BERLIN (Reuters) - Defunct airline Air Berlin’s first auction of assets drew almost 13,000 bids for items ranging from plane seats to chocolate hearts and model aircraft, the administrator said, with more lots still to go under the hammer.
Lucas Floether declined to give the total amount raised by the first auction, citing legal restrictions, but said the auction website had received 1.2 million hits, with bids placed by buyers in 45 countries.
“The high level of interest positively surprised us,” he said in a statement on Monday.
The auction is the first of four to raise cash for creditors of Air Berlin, once Germany’s second-largest airline, serving 30 million passengers a year, which filed for insolvency in August after years of losses and burdened by heavy debt.
Its operations have been carved up among rivals, including Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) and easyJet (EZJ.L), but an inventory of objects owned by the airline is being sold in a process organised by the Dechow auction house.
A 4.8 metre-long model Boeing 737 plane went for 7,800 euros ($9,721), while items such as umbrellas were picked up for around 30-40 euros. The chocolate hearts that Air Berlin used to hand out at the end of each flight went for as much as 352 euros for a box of 100.
In three further auctions that run until Feb. 16, fans can pick up retro-style messenger bags, deck chairs and beach balls with the Air Berlin logo, plus more model planes in various sizes.
It is not clear whether staff uniforms, including those worn by pilots, can be sold. The auction house is currently in talks with aviation authorities as to whether they can be offered to the public because they have official markings and selling them could contravene security regulations.
Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Catherine Evans