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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 June 2018

Air Berlin planes sales to easyJet may collapse

Lower offer and wrangles over landing rights risk talks hitting buffers

EasyJet planes at London Gatwick airport. Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg
EasyJet planes at London Gatwick airport. Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

Talks between the insolvent carrier Air Berlin and easyJet over the sale of up to 30 planes are at risk of falling apart, according to a report in Germany’s BZ newspaper on Monday.

The report, citing unnamed Air Berlin sources, said easyJet had reduced its offer of around €50 million (Dh215.5m) for the planes.

Further complicating matters, there is disagreement over landing rights in Duesseldorf and Berlin’s Tegel airport with Lufthansa, which is bidding for other parts of Air Berlin, the report said.

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Air Berlin and easyJet declined to comment.

If negotiations between the German and British carriers end with no deal, a new deal with alternative partners must be reached by the end of October because Air Berlin’s funding will dry up, the report said.

Air Berlin, which has around 8,000 employees, filed for insolvency in August after major shareholder Etihad said it would stop providing funding.

The carrier has been in talks with Lufthansa and easyJet on a carve-up of its assets such as aircraft, take-off and landing slots and crew. These talks are due to run until Oct. 12.