31-Aug-2017 9:10 AM

Ryanair: airberlin insolvency timed to allow 'debt free' takeover by Lufthansa

Ryanair reiterated (30-Aug-2017) calls for Germany's Bundeskartellamt and the EU Commission to "block the stitch-up" between the German Government, Deutsche Lufthansa AG and airberlin. Ryanair referred to airberlin's insolvency proceedings as a "carve up" of assets and alleged the parties were "excluding major competitors and ignoring both competition and State Aid rules". Ryanair also believes the insolvency was timed to allow Lufthansa to take over airberlin "debt free", adding competitor airlines will struggle to get slots in major airports such as Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt and Munich, where Lufthansa will "control over 80% of peak time slots". Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary said: "Given that the German Government is centrally involved in these manoeuvres (loaning EUR150 million), the Bundeskartellamt will be afraid to impose competition rules... On this basis, it is vital that the European Commission takes immediate and decisive action". [more - original PR

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