Lufthansa and easyJet have been selected as possible buyers for the aviation business of Air Berlin, which filed for insolvency last month.
The airline confirmed that it had decided to pursue talks with both carriers on the basis of their offers, with negotiations due to continue over the next three weeks. As far as Air Berlin’s other assets are concerned, it said it will continue to hold talks with other bidders.
“Authority was granted to conclude one or more agreements with one or more of these bidders,” the company said in a statement.
Reuters reported late on Thursday that Lufthansa was set to pick up a large part of the carrier. Earlier this week, it cited two people familiar with the matter as saying that British Airways and Iberia owner International Consolidated Airlines Group was also bidding for part or all of Air Berlin.
EasyJet said last week that it had submitted a proposal to the overseers of Air Berlin’s insolvency to buy parts of the company’s short-haul business.
Air Berlin filed for insolvency in August after it was given notice by Etihad that it no longer intended to provide the group with financial support.