Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Air Berlin says talks with easyJet continue

Air Berlin says talks with easyJet continue

News of the deal pushed Lufthansa shares up more than 3 percent to their highest level in almost 17 years.

Air Berlin has struggled in attempting to turn a profit the last 10 years, and on August 15 filed for insolvency and a loan by the government has kept planes flying while the administrator negotiated with potential buyers for different parts of the airline.

"We will see a milestone in the history of Lufthansa and Air Berlin", Spohr said.

Lufthansa will pay around €210 million ($248 million) to buy 81 of Air Berlin's planes and take on 3,000 of its 8,500 employees, as well as take over Air Berlin's Austrian leisure travel airline Niki, and regional airline LG Walter.

Britain's EasyJet is reportedly still in negotiations to buy some of the Air Berlin planes that haven't been snapped up by Lufthansa. Air Berlin previously said others, such as Thomas Cook's Condor, could pick up some parts of the business.

As part of the deal Lufthansa will take over Air Berlin's low-priced leisure airline Niki, its LG Walter regional airline as well as 20 additional aircraft - bringing the total to around 80 planes. It made a loss of about 782 million euros past year.

Air Berlin, Germany's second largest carrier, will cease operating flights this month, capping a turbulent summer for European carriers. He said in the Rheinische Post that he expects airline competition to get even more intense, and that it's only right that airlines that can't break even should disappear from the market-he gave Monarch in the United Kingdom and Alitalia in Italy as examples.

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.

Lufthansa shares were up over 2.9%, which was the highest mover on the DAX market index in Germany in Thursday morning trading. He also told the Rheinische Post newspaper that Lufthansa would invest up to 1.5 billion euros into Air Berlin as part of its takeover of the assets.

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