Easyjet part of talks for Air Berlin assets

AirBerlin B737-800 By Felix Gottwald

AirBerlin B737-800 By Felix Gottwald

Air Berlin, Germany's second-largest passenger carrier, filed for insolvency on Tuesday.

At the time Air Berlin said it planned to add four times weekly service between Toronto and Dusseldorf starting May 1, 2018.

The German airline said in a statement that it had filed for insolvency with the court of Berlin-Charlottenburg after Etihad pulled funding. Etihad's then-chief James Hogan said at the time that his company wasn't prepared to carry on in investing without the support of all stakeholders.

Ms Zypries said discussions between Air Berlin and Lufthansa were going well, and a deal whereby Lufthansa takes over part of the insolvent airline should be struck in the next few months.

In 2016, Air Berlin showed a record 782 million euros in losses - a 75% increase compared to 2015 - which the company attributed to restructuring costs and depreciation. Etihad called the filing "extremely disappointing" given its "extensive support" since it invested in 29% of Air Berlin PLC's equity in late 2011. "The return flights of these travellers back to Germany with Air Berlin would not have been otherwise possible". "We have a commercial relationship with airberlin across a range of areas, including codeshare operations, and we will support airberlin's management during these hard times".

"Now even the German government is supporting this Lufthansa-led monoploy with €150 million of state aid so that Lufthansa can acquire Air Berlin and drive domestic air fares in Germany even higher than they already are".

Etihad said that it provided Euro 250 million in additional funding to airberlin this past April, but that since then the airline's business has "deteriorated at an unprecedented pace", preventing it from implementing alternative solutions.

In June, the airline insisted that "it was not about to go bankrupt", despite the Gulf-based carrier initially pledging support to the airline until October 2018.

It means: All flights from airberlin and NIKI are operating and the current flight schedule as well as booked flights are valid. airberlin and NIKI are continuing to accept future bookings. "If acquired, Air Berlin's Dusseldorf airport slots would likely be a valuable asset to Lufthansa while freezing new entrants out of the "full" airport, unless the German authorities require slots to be surrendered to new entrants".

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