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Business

Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines edge closer together

Media reports claim cooperation between German flagship carrier Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines is set to become much closer than originally planned. The two companies are even considering a cross-shareholding plan.

The strategic partnership between Germany's Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines is about to become much closer than originally envisaged, the "Financial Times Deutschland" (FTD) claimed in its Tuesday edition.

According to the report, the two carriers are to engage in a joint venture to share profits on certain core routes. This would make it easier for the two sides to stand their ground in the face of growing competition with airlines from the Gulf region.

In addition, Lufthansa looks set to offer closer cooperation with its catering, IT, maintenance and repair divisions.

No takeover

The FTD report also maintained that there were currently talks on a cross-shareholding scheme between Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines to make arrangements for closer cooperation more binding. But it also said that a merger was not being discussed.

The two airlines have already cooperated as joint members of the Star Alliance marketing venture and though a venture with charter carrier SunExpress.

Lufthansa is expected to save millions through closer cooperation with Turkish Airlines. The German carrier is in the middle of a 1.5-billion-euro ($1.91 billion) cost-cutting program to combat rising fuel costs and increased competition with low-cost Gulf rivals.

hg/hc (dapd, AFP, Reuters)