Budget airline EasyJet has this afternoon announced a proposal to take over parts of Air Berlin's short haul business.
EasyJet submitted the suggestions to the firm overseeing Air Berlin's insolvency, saying they were “consistent with EasyJet's focused, city-based strategy in Germany”.
But the company added that, due to a “number of uncertainties associated with Air Berlin, there is no certainty at this stage that any transaction will proceed”.
Air Berlin filed for bankruptcy protection last month, after major shareholder Etihad Airways withdrew funding saying Air Berlin’s business had “deteriorated at an unprecedented pace”.
Its chief executive later announced that it was planning to agree asset sales with “two or more” buyers by the end of September, before the loan it was granted by the German government to keep its planes flying runs out.
Fellow German airline Lufthansa has made its interest known, saying it was “already in negotiations” with Air Berlin to take over parts of the group shortly after it filed for insolvency.
EasyJet had also been linked to the talks, but previously refused to comment on its involvement.
But low-cost competitor Ryanair appeared reluctant to join the bidding party, after it lodged a competition complaint last month with the German Bundeskartellamt and European Commission.
The airline alleged an “obvious conspiracy playing out in Germany” between the German government, Lufthansa and Air Berlin “to carve up Air Berlin’s assets, while excluding major competitors and ignoring both EU competition and state aid rules”.