easyJet buys part of bankrupt Air Berlin

easyJet flight takes off from Madeira AirportVarious sources report over the last few days that easyJet has agreed to buy part of bankrupt carrier Air Berlin’s operations at the German capital’s Tegel Airport for €40m. Air Berlin currently operates three weekly flights to Funchal for as little as €200 return fare from the German capital.
easyJet will enter into leases for up to 25 A320 aircraft and “take over slots”. It is not clear at the moment whether these slots will include the Madeira flights, although these are still being actively marketed through to next April. easyJet has said it would operate a reduced timetable at Tegel during the European winter but planned to operate a full schedule from summer 2018. The carrier said it would announce new routes and services to and from Tegel in due course.The company also said it was hoping to recruit around 1,000 Air Berlin pilots and cabin crew over the coming months, to be employed on German contracts. easyJet already has an existing base at Berlin Schoenefeld in the German capital.
Air Berlin, Germany’s second-ranked airline employing some 8,000 people, triggered bankruptcy proceedings in August after its biggest shareholder Etihad Airways pulled the plug on a cash lifeline following years of losses. Air Berlin was able to keep flying until now thanks to a €150m bridging loan from the German government, giving it time to negotiate the sale of its assets. According to the Telegraph, German and international investors and competitors lined up, with an eye not only on Air Berlin’s aircraft but also coveted take-off and landing slots at crowded airports.

5 thoughts on “easyJet buys part of bankrupt Air Berlin”

  1. This move must make Easyjet the largest carrier in Europe I imagine. I thought Lufthansa were going to take a lot of the business.

    Either way, no use to UK residents. Currently no flights from Scotland, Ireland or Wales as far as I can see.

  2. I am not sure that the easyJet slots will include Madeira this winter. Starting from January Eurowings already scheduled 3 weekly flights from Berlin to Funchal, the same connections as the former Air Berlin flights.

    And compared to TAP they offer less service and higher fares!

  3. Casalinda – how prescient of you! When I wrote this post this morning the Air Berlin website was taking bookings for Madeira until the end of April 2018. As of this evening none of their flights to Madeira are available after the end of December.
    Maurice – I accept what you say about this issue being nothing to do with the UK but the German tourists here are very important to the economy of the island, which could struggle with fewer flights, higher fares, and more hotel/private rooms becoming available to rent every day.


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