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BRITISH AIRWAYS PARTNER IN DEUTSCHE BA LAUNCH, CONSORTIUM ACQUIRES GERMAN REGIONAL AIRLINE

 BRITISH AIRWAYS PARTNER IN DEUTSCHE BA LAUNCH,
 CONSORTIUM ACQUIRES GERMAN REGIONAL AIRLINE
 NEW YORK, March 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Deutsche BA, the company formed by a consortium of German banks and British Airways, has acquired the German regional airline, Delta Air, it was announced today.
 The airline is being renamed Deutsche BA immediately.
 It is the first step in establishing an operational base in the German market for Deutsche BA which was set up several months ago. The investors in the company are buying the entire shareholding of Delta Air for an undisclosed sum.
 Deutsche BA is jointly owned by British Airways, which holds 49 percent of shares; and the investment subsidiaries of Commerzbank, Berliner Bank and Bayerische Bank which hold the remaining 51 percent between them.
 Delta has been acquired from its previous joint owners, Crossair, and the German industrialist, Friedrich von Bohlen und Halbach.
 "The successful creation of Deutsche BA represents an important investment and commercial development for British Airways in the evolving German and Continental European air transport markets," said Robert Ayling, British Airways director of marketing and operations.
 "British Airways is required to withdraw progressively from its German domestic activities centered on Berlin, in compliance with a German government directive. This will provide Deutsche BA with its first opportunity to expand its operation in Germany."
 "Deutsche BA has been under development for some months," said Richard Heideker, Delta's managing director, who will continue to run the company under its new name and ownership. "Although there were various options for beginning operations, the company decided that the acquisition of Delta - a tightly-run regional airline - was the soundest method of establishing a new carrier in Germany.
 "The next stage in the new airline's development will be the introduction, within a few months, of new Boeing 737-300 aircraft in order to build up a network of domestic and international services, offering the German public a high-quality, but value-for-money, alternative."
 The existing network which Deutsche BA will take over from Delta covers 19 German domestic and international routes. Current fleet comprises nine Saab 340 "Cityliner" aircraft and one Dornier 228. The airline has 158 staff.
 "We have already concluded a marketing agreement with British Airways for worldwide sales and distribution," Heideker added. "We also hope to conclude arrangements for customer service ground handling at airports in Germany where British Airways has its own staff.
 "The association with British Airways will give Deutsche BA the strength to compete effectively in international markets," he concluded.
 In a separate joint statement, Moritz Suter, president of Crossair; and Friedrich von Bohlen und Halbach, said: "Delta has been a success story since its emergence as a leading German regional carrier in 1982. The sale to Deutsche BA provides the best possible conditions for the continuing development of the airline."
 -0- 3/20/92
 /CONTACT: Sandy Gardiner, 718-397-4725, or John Lampl, 718-397-4729, both of British Airways/
 (BAB) CO: British Airways; Deutsche BA ST: New York IN: AIR SU: TNM


SH -- NY005 -- 9984 03/20/92 09:09 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 20, 1992
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