FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Lufthansa <LHAG.DE> expects the collapse of smaller peer Air Berlin to have helped add around 150 million euros to its fourth-quarter revenues, Chief Executive Carsten Spohr told a German newspaper.
But he also said the added sales were offset by considerable additional costs, which he did not quantify, according to Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.
Lufthansa added capacity after Air Berlin ceased flying in late October, for instance by using a 747 jumbo jet for the short flight between Frankfurt and Berlin to meet additional demand on that popular route.
The German flagship carrier had planned to buy large parts of Air Berlin’s business when it was carved up, but it last week abandoned plans to buy Austrian unit Niki, which subsequently also filed for insolvency. [nL8N1OD466]
According to Frankfurter Allgemeine, Lufthansa had already provided around 70 million euros in funding to Niki to keep its planes flying when antitrust concerns forced it to back out of the purchase.
It stands a slim chance of recovering that money due to Niki’s insolvency. The administrators of Niki are currently in talks with possible buyers for the Austrian unit and aim to strike a deal by the end of next week. [nL8N1OM2M7]
(Reporting by Maria Sheahan, editing by G Crosse)