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Lufthansa Set To Sign Air Berlin Deal

German airline group Deutsche Lufthansa AG (DLAKF, DLAKY) will sign a deal on Thursday to buy parts of insolvent rival Air Berlin, reports said, citing Lufthansa's chief executive Carsten Spohr.

Spohr said, "We will see a milestone in the history of Lufthansa and Berlin today."

German airline Air Berlin filed for bankruptcy on August 15 after its main shareholder, Etihad, said it would not give further financial support. The company continued its operations through a government loan, while its administrator was negotiating with prospective buyers for parts of its business, the reports noted.

Air Berlin said last month that negotiations with Lufthansa and Britain's easyJet would continue until October 12.

Media reported, citing a person familiar with the matter, that Lufthansa, Germany's largest airline, was set to buy Air Berlin's Austrian leisure travel airline Niki, its LG Walter regional airline, as well as some additional short-haul aircraft.

The operations in the deal would also include access to take-off and landing slots at Air Berlin's hubs in Tegel in the German capital and Duesseldorf.

EasyJet reportedly has been discussing acquiring 27 to 30 planes.

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