The German aviation investor Hans Rudolf Woehrl said a company controlled by his INTRO Group had submitted a €500 million (Dh2.2 billion) offer to buy the insolvent Air Berlin.
The carrier, Germany’s second-largest airline, filed for bankruptcy protection in August, spurring interest from several buyers seeking to snap up about 140 leased aircraft and valuable take-off and landing slots in Germany. It entered insolvancy key investor Etihad exited after years of trying to keep them flying despite losses.
Mr Woehrl, who bought the German airline Deutsche BA from British Airways for a nominal €1 in 2003, said Air Berlin’s insolvency administrator had been shown a letter of credit for €50m, to guarantee an initial payment for his bid. The full offer was for €500m, INTRO said. “It is a bid for the whole of Air Berlin."
The firm added that it planned to pay a further €450m in instalments.
The airlines Lufthansa, Condor and Germania as well as the travel firm TUI and investor Niki Lauda had been informed about an opportunity to “participate” in the Woehrl bid, INTRO said.
In late August, Mr Woehrl said he planned to bid together with partners, although Lufthansa had turned down his offer to team up as bidders. INTRO said Airlines were now being invited to offer to charter Air Berlin’s aircraft.
“If there is no participation by other airlines, INTRO and its investors are in a position to turn around Air Berlin by themselves, they have repeatedly proven their ability to do this in the past,” it said.