Norwegian (DY, Oslo Gardermoen) has rejected reports in local newspaper, Finansavisen, that it is in advanced talks to acquire Air Berlin (AB, Berlin Tegel). In a statement, Airline spokeswoman, Anne-Sissel Skaanvik, told Reuters: "Under normal circumstances we would not comment on such rumors and speculations in the market. But on this occasion I can deny that Norwegian Air is a potential buyer."

The European aviation community at large has been keenly watching the Norwegian airline ever since CEO Bjørn Kjos revealed plans to acquire a European carrier with US traffic rights should its newly established Irish subsidiary, Norwegian Air International (D8, Dublin Int'l), fail to secure its own. The US Department of Transportation has come under immense pressure from US airlines, trade unions and lobby groups to deny the airline a foreign-carrier traffic-permit on the grounds its use of Irish Air Operators Certificate allows it to circumvent stricter Norwegian labour laws thereby giving it an unfair competitive advantage.

Norwegian was last year also linked to talks with LOT Polish Airlines (LO, Warsaw Chopin).

For its part, Air Berlin (AB, Berlin Tegel) has delayed the announcement of its 2013 operating results amid speculation that 29.21% shareholder, Etihad Airways (EY, Abu Dhabi Int'l), is pushing for the airline to delist from the stock exchange ahead of a possible restructuring.