Lufthansa will sign a deal today to buy parts of insolvent German carrier Air Berlin, Lufthansa chief executive Carsten Spohr said.
Flights continued after a transitional loan of €150m from the German government.
It said late last month that negotiations with Lufthansa and Britain's easyJet (EZJ.L) would continue until October 12. He said he was "stunned" by suggestions the co-pilot deliberately crashed the plane.
Lufthansa Chief Executive Officer Carsten Spohr delivers his speech in Berlin, Germany, October 12, 2017.
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The Frankfurt-based carrier will sign a contract to buy 81 of Air Berlin's 144 planes and take on 3,000 of its 8,500 staff on Thursday - the last day for bidders Lufthansa and Easyjet to close their deals. The big question now is what will come out of the EasyJet talks-an Air Berlin spokesperson declined to comment on Thursday morning, suggesting a statement would come out later in the day, while EasyJet also refused to comment on the "ongoing discussions".
Lufthansa may pay about 6 million for around 80 planes of Air Berlin.
HSBC analysts lifted their target share price to 29 euros from 25 euros (£22.38), citing the imminent agreement with Air Berlin, a new multi-year labour deal with pilots announced this week and a positive trading performance this year.
Italy's national airline Alitalia [CAITLA.UL] is in administration and seeking investors too, British leisure airline Monarch collapsed at the start of this month.
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