EasyJet confirms acquisition of Air Berlin assets


EasyJet has confirmed the acquisition of part of bankrupt German carrier Air Berlin in a deal worth €40m (£35.2m).

The transaction will see the budget airline taking control of Air Berlin’s operations at the capital’s Tegel Airport, with easyJet leasing 25 of its aircraft.

The agreement also includes easyJet taking over landing slots and offering employment to the defunct carrier’s flying crew.

EasyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren said: “This move is consistent with easyJet’s strategy of purposeful investment in strong number one positions in Europe’s leading airports.

“As a result of our acquisition, easyJet will operate the leading short haul network at Tegel connecting passengers to and from destinations across Germany and the rest of Europe.

“This is in addition to easyJet’s existing base at Berlin Schonefeld and means that easyJet will be the leading airline to and from Berlin.”

It comes after the European Commission last week gave the all-clear for easyJet to carry out the deal.

EU authorities said it would not impact airline competition across the bloc where it faces rival carriers including Lufthansa and Ryanair.

Regulators were originally concerned that easyJet’s expanded landing-slot portfolio at congested airports like Berlin Tegel would result in higher barriers to entry for airlines looking to operate from those airports, which could subsequently result in higher fares for passengers.

However, the investigation found the airline’s acquisition was unlikely to have a negative effect, adding that “easyJet will continue to face strong competition from large carriers”.

Air Berlin declared bankruptcy in August after its biggest shareholder, the Gulf airline Etihad, withdrew financial support for the loss-making firm.

Press Association