Talks between easyJet (LON:EZJ) and insolvent carrier Air Berlin over the sale of up to 30 planes are at risk of falling apart, Reuters has revealed, quoting a report in Germany’s B.Z. newspaper. The news follows the UK group’s trading update last week when the low-cost carrier forecast that its full-year profits will come in at the upper end of its guidance, but warned that it had suffered a currency hit due to sterling’s drop against the US dollar in the wake of the Brexit vote.
easyJet’s share price has fallen deep into the red in London this morning, having given up 1.11 percent to 1,249.00p as of 09:24 BST, underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.09 percent lower at 7,515.92 points. The group’s shares have added just under 40 percent to their value over the past year, and are up by nearly a quarter in the year-to-date.
Reuters reported today that the German newspaper had quoted unnamed Air Berlin sources as saying that easyJet had reduced its offer of around €50 million for the planes. Further complicating matters, there is disagreement over landing rights in Duesseldorf and Berlin’s Tegel airport with Lufthansa, which is bidding for other parts of the insolvent carrier.
The report further noted that if negotiations between the German and British carriers end with no deal, a new agreement with alternative partners will have to be reached by the end of the month, because Air Berlin’s funding will dry up.
The news comes after easyJet recently emerged as one of the preferred bidders for the assets, along with Lufthansa, with other parties interested in parts of Air Berlin reportedly including British Airways parent International Consolidated Airlines Group (LON:IAG) and Thomas Cook’s Condor.