Economy

Lufthansa To Get Lion's Share Of Air Berlin Fleet

Lufthansa To Get Lion's Share Of Air Berlin Fleet”

FRANKFURT-Air Berlin's creditor committee is favoring the transition of a large part of the carrier's fleet to Lufthansa, industry sources said September 21.The body met for a preliminary selection of bidders for the airline's assets.

Lufthansa's focus is on securing the 38 crewed planes it now leases from the insolvent carrier, plus it would like up to an additional 20 to 40 planes, Carsten Spohr said at a media event late on Wednesday.

"Wet-leasing" refers to airlines leasing aircraft from each other rather than a leasing company.

"The next days will show if we reach these 20 to 40 planes through organic growth at Eurowings or the potential transaction with Air Berlin", Mr. Spohr said.

The airline believes that would be the maximum number competition authorities are prepared to accept.

The Lufthansa low cost unit said it will meet the Vereinigung Cockpit union to agree a collective agreement for additional pilots.

Air Berlin is Germany's second-biggest airline after Lufthansa.

A creditor committee meets on Thursday afternoon to discuss offers for Air Berlin, which filed for insolvency in August after major shareholder Etihad pulled the plug on funding.

Creditors will hold exclusive negotiations with Lufthansa until October 12, the sources said, which means Air Berlin's board may not make a final decision on September 25 as had been expected.

It could not immediately be learned what parts of Air Berlin IAG has bid for. "So much for the idea of a "monster", he said in a swipe at the Ryanair boss.

Looking to the future of the European airline industry, "one of the most fragmented sectors you can imagine", Spohr expects Lufthansa to play "an active role" in an expected wave of consolidation.



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