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UPDATE 1-Air Berlin says on way to securing jobs with Lufthansa, easyJet bids

BERLIN, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Insolvent German airline Air Berlin said there were good prospects of repaying a government loan and for 80 percent of its staff to secure jobs if bids for parts of its business from Lufthansa and easyJet go ahead.

Air Berlin, which has around 8,000 employees, filed for insolvency in August after major shareholder Etihad said it would stop providing funding.

The German government stepped in with a 150 million euro ($178.2 million) loan to prevent the airline being grounded so that talks could be held on selling its assets.

Germany's second largest airline said on Monday that Lufthansa's bid was for units including leisure airline Niki and regional carrier LGW plus other parts, while easyJet had bid for parts of the fleet.

"We are on the way to giving around 80 percent of our colleagues a good chance of new jobs with the bidders," Air Berlin CEO Thomas Winkelmann said in a statement. Talks are due to continue until Oct 12.

A source has said Lufthansa's bid is for around 200 million euros ($237 million), plus a further 100 million to meet operating costs during a transition phase.

Air Berlin said the parties had agreed not to disclose the purchase price. It hopes the EU will approve the carve-up by the end of the year.

Administrator Frank Kebekus said flight operations had to be kept stable to bring talks to a successful conclusion, repeating comments made after the airline's operations were hit by a wave of sickness-related absences among pilots earlier this month.

However, Air Berlin said Monday it was halting long-haul flights from Oct 15 after lessors recalled planes. It is also stopping flights from Munich to Hamburg and Cologne/Bonn from Sept. 29 and said more would follow.

Lufthansa shares hit 23.485 euros on Monday, their highest level since early 2001, on hopes it would pick up some of Air Berlin's most attractive assets and strengthen its position in Germany.

IAG also made a binding bid for part of Air Berlin but boss Willie Walsh said he expected it would go to Lufthansa.

Lufthansa has said it expects to take on 3,000 new employees to grow as a result of the gap left by the Air Berlin insolvency.

Lufthansa's budget unit Eurowings on Monday extended a recruitment drive, saying it now had over 1,000 open positions, including for 300 pilots, 500 cabin crew and more than 200 ground staff jobs. ($1 = 0.8423 euros) (Reporting by Victoria Bryan and Klaus Lauer; Editing by Keith Weir)