Lufthansa CEO Says No For Any Italian Deal; Wants To Focus On Air Berlin Deal

By Czarina Ara Lasco

Nov 03, 2016 05:37 AM EDT

Carsten Spohr, Lufthansa's Chief Executive, held that Lufthansa has been having serious negotiations with a deal that involve the hiring of around 40 planes and crew from Air Berlin and is worth about 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion).

Etihad Airways is a flag carrier and the second-largest airline of the UAE (after Emirates). Its head office is in Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi, near Abu Dhabi International Airport. Etihad commenced operations in November 2003. It is a major shareholder in both Air Berlin and Alitalia.

Lately, there have been several reports from the Italian press that Lufthansa and Alitalia were in talks over an investment.

CEO Spohr, in an interview with analysts on Wednesday, said that they have agreed that they will focus on the Air Berlin issue due to its magnitude and operational complexity. He also furthered that the company was seeking safeguards from Etihad to ensure that Lufthansa did not take on any financial risk to do with loss-making Air Berlin.

"That is enough. I personally have a house in Italy, that's as much investment as we need in Italy right now," Spohr said.

Deutsche Lufthansa , commonly known as Lufthansa (sometimes also as Lufthansa German Airlines), is the largest German airline and, when combined with its subsidiaries, also the largest airline in Europe, both in terms of passengers carried and fleet size.

Last Wednesday, the company said that during the third quarter, the company's net profits had almost doubled which was boosted by a pensions deal with cabin staff.

Between the months of July and September, the company's net profits soared to an overwhelming rate of 1.42 billion euros ($1.5 billion). During the previous month, the carrier has raised its profit forecast for 2017, after recording better than normal demand from business travellers in September.

More than 700 million euros of provisions the group had set aside flowed into its results this quarter

"The Lufthansa group is developing with stability in a difficult market environment," Spohr added.

"We are responding to the price pressures in the air transport sector with consistent capacity and cost discipline."

From the company's adjusted operating profit for the first nine months with 1.68 billion euros, Lufthansa held that it intended to attain a full-year performance "approximately on the previous year's level".

Overall, Lufthansa's group claimed that it would slow the development in its capability over the rest of the year "to help further stabilise the pricing environment".

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