In full throttle for expansion, British no-frills airline EasyJet announced a deal to buy British Airways’ German unit Deutsche BA just days after revealing it was in talks to acquire UK rival Go [WAMN: 07-May-02].

EasyJet has an option expiring March 2003 to buy Deutsche BA. It will pay €600,000 ($545,000; £374,000) every month until it decides to exercise that option, at which time it will pay a further €30m–€39m for the unit. The British carrier then plans to spend €5m converting the German airline to its no-frills format.

“Germany is the biggest domestic air market in Europe. But it is very poorly served by low-cost airlines,” declared EasyJet ceo Ray Webster. “This arrangement gives us the opportunity to establish EasyJet as the largest low-cost airline in Germany in one step.”

The news came as EasyJet posted profits of £1m for the six months to March. However, it did not, as expected over the weekend, announce a finalised deal to acquire Go (also owned by BA until a management buy-out last year).

Data sourced from: BBC Online Business News (UK); additional content by WARC staff