Lufthansa to swal­low lion’s share of Air Ber­lin

The Phnom Penh Post - - MARKETS BUSINESS - Daphne Rousseau and Tom Barfield

YEARS of strug­gle for Ger­many’s sec­ond-ranked air­line Air Ber­lin ap­peared close to an end yes­ter­day, as air­borne be­he­moth Lufthansa an­nounced plans to buy more than half the bank­rupt car­rier’s planes.

The deal has sparked con­tro­versy in the Euro­pean avi­a­tion sec­tor, with the Ger­man govern­ment fac­ing ac­cu­sa­tions that it helped steer the process un­der a plan to build the Frank­furt-based car­rier into an all-con­quer­ing jug­ger­naut.

Ger­many’s largest air­line will snap up some 81 of Air Ber­lin’s 144 air­craft and take on 3,000 of its 8,500 staff, Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said in Ber­lin, hail­ing it as a “great day” for his com­pany.

Spohr said that Easy­jet was in­ter­ested in between 20 and 30 of Air Ber­lin’s medi­um­range air­craft.

Lufthansa has yet to say how much it will pay un­der the deal, but Spohr told news­pa­per Rheinis­che Post yes­ter­day that the group would in­vest € 1.5 bil­lion ($1.8 bil­lion) re­lated to the takeover.

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