EasyJet wins approval for Air Berlin acquisition

EasyJet wins approval for Air Berlin acquisition

EasyJet has won the green light to take over part of failed Air Berlin’s operations at Berlin Tegel airport.

But Air Berlin’s administrator said renewed talks with Thomas Cook have not led to a sustainable offer for the insolvent carrier’s Austria-based carrier Niki.

“Renewed talks with the consortium of bidders related to tour operator Thomas Cook have to date not even remotely led to a sustainable alternative offer,” Air Berlin administrator Frank Kebekus.

After a meeting yesterday, the creditor committee said Germany’s Lufthansa remains the only valid prospective buyer.

European Commission approval for easyJet to acquire part of Air Berlin’s operations at Tegel involves operating 25 aircraft.

The deal includes the UK budget carrier leasing former Air Berlin aircraft, taking over other assets including slots, and offering employment to Air Berlin flying crews.

“The Commission has confirmed that there are no competition concerns relating to this agreement and easyJet now expects to complete the transaction in the near future,” the airline said.

“EasyJet’s plans to buy certain Air Berlin assets will not reduce competition and we have approved it today,” EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said.

“Our decision enables easyJet to grow its presence at Berlin airports and start competing on new routes to the benefit of consumers.”

Lufthansa has a deadline of December 21 to convince the Commission that its proposal for the bulk of Air Berlin does not breach competition rules.

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