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Old January 28th, 2009, 06:05 PM   #181
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Lufthansa sees Malpensa as possible hub in longer term

MILAN, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Lufthansa AG could make Milan's Malpensa airport part of its hub network in the longer term as it bulks up its presence in Italy, board member Karl Ulrich Garnadt said on Wednesday.

"Malpensa is the right choice for us for our build up in Italy. The possibility is there to develop the airport as a hub," Garnadt said at a presentation of Lufthansa's new Italian unit.

Lufthansa had been touted as a possible candidate to tie up with Italy's Alitalia but lost out to Air France-KLM .

Garnadt said the group is considering further network expansion in Italy and did not rule out operating a connection between Milan's Malpensa and Rome's Fiumicino airport.

The lucrative route between the country's business capital, Milan, and political capital Rome is dominated by Alitalia, which operates these flights from Milan's Linate airport -- nearer the city centre than Malpensa.

Garnadt said Lufthansa might reconsider an appeal to European Union antitrust authorities over the Linate-Rome connection.

The EU antitrust had previously rejected an appeal about this connection, but that was before Italian airline Air One joined former flagship carrier Alitalia in its alliance with Air France-KLM.

"We are investigating all the options available," he said, adding Lufthansa Italia was for business clients.

"Obviously if they gave us the Linate-Rome landing rights we would start tomorrow," he said.

Garnadt ruled out Lufthansa taking an equity stake in Milan airports' operator Sea.

Lufthansa, which already operates flights at Malpensa airport together with its Air Dolomiti unit, will launch Lufthansa Italia's first flight on Feb. 2 and by the end of March will have eight destinations and 126 flights a week.

Garnadt said the group could be interested in the slots at Malpensa that Alitalia has relinquished.

"Alitalia has reduced its capacity at Malpensa and has no intention to change its offer at the airport. This automatically releases slots," Garnadt said.

He said Lufthansa will invite its Star Alliance partners to fly into Malpensa "as a gateway into Italy".
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Old January 29th, 2009, 12:00 PM   #182
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Lufthansa strike hits Frankfurt, Berlin airports
Published: 2009/01/29

BERLIN: Dozens of flights from Berlin and Frankfurt airports were cancelled yesterday as flight attendants of German flag carrier Lufthansa staged a second warning strike over pay, the airline said.

The industrial action runs between 6.00am and 12.00 pm and has forced the cancellation of more than 40 flights to and from Frankfurt, continental Europe's biggest hub, and Berlin-Tegel airport, according to Lufthansa's website.

A spokeswoman for the airline refused to say exactly how many flights had been cancelled but flights to London, Zurich, Milan and Prague were cancelled in a 30-minute stretch from 0700 GMT, according to the Frankfurt Airport website.

Lufthansa said it was trying to limit the impact on long-haul flights but warned that delays could also be expected to these services.

Staff stopped work in a bid to ratchet up the pressure on employers during wage negotiations. The flight attendants are demanding a 15 per cent pay rise. The airline has offered 10 percent.

Talks between the union representatives and Lufthansa broke up two weeks ago without agreement.

The UFO trade union which called the strikes represents 8,000 of the 16,000 flight attendants at Lufthansa.

During last Friday's action, 44 flights were cancelled during a three-hour warning strike. - AFP

http://www.btimes.com.my/Current_New...strike/Article
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Old January 29th, 2009, 05:48 PM   #183
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Lufthansa Keen To Buy SAS Under Right Conditions - Report
28 January 2009
DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

German airline Deutsche Lufthansa AG (LHA.XE), which already has three planned acquisitions on tap, would be interested in buying SAS AB (SAS.SK) if the conditions were right, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported, citing supervisory board chief Juergen Weber.

The newspaper said Weber is confident the company will win antitrust approval for its planned acquisitions of Brussels Airlines, BMI and Austrian Airlines. He also ruled out price reductions in order to fill seats at below cost.
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Old January 29th, 2009, 05:50 PM   #184
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Lufthansa eyes acquisitions during crisis -paper

FRANKFURT, Jan 29 (Reuters) - German flag carrier Deutsche Lufthansa still plans to invest in acquisitions to be ahead of the game when the global economic crisis ends, supervisory board Chairman Juergen Weber said.

