Lufthansa is ready to join the scramble for Iberia Lineas Aereas de Espana and Alitalia SpA if the price is right, describing the two carriers as ‘ideal partners,’ according to The Daily Telegraph. Chief executive Wolfgang Mayrhuber said Lufthansa, brimming with funds, aimed to play a central role in the wave of consolidation sweeping Europe’s airline industry.
Confirming publicly Lufthansa’s interest for the first time, he said over the weekend: ‘Both airlines fit us well, but the conditions must be right. We don’t want a millstone round our neck.’
The newspaper said Mayrhuber was clearly alluding to the onerous terms imposed by the Italian state on the sale of Alitalia. Rome insists that any buyer maintains chronic over-manning and loss-making domestic routes, even though the strike-plagued carrier is losing 1.2 mln eur a day.