Lufthansa in talks for two more rivals

What airline isn’t Deutsche Lufthansa trying to buy?

Lufthansa in talks for two more rivals
Photo: DPA

The German flyer on Thursday said it’s in talks to buy 45 percent of Brussels Airlines for €65 million just hours after German-owned British company Tuitravel plc said it was meeting with Lufthansa and Thomas Cook Group about merging their airline divisions.

This comes after Lufthansa earlier in the week confirmed it wanted to buy Austrian Airlines, which is being sold by the Austrian government. On top of that, analysts say Lufthansa is likely to end up with the healthy portions of Alitalia.

Media executive and some-time Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi is currently trying to rewrite Italian bankruptcy law to allow him to pick out and sell the profitable parts of Alitalia before binning its ailing limbs.

Why are all these companies so eager to hook up with Lufthansa? High-altitude fuel prices and low-flying consumer sales are pushing most airlines to the brink of existence. Lufthansa has remained relatively healthy amid the turbulence, allowing it to offer one-time rivals safe harbour.

The German company said if it bought the minority Brussels Airlines stake it would also win the right to buy the outstanding majority stake, though it gave no potential time frame.

It’s also talking with Tuitravel and Thomas Cook in hopes of forming an international discount airline to take on Air Berlin, which has grown to become Germany’s No. 2 airline and a serious threat to Lufthansa.

If successful, the talks would merge Lufthansa’s Germanwings discount unit (and possibly its minority owned Eurowings regional airline) with charter airlines Tuifly and Thomas Cook’s Condor.

The move likely irks Air Berlin, which last month bailed on an offer for Condor, ostensibly because of rising fuel costs but more likely due to consternation on the part of competition regulators.

The news led to significant gains in the stock of all the mentioned airlines Thursday.


Lufthansa fires up ‘jumbo jet’ for surge in German tourists bound for Mallorca

German airline Lufthansa said Friday it was taking "extraordinary measures" to meet surging bookings for the Spanish holiday island of Mallorca, deploying a jumbo jet to ferry passengers from Frankfurt.

Lufthansa fires up 'jumbo jet' for surge in German tourists bound for Mallorca
Tourists enjoy the first days of summer on the island of Mallorca. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/AP | Francisco Ubilla

The group said it had seen a jump in reservations from German sunseekers in recent weeks, as concerns about the pandemic ease thanks to falling infection numbers and vaccination progress across Europe.

To meet demand, Lufthansa said it would swap the 215-seat Airbus A321 that usually plies the Frankfurt-Mallorca route for its Boeing 747-8 “jumbo jet”.The 747, also known as the “Queen of the Skies”, can carry 364 people and is the largest plane in Lufthansa’s fleet.

The super-large planes normally fly transatlantic routes but have been
mostly grounded since the pandemic upended air travel.

READ ALSO: ‘I really needed a break’: Pandemic-weary Germans find freedom on Mallorca

“Lufthansa is taking extraordinary measures in order to respond to a significant increase in booking demand for flights to Palma de Mallorca,” the airline said in a statement.

The jumbo jet will be used for four weekends over July and August, it added, Europe’s key summer travel season.

Mallorca is one of the most popular tourist destinations for Germans and is sometimes affectionately referred to as Germany’s “17th state”.

Before the pandemic, around five million German tourists visited the island
each year.

READ ALSO: ‘Germans are coming back’: Spaniards sceptical over return of tourists