"We will concentrate on Europe for now," he told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in an interview published on Thursday.

Lufthansa is currently taking a breather after an acquisition spree last year, in which it set out plans to buy Brussels Airlines and Austrian Airlines , cutting the number of large independent airlines in Europe.

Scandinavian airline SAS is a potential target, while Spain's Iberia could become available in the longer term if its merger talks with British Airways come to nothing.

"If the conditions are right, SAS will become interesting for us," Weber told Frankfurter Allgemeine.

Lufthansa in 2008 carried around 57 million passengers, making it Europe's biggest airline in passenger volume terms.

In the fiscal year through the end of March 2008, Air France carried 51.7 million passengers, and BA, Europe's third-largest carrier, had 33.1 million passengers.

Demand for flights has eased as companies cut back their spending on business travel. Weber said the crisis was starting to affect non-business travellers, many of whom will cancel holiday plans this year.

Around the world, airline passenger numbers are expected to slip 3 percent in 2009, more even than the 2.7 percent decline posted in 2001 after the September 11 hijacked plane attacks frightened travellers away, according to the International Air Transport Association.

"I don't even think a decline of 5 percent can be ruled out. But that would be a horror scenario," Weber said.

He said Lufthansa would absorb capacity on routes that other airlines were abandoning. Many airlines have dropped routes from their schedule or cut the frequency of some flights to ensure they fill their planes.

"Based on our strong impression that Lufthansa is able to react actively and very flexibly to weaker demand patterns during the worldwide recession, we expect lower margin erosion overall compared to its peer group," DZ Bank analyst Robert Czerwensky said in a note on Thursday.

Rival British Airways issued a profit warning on Monday, saying the British pound's weakness against the euro and other non-fuel costs would hurt its profitability this quarter.

Lufthansa in October cut its 2008 operating profit goal to 1.1 billion euros ($1.44 billion), from a previous target of about 1.38 billion euros. The company is due to report full-year results on March 11.
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Old January 29th, 2009, 05:53 PM   #185
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By Melbourne_spotter from HKADB :

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Old January 31st, 2009, 06:16 PM   #186
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Lufthansa working hour cuts not ruled out, CEO - report

FRANKFURT, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Germany's largest airline Lufthansa can not rule out cutting working hours for more employees, although that is not planned at the moment, the flag carrier's Chief Executive Wolfgang Mayrhuber said.

"As things look at the present time, this is not planned," Mayrhuber told Der Spiegel magazine, in an interview which will be published on Monday.

On Friday, Lufthansa reached an agreement with its cargo union to shorten working hours for 2,600 employees in its air freight operations.

The CEO said extending such steps to the rest of the airline "would depend naturally on further economic developments."

The German flag carrier will not ask for state help to deal with problems associated with the financial crisis, Mayrhuber said.

Mayrhuber, however, reiterated the airline industry should not be burdened with additional costs from things such as additional night flying and security restrictions or further emission costs.
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Old February 1st, 2009, 02:37 PM   #187
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First Lufthansa Italia A319 D-AKNJ "Milano"
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Old February 3rd, 2009, 05:47 PM   #188
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Lufthansa ups 2008 target amid bleak German outlook

FRANKFURT, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Deutsche Lufthansa raised its forecast for full-year 2008 operating profit, becoming the second European airline in as many days to say it could defy the currently tough industry environment.

The company would post full-year operating profit of around 1.3 billion euros ($1.67 billion), compared with previous expectations of 1.1 billion euros, thanks to a stronger-than-expected fourth quarter, the German flagship carrier said on Tuesday.

Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair raised its own full-year outlook to a profit from an earlier expected loss due to lower fuel costs, and forecast further substantial profit next year as travellers trade down in the recession.

