EU concerns over Air Berlin bid

December 12, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, EUROPE, News

BRUSSELS, 12 December 2017: The European Union said Friday it was concerned about the impact on competition of German airline Lufthansa’s plan to take over routes operated by failed rival Air Berlin.

“We have quite deep competition concerns because there is a risk that on some routes Lufthansa becomes de facto a monopoly,” EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said at a news conference.

The warning comes a week after Lufthansa offered concessions to encourage the European Commission to green-light its planned purchase of parts of Air Berlin. Read more

Lufthansa sweetens Air Berlin bid

December 4, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, EUROPE, News

FRANKFURT, 4 December 2017: German aviation giant Lufthansa has offered concessions to encourage the European Commission to green-light its planned purchase of parts of bankrupt Air Berlin, the Brussels authority told AFP.

“We have received remedies” from Lufthansa concerning the case, a spokesman said.

As Europe’s highest competition authority, the Commission is examining the impact the German group’s plans would have on the continent’s aviation market. Read more

Easyjet buys slice of Air Berlin

October 31, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, EUROPE, News

LONDON, 31 October 2017: British low-cost carrier easyJet has reached an agreement to buy part of bankrupt carrier Air Berlin’s operations at the German capital’s Tegel Airport for 40 million euros (USD46.4 million).

EasyJet will enter into leases for up to 25 A320 aircraft and take over slots, it said, as the last Air Berlin flights were set to land back in Germany.

The company also said it was hoping to recruit around 1,000 Air Berlin pilots and cabin crew over the coming months, to be employed on German contracts. Read more

Air Berlin flying era ends October

October 11, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

FRANKFURT, 11 October 2017: Bankrupt German airline Air Berlin must ground all flights by the end of October, the firm said Monday, as talks continue with prospective buyers Lufthansa and Easyjet.

Flights “will as far as we know no longer be possible after 28 October at the latest” because of insolvency rules, chief executive Thomas Winkelmann wrote in a letter to employees.

Air Berlin triggered bankruptcy proceedings in August after losing a cash lifeline from its biggest shareholder Etihad Airways. Read more

Air Berlin: Big jobs losses

October 9, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, EUROPE, News

FRANKFURT, 9 October 2017: About 1,400 Air Berlin workers may soon be out of a job, some as early as the end of this month, according to a union paper obtained by AFP on Saturday.

Many of the cuts would hit the bankrupt airline’s ground personnel and administration staff, whose contracts could end by the end of the month or in February 2018.

According to the document, Air Berlin could also soon stop operating, with only its subsidiary Niki continuing to fly. Read more

Air Berlin’s fleet to go first

September 22, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, EUROPE, News

FRANKFURT, 22 September 2017: The chief of Germany’s largest airline Lufthansa has said he hopes to buy up to 78 planes from bankrupt Air Berlin, dismissing fears the insolvency would grant him a near-monopoly over the skies.

Top priority was “stabilising” the status of some 38 aircraft Lufthansa already “wet-leases” — including their crews — from the smaller firm, Lufthansa chief Carsten Spohr told journalists in Frankfurt on Wednesday evening.

“Wet-leasing” refers to airlines leasing aircraft from each other rather than a leasing company. Read more

Air Berlin pilots call in sick

September 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, EUROPE, News

BERLIN, 13 September 2017: Bankrupt Air Berlin said it was forced to cancel dozens of flights on Tuesday, after “an exceptionally high number” of pilots called in sick.

“We regret the inconvenience for our passengers,” said the airline on its website.

Both domestic and international flights were affected, including links between Berlin and Los Angeles or Dubai. Read more

Squabbles over Air Berlin’s fate

September 1, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, EUROPE, News

BERLIN, 1 September 2017: Ryanair chief executive Michael O’ Leary said, Wednesday, his airline would not make a bid for insolvent Air Berlin, slamming what he called a German “stitch-up” designed to benefit Lufthansa.

Several airlines are jostling to take over parts of Air Berlin after it filed for insolvency earlier this month, a process Ryanair fiercely criticised.

The chief executive of the Irish no-frills airline said at a press conference in Berlin that Ryanair would only join the scramble for assets if it “was a fair and open process”. Read more

Dog fight over airline assets

August 28, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, EUROPE, News

PARIS, 28 August 2017: A dogfight over the assets of troubled Alitalia and Air Berlin heralds a new shake-up in the European airline industry — but unless other carriers cut costs they may meet a similar fate themselves, analysts warn.

Facing insolvency after key investor Etihad threw in the towel after years of trying to keep them flying despite losses, both airlines may now be snapped up whole or carved up by rivals interested in getting ahold of their planes and airport landing slots.

But the overhaul is unlikely to end there. Read more

Air Berlin on the brink

August 18, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, News

FRANKFURT, 18 August 2017: Air Berlin is in talks with three competitors about buying up its assets, the insolvent airline’s boss said, Thursday, warning that not all jobs would be saved.

“Aside from Lufthansa, we are in contact with two other interested parties from the aviation industry,” Air Berlin chief executive Thomas Winkelmann told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.

The negotiations have been going on for weeks, he said, and all three airlines were financially sound and large enough “to offer Air Berlin a secure future” while keeping Germany as an operations hub. Read more

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