In another development, Lufthansa yesterday got the green light from the European Commission for a tie-up with Brussels Airlines, which will pave the way for the German airline to buy a 45-per cent stake in SN Airholding, a parent company of the Belgian carrier for €65 million (Rs440 crores)
The approval is subject to the condition that Lufthansa would sell airport slots to other airlines for flights between Brussels to Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg and Zurich, to eliminate anti-trust concerns.
In addition, the Commission will give Lufthansa an option to raise the holding to 100 per cent, from 2011, once it secured the necessary traffic rights. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of June.
The deal will enable both the airlines to strengthen their competitiveness and improve connectivity at Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich and Brussels.
Lufthansa now owns Swiss International and holds 19 per cent stake in JetBlue Airways, the American low-cost airline. The company is in a consolidation spree, and has submitted another proposal to the European Commission for buying 41.56 per cent stake in the loss making Austrian Airlines, which is under review by the Commission.
See: Lufthansa to acquire British Midland Airways