As it dies, airberlin sells NIKI, LGW, other aircraft to Lufthansa/Eurowings. easyJet talks continue

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On 12-Oct-2017 the Lufthansa Group agreed to acquire Air Berlin subsidiary Luftverkehrsgesellschaft Walter (LGW) and the Austrian leisure airline NIKI for EUR210 million. The combined fleet of 50 aircraft operated by these two airlines, plus a further 20 A320 family aircraft from the Air Berlin Group, will be deployed under Lufthansa's Eurowings lower cost point-to-point brand.

The purchase is subject to approval by the creditors' committee, the administrator in the insolvency proceedings of Air Berlin, and the EU Commission's competition authority. Lufthansa expects the transaction to be finalised by the end of the year. Even if competition concerns result in regulatory remedies, Eurowings will strengthen its position in Germany and consolidate its position as Europe's number three low cost/point-to-point operator (although its CASK is by no means low cost).

Although 12-Oct-2017 had been identified as the deadline for discussions with the two preferred bidders for Air Berlin Group assets, talks with easyJet have still not reached a conclusion. If agreement is reached and approved, easyJet could jump from number six to number four airline in Germany, and would very likely enter the domestic market.

Airberlin terminated its long haul operations on 15-Oct-2017 and will cease to operate at all under its own AB airline code AB on 28-Oct-2017.

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