EasyJet has struck a €40m (£35m) deal with Air Berlin to acquire some of the assets of the bankrupt German carrier, which will see it save approximately 1,000 jobs.
Germany's second-largest airline filed for insolvency in August, after Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, its main shareholder, withdrew its financial support following years of rising losses.
Earlier this month, Air Berlin announced it will stop flying at the end of October, telling employees that flights operating under its airline code "will no longer be possible after October 28 at the latest".
As part of the agreement, the FTSE 100-listed budget airline will buy some Air Berlin's assets at Berlin's Tegel airport, including its landing slots, and leases for up to 24 A320 aircraft.
EasyJet, which has also a base at Schoenefeld airport, the German capital's other main aviation hub, said around 1,000 Air Berlin pilots and cabin crew will be taken on board as part of the deal.
The British carrier added it will operate a reduced winter schedule from Tegel airport this winter but it has plans to unveil a full schedule for summer 2018.
"We look forward to building on the strong, customer focussed platform it already has in Berlin to fly more passengers, employ more people and support more economic growth [in Germany]," easyJet said in a statement on Monday (30 October).
The Luton-based airline is the second carrier to acquire Air Berlin's assets. Earlier this month Lufthansa agreed to purchase Air Berlin's subsidiaries Niki and LG Walter, as well access to take-off and landing slots at the airline's hubs at Berlin's Tegel airport and at Duesseldorf airport.
However, the deal was strongly criticised by Ryanair, which described the agreement as a "stitch up" and vowed to refer it to the European Union competition authorities.
Air Berlin undertook a restructuring exercise last year to stem losses, after accumulating debts for almost a decade. In 2016, the airline also confirmed it no longer owned any of its aircraft, having sold and leased back its fleet. It also announced it would be reducing the number of destinations it flies to from 140 to 70.
However, that did not prevent it from reporting a record loss of €782m (£713m) in the last financial year.
The beleaguered carrier has been trying to find a buyer ever since, in a bid to avoid joining the list of 31 European airlines that have ceased operations since 2013.