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Lufthansa has bought a large chunk of Air Berlin
12 October 2017, 05:39 | Devin Moran
Lufthansa set to sign Air Berlin deal
News of the deal pushed Lufthansa shares up more than 3 percent to their highest level in almost 17 years.
The CEO said that a milestone in Lufthansa's history will be seen in Berlin on Thursday.
Air Berlin, which has struggled to turn a profit over the last decade, filed for insolvency on August 15, and a government loan has kept its planes aloft while its administrator negotiated with prospective buyers for parts of the business.
Britain's EasyJet is reportedly still in negotiations to buy some of the Air Berlin planes that haven't been snapped up by Lufthansa.
EasyJet, which has a base at Berlin's Schoenefeld airport, has been discussing acquiring 27 to 30 planes, though a media report earlier this week said talks could fail. Air Berlin previously said others, such as Thomas Cook's Condor, could pick up some parts of the business.
Germany's biggest airline Lufthansa will buy more than half of the aircraft of its bankrupt competitor Air Berlin, chief executive Carsten Spohr said on Thursday. It made a loss of about 782 million euros a year ago.
Air Berlin, the second largest carrier in Germany, will end all operation of its flights during October, capping a tumultuous summer for carriers in Europe.
Shares in Lufthansa were up 2.9 percent at 25.27 euros (22.67 pounds), the top gained in Germany's DAX market index 0#.GDAXI by 0800 GMT after Spohr's comments and upbeat notes from brokerages. He also told the Rheinische Post newspaper that Lufthansa would invest up to 1.5 billion euros into Air Berlin as part of its takeover of the assets.
Analysts in London lifted the target price for shares of Lufthansa to €29 from their previous €25, citing the soon to be signed deal to acquire much of Air Berlin, a new labor deal that was multi-year with its pilots that it announced earlier this week, and a strong trading performance for 2017.
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