Ryanair today urged the German Bundeskartellamt, Germany's competition authority, and the EU Commission to block the takeover of Air Berlin by Lufthansa.
Ryanair claims this deal would allow Lufthansa to take over Air Berlin “debt free”, which they claim “will be in breach of all German and EU competition rules”. Ryanair says Lufthansa is a monopoly that has been supported by the German Government, by providing €150m of State Aid to the airline.
Ryanair has an 8% share of the German market and last year said it aims to capture a further 12% by 2021. Following Air Berlin's collapse, Ryanair has predicted that it will achieve that 20% market share sooner than 2021.
Ryanair also urged all Berliners to vote “Yes” on 24th Sept to keep Tegel Airport open. Michael O’Leary said, “The German Bundeskartellamt and the European Commission must block the anti-consumer stitch-up playing out between the German Government, Lufthansa and Air Berlin. Given that the German Government is centrally involved in these manoeuvres (loaning €150m), the Bundeskartellamt will be afraid to impose competition rules. On this basis, it is vital that the European Commission takes immediate and decisive action to protect German consumers from a Lufthansa high fare monopoly.”