Etihad exploring options for leisure airline Niki

by Ben Pena August 17, 2017, 6:59
Etihad exploring options for leisure airline Niki

Leading budget carrier Ryanair has filed competition complaints with the German competition regulator Bundeskartellamt and the European Commission regarding the "obvious conspiracy" playing out in Germany between the country's government and flag carrier Lufthansa to carve up struggling Air Berlin's assets.

Air Berlin filed for bankruptcy protection Tuesday after its main shareholder, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad, said it would make no more financing available following years of unsuccessful turnaround attempts.

Air Berlin sank into insolvency this week after Gulf shareholder Etihad said it would no longer provide financial backing for the carrier.

All flights operated by airberlin and its affiliate NIKI, which is also part of oneworld, will continue as planned.

The carrier, which had accumulated debt since 2008, announced a record loss of over €780 million ($910 million) previous year.

The low-priced airline reported losses of $3.2 billion over the past six years.

According to the announcement, it seems the German government will find a solution to keep Air Berlin operating.

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Air Berlin said its flights were continuing.

Etihad said that it withdrew funding after Air Berlin's operations deteriorated at an "unprecedented pace" in recent months. "We are confident that solutions can be found within the framework of European Union law", a Commission spokesman said.

The German government rejected the accusation and said its support for Air Berlin did not breach anti-trust rules. In addition to ongoing negotiation "to take over parts of the Air Berlin group", Lufthansa says it is "exploring the possibility of hiring additional [Air Berlin] staff".

DB's were down for the first half of the year as well, falling 16 percent from.62 DB's per 10,000 passengers from January to June 2016 to.52 DB's per 10,000 passengers for the same period this year.

An easyJet spokesman said it would not comment on speculation. We have a commercial relationship with airberlin across a range of areas, including codeshare operations, and we will support airberlin's management during these hard times.

Now even the German government is supporting this Lufthansa-led deal with €150m of state aid.


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