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Talks on sale of Air Berlin planes to easyJet at risk of collapse - report

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Talks on sale of Air Berlin planes to easyJet at risk of collapse - report

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BERLIN (Reuters) – Talks between the insolvent carrier Air Berlin <AB1.DE> and easyJet <EZJ.L> over the sale of up to 30 planes are at risk of falling apart, according to a report in Germany’s B.Z. newspaper on Monday. The report, citing unnamed Air Berlin sources, said easyJet had reduced its offer of around 50 million euros (44.82 million pounds) for the planes. Further complicating matters, there is disagreement over landing rights in Duesseldorf and Berlin’s Tegel airport with Lufthansa <LHAG.DE>, which is bidding for other parts of Air Berlin, the report said. Air Berlin and easyJet declined to comment. If negotiations between the German and British carriers end with no deal, a new deal with alternative partners must be reached by the end of October because Air Berlin’s funding will dry up, the report said. Air Berlin, which has around 8,000 employees, filed for insolvency in August after major shareholder Etihad said it would stop providing funding. The carrier has been in talks with Lufthansa and easyJet on a carve-up of its assets such as aircraft, take-off and landing slots and crew. These talks are due to run until Oct. 12.

(Reporting by Victoria Bryan and Klaus Lauer; Writing by Tom Sims, editing by David Evans)
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