Germany: Lufthansa-Air Berlin tie-up would create «German monster» — Ryanair CEO

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary said the company would not be making an offer for the assets of insolvent German airline Air Berlin and described the insolvency process as a «stitch-up,» at a press conference in Berlin on Wednesday. O'Leary called on the German Federal Cartel Office to investigate what he reportedly described as a «conspiracy» between the German government, Airberlin and Lufthansa... Еще. Airberlin filed for bankruptcy protection last month after a shareholder withdrew funding. O'Leary accused the three parties of ignoring EU and German competition laws, since the German government had agreed to aid Air Berlin's insolvency process with a €150 million ($179 million) bridge loan. He called this debt relief «illegal state aid». According to O'Leary, a potential Airberlin and Lufthansa merger would lead to an increase in the price of domestic flights in Germany as well as a 95 percent share for Lufthansa of the German domestic flights market. O'Leary accused German politicians of being passive on the issue in the lead up to the September elections. He said: «All we see is a succession of German politicians falling over themselves to award Air Berlin to Lufthansa. Calling Lufthansa a «German Champion» and, therefore, because it is a German Champion it should be allowed to take over 95 percent of the domestic market, making it not just a «German Champion» but a «German Monster», who will increase the cost of air travel for millions of Germans for the next 10, 15, 20 years».

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