Lufthansa and AirBelrin’s bankruptcy administrators seem, in RyanAir’s view, which isn’t without merit, to be ignoring various anti-competition and state aid rules.
However it has to be said that Lufthansa has deftly played its cards over the years with the likelihood of AirBerlin’s almost inevitable demise. The airline was effectively destitute as long ago as 2013, and Lufthansa has always been there with its finger not quite in the pie, but making sure it would indirectly own a slice.
By taking on 20 plus A320’s on lease from AirBerlin and offering various facilities- both physical and as guarantor it’s put itself in prime place as being the most viable interested party, a qualification the bankruptcy administration is legally required to look for.
29.2% owner Etihad has effectively stood back and is in effect going to loose all of its investment and the cash it’s used to prop AirBerlin up for three years.