The European Commission has given the green light for Lufthansa’s take-over of Austrian Airlines, but with a series of conditions. EU antitrust chief Neelie Kroes made the announcement following a series of talks with the Lufthansa chief executive.
Lufthansa is sticking to its forecast of making an operating profit in 2009, despite a flight from premium class leading to a mixed set of first half figures.
Lufthansa has submitted a new proposal to European Union regulators in a bid to allay competition concerns surrounding its proposed takeover of Austrian Airlines.
Lufthansa’s take-over of Austrian Airlines remains up in the air after its chief executive Wolfgang Mayrhuber met with Europe’s top competition regulator last night to discuss the new concessions proposed by the German carrier.
Austrian Airlines has warned that it should the proposed takeover by Lufthansa fell through because of European Commission red tape it would need €1bn in new funds to ensure its survival.
British Airways has asked investors to front extra funds as a safety net against a treble whammy of the credit crisis, swine flu, and the impending threat of cabin crew strike action, which it estimates could collectively burn £400 million in reserves.
European Union regulators are launching an investigation into Lufthansa’s bid for Austrian Airlines, saying the deal could reduce choice and hike fares for passengers on some routes.The European Commission said it had “serious doubts” that the takeover could proceed without the airlines making some changes to eliminate antitrust concerns.
Lufthansa has agreed to buy BMI from its founder, chairman and controlling stakeholder Sir Michael Bishop.The deal, which will increase Lufthansa’s stake from 30 to 80 percent, ends a spat with Sir Michael over its demand that he inject more capital into the struggling airline before the sale.
Some 45 corporate travel buyers, travel agencies and other industry participants today wrote to Wolfgang Mayrhuber, Chairman and CEO of Lufthansa (LH), urging him to abandon the carrier’s Preferred Fares Program (PFP). Underscoring broad global travel industry rejection of PFP, signatories hail from nine countries - Germany, South Africa, Belgium, India, Dubai, UK, The Netherlands, Canada and U.S. More than half of signatories are headquartered or have offices in Germany.
The mobile boarding pass service Lufthansa recently introduced on its Frankfurt-Vancouver route has been extended and is now available on other routes, including almost all long-haul flights departing from Germany.
Lufthansa has said its earnings will decline considerably more in 2009 than expected just a month ago, and “substantially below” 2008 figures. But the German flag carrier said despite the slump, it remains confident of beating rivals’ earnings performance this year as it cuts back on spending.Speaking at Lufthansa’s AGM, CEO Wolfgang Mayrhuber said “Our goal is to remain profitable. Our major competitors are forecasting losses.”
The Supervisory Board of the Lufthansa Group has approved the order for 30 short-haul aircraft.