Green light for Air Berlin’s takeover of LTU

Air Berlin has received the green light from the cartel office in Germany to take over rival carrier LTU.

Air Berlin’s CEO, Joachim Hunold, welcomed the decision of the Federal Cartel Office: “We finally got the strategic decision that we hoped for. Nevertheless, it is regrettable that this process took so long. Therefore, synergies could not be exploited during this year as planned. We were not able to adjust summer flight time tables of both airlines.”

From 2008 onwards the Air Berlin board is expecting to make cost savings between 70 and 100 million Euro annually. Hunold explained: “Whether we can achieve this, is depending essentially on the outcome of the collective agreement, which is negotiated with LTU pilots as we speak.”

The LTU operates 27 planes and employs almost 2,800 people. Last year the company had a turnover of 1.06 million Euro and carried 5.7 million passengers. After the completed takeover, LTU will remain a legally independent company.