October 24, 2017 / 3:33 PM / a year ago

Air Berlin in talks with Condor, not just easyJet: source

FILE PHOTO: German carrier Air Berlin aircraft are pictured at Tegel airport in Berlin, Germany, September 12, 2017. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - Air Berlin AB1.DE is in talks with Thomas Cook (TCG.L) airline Condor, as well as Britain’s easyJet (EZJ.L) over the sale of some of its remaining assets, as time runs out for a deal to be done, a source familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

Air Berlin had been in exclusive talks with Lufthansa and easyjet, but while a deal was agreed with Lufthansa for large parts of its business, talks with easyJet continued over the weekend.

“Air Berlin is in talks with two bidders - easyjet and Condor. The race is wide open,” the source said.

EasyJet has said it is interested in operations covering about 25 planes, predominantly at Berlin’s Tegel airport. EasyJet currently flies only from Berlin Schoenefeld and analysts say a deal could allow it to build its share in Berlin and possibly offer domestic routes within Germany.

Condor had expressed interest in Air Berlin when the carrier filed for insolvency back in August, however the creditors chose to negotiate with Lufthansa and easyJet.

Time is ticking for a deal to be done, however. The last Air Berlin flight is due to take place on Friday.

The airline had hoped to be able to present deals for remaining assets to a creditor committee today, but instead was only able to present a deal for its cargo marketing unit Leisure Cargo.

Condor and easyJet declined to comment. Air Berlin referred to a statement from Friday, when CEO Thomas Winkelmann said that the period of exclusivity had ended.

Reporting by Klaus Lauer; Writing by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Alexander Ratz and Tom Sims

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