Airlines and airport operators have been hit by fallout from the financial crisis as companies spend less on business travel and consumers tighten their purse strings. German retail sales unexpectedly fell for a third consecutive month in December.

In addition, many carriers bet on rising fuel prices in 2008 and were taken by surprise when oil prices fell from an all-time high of over $145 per barrel to around $40 now. Airlines commonly hedge their exposure to fuel months in advance.

Lufthansa, however, which had to cancel dozens of flights due to cabin crew strikes and a technical glitch, said lower fuel prices and favourable valuation effects offset a slowdown in demand. It is due to report 2008 results on March 11.

The company's shares reversed earlier losses after the news and rose 6.0 percent to 9.956 euros by 1246 GMT, while the German blue-chip DAX index <.GDAXI> was up 0.3 percent.

"Lufthansa was able to beat market assumptions and outperformed main competitors with already reduced profit targets like Air France-KLM and British Airways," said DZ Bank analyst Robert Czerwensky in a note.

Air France-KLM and British Airways , Lufthansa's most formidable rivals in Europe, have both issued profit warnings in the past two weeks.

And despite its raised outlook, Lufthansa said its business carried a higher risk than usual going forward as the market environment has developed poorly with low overall demand.

German airlines' association BDF earlier said it cut its full-year 2009 outlook for passenger numbers in the country's aviation industry to a drop of 5 percent from 3 percent following a sharp slump in January.

Airport operator Fraport expects its main Frankfurt airport, Germany's biggest, served around 6 percent fewer passengers in January than in the year-earlier period.

Nonetheless, the German market is still attracting investors. NetJets, a plane-sharing company owned by investor Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway Inc , agreed to buy German airport Frankfurt Egelsbach for an undisclosed sum.

The airport, located about 17 kilometres south of Frankfurt, caters to small jets helicopters and twin-engine planes. ($1=.7776 Euro)
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Old March 7th, 2009, 06:13 PM   #189
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Lufthansa gives bleak outlook for non-airline units

FRANKFURT, March 6 (Reuters) - Deutsche Lufthansa expects its cargo and maintenance businesses to continue feeling the impact of the global economic crisis until at least 2010, reports in company employee newspapers.

The company has taken two MD-11 cargo planes out of service as part of a plan to cut capacity by 20 percent, the Lufthanseat newspaper reported this week. The company had already said it would shorten working hours for cargo employees.

A spokesman for the company said the two planes would remain grounded until October 2010. Another two cargo planes are currently not being used but have not been taken out of service.

Engine maintenance business Lufthansa Technik expects to see its industry environment remain difficult until the end of 2010, the division's sales head Walter Heerdt told employee newspaper Lufthansa Technik News.

In the first nine months of 2008, the cargo division generated about 16 percent of Lufthansa's group operating profit, and Lufthansa Technik contributed 23 percent. Lufthansa is scheduled to publish full-year 2008 results on Wednesday.

Airlines around the world have cut capacity and grounded aircraft in response to a drop in demand for air travel. Businesses are reducing their travel budgets and consumers are also keeping a tighter hold of their purse strings.

"Older aircraft or those needing an overhaul are taken out of service first," Heerdt said.

He said that from 2011, there would be slight market growth, though the impact of the crisis would still be felt for several years.

Lufthansa Technik is the world's third-largest company offering engine maintenance, repairs and overhauls, with a market share of around 8 percent, according to 2007 figures published by rival MTU Aero Engines .

To generate new business, the company planned to expand in the Middle East and Africa.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 04:53 PM   #190
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Lufthansa Cargo CEO sees tough 2009

FRANKFURT, March 19 (Reuters) - Deutsche Lufthansa's cargo division expects to face a tough 2009 as the slump in demand for freight services -- a bellwether of global trade activity -- persists, the division's chief executive said.

"The 2009 business year will confront Lufthansa Cargo with the biggest challenge for many years," Carsten Spohr told a news conference on Thursday.

