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Air Berlin Carve-Up Starting

 1 min read / 

The German government has agreed a €150m loan to keep planes in the air, and Lufthansa is now eyeing the troubled airline’s long haul routes.

Editor’s Remarks: Air Berlin filed for bankruptcy after shareholder Etihad Airways withdrew funding support. The government bridging loan will last for around three months, limiting any political fallout in Germany from job losses and cancelled holidays. But Europe’s airlines are already sizing up the group’s assets of 140 leased aeroplanes and valuable landing slots. At least six, including EasyJet and Condor, are expected to bid for all or parts of Air Berlin’s franchise. Lufthansa’s preference is for the group’s long haul business, especially those serving lucrative Germany – US routes. But the national carrier may not have a clear shot at these assets – Ryanair also wants to bid for all or part of the business and its boss Michael Leary has been increasingly vocal about a process which he says favours Lufthansa and goes against EU competition laws.

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