EU clears Lufthansa plan to take over part of Air Berlin

Markets Associated Press

The European Union has approved a deal that will see Germany's biggest airline, Lufthansa, take over part of defunct Air Berlin — formerly the country's second-largest carrier.

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The EU's executive Commission cleared Lufthansa's planned purchase of Air Berlin's LGW subsidiary on Thursday, following Lufthansa's withdrawal last week of its bid for Air Berlin's Niki division. That move by Lufthansa led to the bankruptcy and grounding of Niki, which had continued flying after Air Berlin ended operations in late October.

In an effort to calm concerns over the deal, Lufthansa also committed to reducing the number of slots it acquires at Duesseldorf airport.

Britain's easyJet is acquiring a smaller part of Air Berlin, which filed for bankruptcy in August after years of financial troubles. The EU cleared that deal last week.