German officials raise concerns over insolvent airline Air Berlin

Courtney Goldsmith
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Air Berlin Struggles To Return To Profitability
Air Berlin filed for bankruptcy protection after Etihad Airways withdrew funding (Source: Getty)

A German official has said a straight takeover of insolvent airline Air Berlin would not be possible.

The airline filed for bankruptcy protection last Tuesday after major shareholder Etihad Airways withdrew funding. The carrier is now in talks with a number of aviation firms over its future.

One investor, Hans Rudolf Woehrl, began vying for Air Berlin on Friday, but he said he wanted to maintain the company and keep it flying. Woehrl's known for snapping up German airline Deutsche BA from British Airways for one euro.

"The model of Air Berlin as an independent airline has failed," said Matthias Machnig, Germany's deputy economy minister, on a German radio station today, according to Reuters.

Concerns have also been raised about Lufthansa's interest in buying up some of Air Berlin's assets.

The head of Germany's advisory Monopoly Commission warned that if the German flag carrier took over Air Berlin's route network many domestic routes would be uncompetitive.

However, Alexander Dobrindt, the German federal transport minister, has praised the creation of a German airline "national champion".

EasyJet and Thomas Cook's German airline Condor are also said to be involved in talks over the carrier's assets.

Read more: Air Berlin to tie up asset sale agreements with buyers by end of September

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