German Federal Cartel Office approved Air Berlin’s proposal to acquire LTU. Air Berlin is the second biggest carrier in Germany and first intended to buy LTU a year ago, but the process of the cartel office took almost a year to judge their request. Finally they received the green light without limitations for the acquisition. Air Berlin’s CEO Joachim Hunold said it was “regrettable that this process took so long” and that “synergies could not be exploited during this year as planned. We were not able to adjust summer flight timetables of both airlines.”
LTU was founded in 1955, became IATA member in 1990. Their fleet consists of 11 Airbus A 320-200, 4 Airbus A 321-200, 9 Airbus A 330-200, 3 Airbus A 330-300. LTU’s seat capacity is 6,654 seats, those include: 216 seats Business Class. it operates regular scheduled and charter flights mainly from German, Austrian and Swiss airports. They reported revenue of €1.06 billion in 2006 with a debt of €200 million. The deal was €140 million from Air Berlin plus covering the debts.
Whether AB will buy LTU or not, it will be interesting to see what a low cost will do with a network carrier.