| 16.5°C Dublin

Lifeline: Berlin closes in on bailout of struggling Lufthansa

Close

Clean break: A passenger uses a hand sanitizing unit beside Lufthansa self-service check-in machines in Frankfurt Airport

Clean break: A passenger uses a hand sanitizing unit beside Lufthansa self-service check-in machines in Frankfurt Airport

Bloomberg

Clean break: A passenger uses a hand sanitizing unit beside Lufthansa self-service check-in machines in Frankfurt Airport

The German government and Deutsche Lufthansa AG are inching closer to a bailout deal as opposition to the terms from within Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition recedes.

While discussions about the details of the government stake continue, officials expect an agreement as early as the end of this week.

Sources say Germany has also entered into informal talks with the European Commission to move along the planned €9bn bailout package aimed at keeping the airline aloft. It has been losing €800m a month since its fleet was grounded.

Among demands by EU regulators - in line with new subsidy rules outlined last week - is that the government dispose of its stake after no more than six years.

Berlin is prepared to nominate neutral representatives to the carrier's supervisory board to limit the political influence on strategic decisions, a proposal that Lufthansa is prepared to accept, they said.

But both parties are still haggling over the government taking a 25pc plus-one share stake in Lufthansa. The German finance and economy ministries have insisted upon this element to secure veto powers, prevent possible hostile takeovers of the carrier and generate a financial return for injecting capital, the sources said.

Bloomberg

Irish Independent