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Cimber Air

Danish airline buys parts of bankrupt Sterling

AP  Dec 04, 2008

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Danish domestic airline Cimber Air said Thursday it has taken over key parts of bankrupt budget airline Sterling Airways A/S for an undisclosed amount.

The airline said it bought the Icelandic-owned airline's name, operation certificate and Web sites, but had not taken over the aircraft or the staff.

Sterling, which is based in Denmark, filed for bankruptcy on Oct. 29. The airline said at the time it was unable to raise money for a restructuring program after its owner, Iceland's FL Group, was hit hard by the collapse of Iceland's financial system.

"In buying Sterling we saw a unique opportunity to safeguard and extend our present position as Denmark's leading domestic airline and at the same time extend our route network to destinations in Europe," Cimber's Chief Executive Joergen Nielsen said.

The plan is that Sterling will continue as an independent airline and eventually return to the Nordic travel market, he said in a statement. Nielsen didn't exclude offering jobs to some of the former Sterling employees as the new company expands its activities.

Takeover talks for Sterling failed Nov. 18 after a potential buyer withdrew due to a disagreement with a cabin crew labor union. After the collapse, the trustees handling the estate said Sterling would be dismantled and sold in parts.

Cimber, based in Soenderborg, southwestern Denmark, carried around 1 million passengers last year.

Danish airline buys parts of bankrupt Sterling

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