August 16, 2017 / 12:05 PM / a year ago

Germany rejects Ryanair claim that Air Berlin insolvency was staged

An Air Berlin sign is seen at an Air Berlin storage hall in Berlin, Germany, August 15, 2017. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany on Wednesday rejected accusations by low-cost airline Ryanair (RYA.I) that Air Berlin’s AB1.DE filing for insolvency protection was aimed at preparing the German carrier for a takeover by Lufthansa (LHAG.DE).

An economy ministry spokeswoman also said a bridging loan of 150 million euros ($175.5 million) the government has granted Air Berlin did not breach anti-trust rules.

“I reject the accusation by Ryanair today that it was a staged insolvency application,” the spokeswoman said. “We assume that the loan is conform with the law”.

Reporting by Joseph Nasr and Michael Nienaber; Editing by Maria Sheahan

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