DUESSELDORF, Germany (Reuters) - Eurowings should get a revenue boost of more than 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) a year from parent Lufthansa’s (LHAG.DE) deal to buy part of Air Berlin (AB1.DE), Eurowings Chief Executive Thorsten Dirks said on Tuesday.
Lufthansa signed a 210 million euro deal last week to take over 81 of Air Berlin’s roughly 130 planes to cement its position in Germany and expand budget brand Eurowings.
With the deal, Eurowings’ fleet will grow to 210 aircraft from 160, and its workforce will increase to about 10,000 people from 7,000, Lufthansa has said.
Dirks said the deal should lift Eurowings’ annual revenues to more than 5 billion euros.
But it still needs regulatory approval and the CEO said he expected the European Commission to demand measures to address competition concerns on some routes.
Dirks said Eurowings could also absorb Alitalia’s [CAITLA.UL] short-haul business if Lufthansa struck a deal to buy parts of the ailing Italian flag carrier.
Lufthansa is among seven companies that have bid for Alitalia. It has said it was only interested in parts of the business, not the airline as a whole.
Reporting by Matthias Inverardi; Writing by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Arno Schuetze and Mark Potter