Air cargo companies have been buffeted by spending curbs by businesses looking for ways to weather the global economic crisis. Airport industry body ACI said in January air cargo traffic was likely to continue weakening in the next six months.

A third of world trade is in goods sent by air, so the dramatic decline in air cargo volumes around the world paints a gloomy picture for the broader global economy.

Few regions had managed to avoid the impact of the crisis, with only Africa remaining stable for the moment, Spohr said. The Asia/Pacific traffic region was among the worst hit, and the industry's volumes in China had dropped up to 50 percent.

"This is truly a global crisis," he said.

Any regions with exposure to the automotive and high-tech industries were affected, while shipments of pharmaceuticals and high-value goods like cash and jewellery were still growing.

No reversal to this downward trend was in sight, Spohr said. Freight volumes at Lufthansa fell 24.5 percent in February after a 24.3 percent slump in January.

To offset weak demand, Lufthansa has already cut working hours for pilots and ground crews in its cargo division and has taken four cargo aircraft out of service.

Chief Financial Officer Roland Busch said on Thursday he could not rule out that the cargo business could expand shortened working hours and ground further planes.

Lufthansa Cargo's full-year revenue would fall noticeably from the 2.91 billion euros ($3.93 billion) posted in 2008, and operating profit would be well below the year-earlier level of 164 million euros, Spohr said.

Shares of Lufthansa were 2.5 percent higher at 8.47 euros by 1045 GMT, while the German blue-chip DAX index <.GDAXI> was up 0.9 percent.
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Old April 11th, 2009, 06:51 PM   #191
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German airline Lufthansa 1st quarter passenger numbers fall 7 percent
9 April 2009

BERLIN (AP) - German airline Deutsche Lufthansa AG said Thursday its passenger levels fell 7 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier as the world economic crisis cut into demand.

Cologne-based Lufthansa, Germany's biggest airline, said it transported 12 million passengers in the January-March period. The airline said it reduced capacity -- or the available seats -- by 3.3 percent during the period to adjust to the lower demand.

Including subsidiary Swiss International Airlines, the company saw 15 million passengers for the period, a 6 percent decline.

Lufthansa said its cargo division also saw a significant 23 percent decline in cargo volumes during the first quarter, to 328,000 metric tons.

For the month of March alone, Lufthansa said group passenger levels fell about 3 percent to 5.59 million from 5.74 million in March of 2008.

Cargo volume fell 20 percent to 123,000 metric tons in March 2009 compared with 154,000 metric tons in March 2008.

The company will report full first quarter financial results on April 30.

Shares of Lufthansa closed up 2.4 percent at euro9.42 ($12.40) in Frankfurt.
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 09:56 AM   #192
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Lufthansa prepares for year of weak demand by slashing capacity
1 May 2009
Financial Times

Lufthansa said it was bracing itself for a year of weak demand by cutting short-haul capacity by 6 per cent and putting in place contingency plans to slash long-haul by at least 8 per cent.

The German airline's move - which has seen 22 aircraft grounded - underlined the carrier's aim to keep a lid on costs and make an operating profit, as many of its rivals look set to suffer big losses this year.

The cost-cutting comes before expected regulatory clearance from Brussels by the middle of this year for Lufthansa's plans to take over three smaller carriers - BMI in the UK, Austrian Airlines and Belgium's Brussels Airlines.

Stephan Gemkow, chief financial officer, said passenger traffic was down 5 per cent in March, while cargo shipments had slumped by a fifth, compared with the same month in 2008.

The figures were an improvement on the fall in demand recorded in February and the first such uptick since traffic began falling last September.

"Maybe we've seen [the drop in demand] bottom out, but we're still not seeing an improvement," Mr Gemkow said.

At the same time, he said, any effects from the swine-flu outbreak would remain "manageable".

The economic downturn pushed the carrier into a loss in the quarter to the end of March, its first since 2006. Operating losses of €44m (£39.2m) and a writedown in the value of its Frankfurt airport stake led to a net loss of €256m after a profit of €44m a year before.

