial year 2016’s loss hitting €781.9 million (USD$926.3 million).