The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close in December 2017.
The acquisition will result in easyJet, whose UK headquarters are in Luton, entering into leases for up to 25 A320 aircraft, offering employment to Air Berlin flying crews and taking over other assets including take-off and landingslots.
easyJet has launched a recruitment campaign to attract around 1,000 of Air Berlin’s pilots and cabin crew who will be recruited over the coming months and will then be trained on easyJet’s safety and operating procedures.
An easyJet statement said: “The agreement is consistent with easyJet’s strategy of purposeful investment in strong number one positions in Europe’s leading airports (or number two to a legacy incumbent).
“This will enable easyJet to operate the leading short haul network at Tegel connecting passengers to and from destinations across Germany and the rest of Europe. This is in addition to easyJet’s existing base at Berlin Schönefeld and would mean that easyJet would be the leading airline in Berlin.”
The airline is preparing to announce new routes and services to and from Tegel in due course. easyJet will operate a reduced timetable at Tegel during the winter but plans to operate a full schedule from the summer season 2018.
Air Berlin filed for inslvency in August after its main shareholder Etihad refused to provide a new cash injection. The airline has continued to operate courtesy of a loan from the German government.