Fewer passengers and less cargo dragged revenues down 11 per cent to €5bn, as Lufthansa began implementing capacity cuts announced at the end of last year. Only falling jet-fuel prices gave the company some respite, cutting the fuel bill by €332m to €739m compared with the same quarter in 2008.

Lufthansa's cargo unit would idle six instead of four aircraft in a fleet 19, Mr Gemkow said. It would also stop chartering space from Jade Cargo, a Chinese group in which Lufthansa holds a stake.

In Europe, Lufthansa's plans to cut passenger capacity by 6 per cent, exclude the expansion of its new hub and Milan's Malpensa. The new routes added from Italy would see total capacity fall by just 1.5 per cent. The airline said it was trimming long-haul capacity by 1.1 per cent but this could rise to 8 per cent or more, Mr Gemkow said.

Mr Gemkow said he hoped to get a ruling from EU competition watchdogs on buying Brussels Airlines by 1 July, and antitrust approval to take over Austrian by that month's end. A decision on BMI could come on 11 May.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 07:52 PM   #193
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Lufthansa files for EU approval of AUA takeover

FRANKFURT/BRUSSELS, May 8 (Reuters) - Lufthansa AG has filed for European Commission approval for its planned takeover of Austrian Airlines (AUA) , a spokesman for the German flagship carrier said on Friday.

Commission spokesman Jonathan Todd confirmed the EU regulatory watchdog had received Lufthansa's notification, and the deadline for the first phase of the EU's review of the case was June 17.

The European Union's executive Commission had launched an investigation in February into the planned deal, saying it had concerns over the price and restructuring plan.

Lufthansa had agreed in December to buy the loss-making Austrian carrier, expecting the move to make it Europe's biggest airline. As part of the deal, it is taking over Austrian state holding company OeIAG's 42 percent stake in AUA.

The deal also involves the Austrian state assuming around 500 million euros ($670.4 million) of AUA debt.

The Commission had said it had doubts the amount of aid had been kept to a minimum and whether Austria's restructuring plan would restore the airline's long-term viability without the need for more funds in the future.

Lufthansa Chief Executive Wolfgang Mayrhuber has said that the carrier would drop its offer to buy AUA if the EU did not approve all the conditions.

The airline has also said its offer was conditional on reaching at least a 75 percent stake following its public offer. Its 4.49 euro per share takeover offer to shareholders of AUA, submitted in February, expires on Monday.

OTHER DEALS

The European Commission has the power to block mergers across the 27-nation bloc if they violate competition rules or involve illegal state aid.

Once notified, the Commission has 25 working days to conduct a first-stage review. It could approve it or extend the review to 35 working days, to consider either a company's proposed remedies or an EU member state's request to handle the case.

The Commission could also open a detailed second-stage investigation for up to 90 additional working days, which it may extend to 105 working days.

Lufthansa is waiting for decisions from the Commission on two other deals. The EU executive launched an in-depth investigation early this year into the carrier's plan to acquire Belgian SN Airholding SA/NV, which controls Brussels Airlines, and that decision is expected by June 10.

A decision on Lufthansa's bid to take sole control of UK low-cost carrier British Midland [BMID.UL] is expected by May 14. ($1=.7458 Euro)
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Old May 11th, 2009, 09:49 AM   #194
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Old May 11th, 2009, 09:54 AM   #195
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Old May 16th, 2009, 03:27 PM   #196
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Lufthansa no longer wants to take over bmi: report
15 May 2009
Agence France Presse

Leading German carrier Lufthansa is no longer interested in acquiring full control of British airline bmi because the price is too high, Saturday's edition of Suddeutsche Zeitung reports.

Lufthansa management felt that bmi's financial position was worse than first thought, says the report.

The British airline lost 112 million euros (151 million dollars) in 2008.

The report, which did not cite any sources, follows Thursday's decision by EU antitrust regulators to approve the deal whereby Lufthansa would increase its 30 percent stake in bmi to 80 percent.

"After examining the operation, the (European) Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition," Europe's top antitrust watchdog said in a statement.

