Ryanair (FR, Dublin Int'l) Chief Executive, Michael O'Leary, has told Reuters that his company is interested in buying troubled carrier Air Berlin (AB, Berlin Tegel), pending due diligence.

"We would be very happy to bid for the whole of Air Berlin, which is generally a short-haul, domestic, intra-EU carrier," O'Leary said. "But we don't know how much restructuring it will take, how much money is it losing, why is it losing so much money in a market where we make money."

Various airlines have expressed an interest in acquiring parts of Air Berlin since it went into insolvency in mid-August.

However, O'Leary clarified that he would be interested only in acquiring the whole airline, not just what is left over after discussions with Lufthansa (LH, Frankfurt Int'l) are complete.

"What's going to be left by the time Lufthansa completes the discussions?" he said.

As previously reported, Lufthansa's Carsten Spohr is keen to buy Air Berlin's Austrian subsidiary Niki (HG, Vienna), potentially its regional carrier unit LGW - Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter (HE, Dortmund) as well as Leisure Cargo, and up to ninety of Air Berlin's approximately 140 leased aircraft, including the thirty-eight currently wet-leased to Eurowings (EW, Düsseldorf) and Austrian Airlines (OS, Vienna).