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Lufthansa acquiring Air Berlin assets to bolster Eurowings

Lufthansa acquiring Air Berlin assets to bolster Eurowings

"We will see a milestone in the history of Lufthansa and Air Berlin today", he said.

Ryanair is set to challenge a Lufthansa deal to to buy parts of failed German carrier Air Berlin.

Air Berlin declared bankruptcy in August following years of losses and the decision of its biggest shareholder, Gulf airline Etihad, to cease financing.

The move drew fire from European competitors, which accused the German government of unfairly helping the Frankfurt-based Lufthansa get a leg up on the its EU rivals by offering Air Berlin a lifeline.

The budget Irish airline said it would take the €210m deal to European competition authorities.

A successful outcome is expected to create new jobs for Air Berlin employees, and this sales process is also a good chance to repay German government's 150 m-euro bridge loan to Air Berlin.

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Lufthansa has agreed to buy Air Berlin's Austrian leisure travel airline Niki, its LG Walter regional airline and 20 additional aircraft.

Germany's second-largest carrier has since been negotiating with potential buyers for parts of its business.

In August, Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary slammed the government intervention as a "stitch up", in August, and called on the European Union competition authorities to block a Lufthansa takeover.

It said late last month that negotiations with Lufthansa and Britain's easyJet would continue until October 12.

Air Berlin carried an average of 80,000 people a day, but endured losses of an estimated 782 million Euros a year ago.

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