Lufthansa's takeover, announced in October, would make the German carrier the second biggest airline at London's Heathrow airport, Europe's busiest hub.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 11:02 AM   #197
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Lufthansa mulling takeover of Polish carrier LOT: report
27 May 2009
Agence France Presse

Lufthansa, Germany's biggest airline, is exploring a takeover of Polish state-controlled carrier LOT, according to a press report.

The daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung said in a report to appear Thursday that new LOT boss Sebastian Mikosz has met Lufthansa chief executive Wolfgang Mayrhuber to discuss conditions for a possible takeover.

The newspaper did not identify its sources and a Lufthansa spokeswoman contacted by AFP declined to comment.

LOT is expected to be partially privatised this year. Both airlines are already partners within the Star Alliance, the report noted.

Lufthansa must also wrap up its takeover of Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines in the coming weeks.

The German airline said recently that the conditions for another takeover of the British carrier BMI were not currently in place and threatened to abandon that project if the situation did not change.
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Old June 27th, 2009, 08:14 PM   #198
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Lufthansa says demand may have bottomed out-paper

FRANKFURT, June 27 (Reuters) - Deutsche Lufthansa is seeing signs that demand for air traffic is bottoming out but high jet fuel prices could still prevent it from making a profit this year, its chief executive told a newspaper.

"My feeling is: We are just about to level out," CEO Wolfgang Mayrhuber told Germany's Suedeutsche Zeitung in an interview published on Saturday.

Mayrhuber's comments contrast with a more gloomy outlook for the airline industry voiced by Ryanair's CEO Michael O'Leary in an interview with Germany's Spiegel magazine provided to Reuters before publication on Monday.

"The worst is yet to come," O'Leary was quoted as saying.

He reaffirmed an outlook made earlier this month that the Irish carrier would double its earnings in 2009, as it wins cost-conscious travellers from rival airlines.

Lufthansa's Mayrhuber also told Sueddeutsche Zeitung the company was preparing for a prolonged downturn and it was suffering from price competition.

Whether the German airline posted a profit this year would depend on changes in fuel prices, he said. The company would seek to cut more costs to remain able to pay dividends and to fund investments.

He also said Lufthansa would not defer the delivery of new planes this year but might have to resort to such steps in 2010.
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Old July 1st, 2009, 06:21 AM   #199
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EU wants Austrian Air cuts before Lufthansa deal-paper

FRANKFURT, June 30 (Reuters) - The European Commission wants Austrian Airlines to shrink its business by 20 percent before it can allow a takeover by Deutsche Lufthansa , Austrian newspaper Der Standard said on its website Tuesday.

EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes wants Austrian Airlines to shrink its passenger traffic by a fifth by 2010 when compared to 2008 levels, the paper said, citing an EU Commission proposal.

A spokesman for the European Commissioner declined to comment on the case, adding that a decision will be made by midnight July 1.

Austrian Airlines should reduce its passenger traffic in its charter business by half, the paper said without citing sources.

Lufthansa agreed in December to buy state-controlled AUA in a deal incorporating 500 million euros ($700 million) in aid from the Austrian government to reduce the money-losing airline's 1 billion euro debt pile.

Both the acquisition itself and the state aid require EU antitrust approval.

Lufthansa has said from the outset that it would walk away from the deal if EU conditions were too onerous. Chief Executive Wolfgang Mayrhuber has said he was not interested in buying what he called a "little AUA."
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Old July 1st, 2009, 11:22 PM   #200
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EU probes Lufthansa takeover of Austrian Airlines
Published: 2009/07/02

BRUSSELSThe European Commission yesterday put off a ruling on Lufthansa’s takeover of Austrian Airlines and opened an in-depth probe that could jeopardise the deal, which was opposed by rival airlines.

Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes announced the decision in a statement, saying there were fears that the takeover deal would lead to an increase in prices for passengers and possible reduced operations on some routes.
-- AFP

> http://www.btimes.com.my/Current_New...24154/Article/
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