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Business

Possible Swiss-Lufthansa Partnership Seen

After the collapse of the planned entry of loss-making Swiss International Airlines to the British Airways-dominated Oneworld alliance of airlines, talk is now on of Swiss striking a deal with German national carrier Lufthansa. Swiss Finance Minister Hans-Rudolf Merz on Thursday said he was in favor of an alliance with Lufthansa. In Frankfurt, a Lufthansa spokesman told Reuters the airline saw no need for further talks with Swiss after the latter decided to cast its lot with British Airways last year, but added it would be open if Swiss knocked on its door again. "It looks like an approach with Lufthansa will be a topic again -- which we always thought was the safer option -- even though that will of course not be said at the moment," said Claude Zehnder, market analyst at Zürcher Kantonalbank. However failure to join oneworld may endanger Swiss' declared goal to stem operating losses this year. Swiss had said that oneworld membership was set to boost operating results by 100 million Swiss francs ($80.4 million) a year within three years.