EasyJet has agreed to acquire part of Air Berlin’s operations in Berlin to a tune of about EUR40 million and aims to hire around 1,000 pilots and cabin crew who are still employed by the German carrier.
The British budget airline has agreed to acquire leases for up to 25 Airbus A320 aeroplanes and offer jobs to each plane’s flying crews as well as taking over other assets including much-coveted runway slots at Berlin Tegel airport.
The acquisition, which will top EUR40m when start-up and transitional costs are added in, will be subject to approval by regulators in Germany and is expected to close before the end of the year.
EasyJet, which already flies to and from Tegel and Berlin Schoenefeld said the acquisition will mean it operates the most short haul flights at Tegel and make it “the leading airline in Berlin”.
It added: “easyJet will make announcements on the new routes and services to be flown to and from Tegel in due course. easyJet will operate a reduced timetable at Tegel during the winter season but plans to operate a full schedule from the summer season 2018.”
New pilots and cabin crew hired as part of the new recruitment drive will be employed on local contracts under collective labour agreements negotiated with the Ver.di trade union.