September 29, 2017 / 11:47 AM / in 24 days

Eurowings snaps up Air Berlin pilots

BERLIN (Reuters) - Lufthansa’s (LHAG.DE) Eurowings has taken on its first Air Berlin (AB1.DE) pilots, after attracting a wave of job applications since Air Berlin filed for insolvency last month.

FILE PHOTO - The logo of Lufthansa's low-cost brand Eurowings is seen at Cologne-Bonn airport, Germany, November 2, 2015. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo -

Lufthansa is bidding for some of Air Berlin’s assets, including holiday airline Niki, regional carrier Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter, and talks are set to run until Oct. 12.

Eurowings has in the meantime moved to attract experienced crew amid stiff competition.

Rival low-cost carriers easyJet (EZJ.L), Norwegian (NWC.OL), and Wizz (WIZZ.L) are in the midst of record recruitment drives, with pilot hiring in the spotlight after a rostering problem at Ryanair (RYA.I), Europe’s largest airline by passenger numbers, left it short-staffed.

Eurowings said in an internal communication on Friday that more than 2,000 people had applied for jobs, after it advertised for over 1,000 pilots, cabin crew and ground staff.

“The response to this first wave of jobs has exceeded all our expectations,” Eurowings managing director Michael Knitter said.

Eurowing’s parent group has also freed up money to invest in planes so that Eurowings can fill the gap left by Air Berlin.

Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Douglas Busvine and Susan Fenton

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