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AVIATION

Lufthansa offers EU fresh concessions over Air Berlin buy up

German aviation giant Lufthansa has offered concessions to encourage the European Commission to green-light its planned purchase of parts of bankrupt Air Berlin, the Brussels authority told AFP.

Lufthansa offers EU fresh concessions over Air Berlin buy up

“We have received remedies” from Lufthansa concerning the case, a spokesman said.

As Europe's highest competition authority, the Commission is examining the impact the German group's plans would have on the continent's aviation market.

Now that Lufthansa has submitted more extensive concessions, the deadline for Brussels to reach a decision has been pushed back from December 7th to December 21st, the spokesman added.

The group itself was not immediately available for comment when contacted by AFP.

Shares in Lufthansa gained slightly on the news, adding 0.83 percent around 0900 GMT against a falling DAX index of blue-chip German shares.

The Frankfurt-based airline group hopes to take over 81 aircraft from Air Berlin's 140-strong fleet, plus takeoff and landing slots as well as Austrian subsidiary Niki.

Given its dominant position in domestic air travel, Lufthansa might have to give up certain routes in exchange for approval, European Commission competition chief Margrethe Vestager said in a recent interview with German media.

Chief executive Carsten Spohr said he would be “ready” to meet her demands in a later press conference.

MALLORCA

Lufthansa fires up ‘jumbo jet’ for surge in German tourists bound for Mallorca

German airline Lufthansa said Friday it was taking "extraordinary measures" to meet surging bookings for the Spanish holiday island of Mallorca, deploying a jumbo jet to ferry passengers from Frankfurt.

Lufthansa fires up 'jumbo jet' for surge in German tourists bound for Mallorca
Tourists enjoy the first days of summer on the island of Mallorca. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/AP | Francisco Ubilla

The group said it had seen a jump in reservations from German sunseekers in recent weeks, as concerns about the pandemic ease thanks to falling infection numbers and vaccination progress across Europe.

To meet demand, Lufthansa said it would swap the 215-seat Airbus A321 that usually plies the Frankfurt-Mallorca route for its Boeing 747-8 “jumbo jet”.The 747, also known as the “Queen of the Skies”, can carry 364 people and is the largest plane in Lufthansa’s fleet.

The super-large planes normally fly transatlantic routes but have been
mostly grounded since the pandemic upended air travel.

READ ALSO: ‘I really needed a break’: Pandemic-weary Germans find freedom on Mallorca

“Lufthansa is taking extraordinary measures in order to respond to a significant increase in booking demand for flights to Palma de Mallorca,” the airline said in a statement.

The jumbo jet will be used for four weekends over July and August, it added, Europe’s key summer travel season.

Mallorca is one of the most popular tourist destinations for Germans and is sometimes affectionately referred to as Germany’s “17th state”.

Before the pandemic, around five million German tourists visited the island
each year.

READ ALSO: ‘Germans are coming back’: Spaniards sceptical over return of tourists

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