FRANKFURT, Sept 10 Germany's biggest airline
Lufthansa is set to give the go-ahead for renting
about 40 planes and crew from Air Berlin at a
supervisory board meeting at the end of this month, Sueddeutsche
Zeitung reported on Saturday.
The partnership would see Lufthansa renting planes and crew
not operating out of Air Berlin's main hubs in Berlin and
Duesseldorf in a deal known in the industry as a wet lease, the
newspaper said, without specifying its sources.
Loss-making Air Berlin would get fixed rate payments, while
Lufthansa would assume the economic risk of operating the
People familiar with the matter told Reuters in July that
Lufthansa was in talks with Air Berlin about the pact, which
would affect about a quarter of Air Berlin-owned planes.
The deal could allow Lufthansa to rapidly expand its budget
Eurowings network and would ease pressure on Air Berlin, which
is struggling to return to profit.
Airline CEOs this week predicted that tough competition in
the industry could accelerate consolidation.
Lufthansa is also expected to make a decision this year on
whether to take over the remaining stake in Brussels Airlines
after delaying the decision due to the attacks in Brussels
earlier this year.
Lufthansa and Air Berlin declined to comment.
(Reporting by Victoria Bryan and Ludwig Burger; Editing by