Airberlin: Lufthansa's Eurowings and easyJet to benefit as preferred bidders to carve up its assets

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As buyers circle the ruins of the Monarch collapse, other assets of various kinds are almost flooding the European market. On 25-Sep-2017 airberlin's Supervisory Board confirmed that early front runners Lufthansa and easyJet are the preferred bidders to acquire assets of the company, with negotiations continuing until 12-Oct-2017. The transactions will need EU approval, and airberlin's administrators hope to complete by the end of 2017. Airberlin CEO Thomas Winkelmann said airberlin was "on the way to achieving good job prospects for around 80 % of our colleagues".

The maintenance division, airberlin technik (ABT), which employs approximately 850 staff, is to be sold separately, once the destiny of the airline becomes clearer. Bids are required by 6-Oct-2017. Meanwhile, airberlin is to end its US services in Oct-2017, marking the total closure of its long haul network (Caribbean services have already ceased).

Lufthansa has bid for NIKI (airberlin's Austrian leisure subsidiary, which operates 17 A321s), the regional subsidiary Luftverkehrsgesellschaft Walter (LGW), and "parts of airberlin" (mainly further A320 family aircraft). Lufthansa's LCC Eurowings will be the main beneficiary. EasyJet has bid for some airberlin aircraft, reported to be 27-30 narrowbodies, and associated slots and crew, in particular at Berlin Tegel.

If finalised, the transactions could make easyJet number one in the Berlin airport system and give Eurowings' German market share a major boost.

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