Lufthansa Group (LHG) is set to buy large portions of airberlin, which filed for bankruptcy protection back in August.
According to the Associated Press via ABC News, LHG will take over 81 planes from airberlin for both its main Lufthansa brand and its budget airline, Eurowings. LHG will pay 210 million euros to airberlin as part of the deal, enabling the airline to repay a 150 million euro credit from the government of Germany.
According to the latest statement from airberlin, the airline will cease long-haul flight operations October 15 as its aircraft leasing companies gradually withdraw their Airbus A330 jets. The Dusseldorf – Los Angeles route was discontinued on September 25, followed by the Hamburg – Munich and Cologne / Bonn – Munich routes September 29. Further cancellations will follow October 16.
Germany-based airberlin filed for bankruptcy protection back in August after Etihad Airways, its codeshare partner and largest shareholder, announced that it could not provide any further funding. At the time Etihad said that it provided 250 million euros in additional funding to airberlin this past April, but that since then the airline’s business had “deteriorated at an unprecedented pace,” preventing it from implementing alternative solutions.
According to Flight Global, the deal will also see LHG acquire airberlin’s Austrian leisure subsidiary Niki, as well as its regional unit LGW. EasyJet is also reportedly still in talks to acquire other parts of airberlin’s operations.