Air Berlin declared bankruptcy in August following years of losses and the decision of its biggest shareholder, Gulf airline Etihad, to cease financing.
Lufthansa would be interested if there was an opportunity to create a new Alitalia, the German flagship carrier's Chief Executive Carsten Spohr said on Thursday.
Although Air Berlin and Lufthansa's existing low-priced airline, Eurowings, are the only carriers serving routes such as those between Munich and Cologne, Spohr said the combined operation would not boost prices as competition in Europe is set to "intensify".
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Mr. Spohr said that he expects that it will take up to one year for Lufthansa to fully integrate Air Berlin's aircraft and teams. 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. However, Air Berlin chief executive Thomas Winkelmann said last week the agreement would need a green light from European authorities in a process that might take "several weeks or months".
Germany's largest airline is expected to buy Air Berlin's Niki subsidiary, its LG Walter regional airline as well as some aircraft. The airline carried some 80,000 people a day mostly on short-haul destinations.
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