Airlines Lufthansa leaves plans to take over Niki, makes further concessions

Over the course of Lufthansa´s planned acquisition of parts of the Air Berlin group, the airline has now made further concessions to the European Commission (EC). Lufthansa will not further pursue the takeover of Niki.

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As merger control authority, the European Commission currently investigates Lufthansa´s plans to acquire parts of the bankrupted Air Berlin. After the EC considered Lufthansa´s offer on giving up further slots for the still intended takeover of LGW as inadequate, the Commission now indicated that a takeover of Niki by Lufthansa’s low cost subsidiary Eurowings will not be granted.

Based on these circumstances, Lufthansa has announced, that a takeover of Niki will not be pursued anymore. The airline informed both parties, Air Berlin and its administrator, to intentionally close the transaction exclusively the acquisition of Niki.

In a statement, the German government showed its regret at the EC decision. A grounding and an insolvency of Niki seem to be a realistic possibility for the airline. Vienna Airport’s data shows, that Niki flights have been canceled on Thursday.

Since Lufthansa Group aspires to maintain its plans on expanding in the European point-to-point business, the airline still intends the takeover of LGW. Regarding this subject, Lufthansa has made more offerings today. The German airline said it would give up more slots for the takeover. This new proposition will be submitted to the Commission today.

As part of the ongoing negotiations regarding the fragmentation of Air Berlin Group, the European Commission announced yesterday, that the British low-cost carrier Easyjet is allowed to deploy 25 aircraft at Berlin-Tegel. Easyjet will fly both domestic and international routes.

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