August 29, 2017 / 9:53 AM / a year ago

Ryanair says not hopeful over Air Berlin/Lufthansa antitrust complaint

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ryanair (RYA.I) is not hopeful that its complaint to competition authorities over plans by Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) to take over parts of insolvent rival Air Berlin AB1.DE will halt the deal, its chief commercial officer said on Tuesday.

An aircraft operated by German carrier Air Berlin lands in Berlin's Tegel airport, Germany, August 23, 2017. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

Ryanair has filed a complaint with German and European Union competition authorities over the insolvency process, which it describes as a “conspiracy” because it believes that Lufthansa will gain a bigger share of the German market.

“This would not be allowed in any other European country, we have of course made a complaint to the German cartel office and the European Commission. We shall see what happens but we are not entirely hopeful,” David O’Brien told a news conference.

Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary said last week that the Irish airline would also be interested in bidding for the whole of Air Berlin, but O’Brien said the Lufthansa bid would probably succeed.

(This story was refiled to remove extraneous text in fourth paragraph)

Reporting by Padraic Halpin, editing by Louise Heavens

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