17 August, 2017

Will Lufthansa Buy 100 Air Berlin Aircraft? Ryanair's Not Happy. Could IAG be Interested? The Air Berlin Gossip Bubble

Lufthansa is in negotiations to buy a majority of Air Berlin's aircraft, with the backing of the German Government, which is, according to local media, looking for an aviation 'champion' to come to the rescue.   The German flag carrier may take upto 100 of the 140 Air Berlin fleet some analysts are predicting.  No comment on that theory yet from the German airline, although it is a possibility - with nothing being ruled out at this stage.   

Air Berlin's collapse may be a god send for Lufthansa and the other airlines in its group, if they takes up the chance to acquire slots at busy airports such as Berlin Tegel and Duesseldorf. The German national carrier is keen to defend its domestic position against the expansion of the low-cost carriers like Ryanair.  

According to the buzz in the media, its thought the majority of the slots would be purchased by Eurowings and Condor, with some the rest would likely go to Lufthansa and some to Ryanair, who have incidentally filed a complaint with German and European Union competition authorities over the whole insolvency process, calling it a "conspiracy" to halt Ryanair's German expansion. A claim which the German government dismissed entirely. "I reject the accusation by Ryanair today that it was a staged insolvency application," a government spokeswoman said.

Other airlines known to be circling the carcass of Air Berlin like commercial vultures are EasyJet and Thomas Cook. Another major European airline group is rumoured to be interested in taking a major stake in the Air Berlin fleet and slots, however, according to sources, are likely to remain in the shadows until a deal is done.     

The aviation industry media are in a frenzy at the moment over the Air Berlin collapse with dozens of analysts looking into what went wrong, airline experts predicting who will buy what and when. There is gossip and rumour flying about all over the place, some are so outlandish that it defies all sensible belief. Some of the more unusual or unexpected rumors of possible Air Berlin assent purchasers that we've heard include FlyBe, Swiss and Jet2!   As the gossip grinder continues at a pace we're sure there will be more names pulled 'literally' out of the air and speculated about, yet the only thing that is for certain, at least for now, is that nobody really knows anything at this stage.  

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