30 November 2022, Virtual
12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
Business Travel Show Europe, presented by The BTN
German carrier seeks early solution
Lufthansa is aiming to complete an agreement with SAS over the 20% stake it still holds in bmi by the end of the year.
While the cash strapped Scandinavian carrier has long indicated it wished to sell its holding in the UK airline.
But while Stefan Lauer, a Lufthansa management board member, said he wanted this situation resolved by the end of 2009, he did not say that his airline was ready to buy up the stake.
Mr Lauer was quoted in a German magazine WirtschaftsWoche as saying "I assume that there will be a solution by the end of the year."
He added: "Much is being written and I do not comment on it. At the moment, we are restructuring the company (bmi) and after that there has to be a decision on what offers the best strategic perspective for bmi."
Lufthansa took control of bmi earlier this year when it paid the outgoing chairman Sir Michael Bishop a total of £223m to take over his control of bmi.
The German carrier, through a newly formed company LHBD now owns 80% plus one share of bmi.
But since taking over the carrier which has 12% of the slots at London Heathrow Airport, Lufthansa has opened its books to prospective buyers.
These reportedly include BA, which already owns 40% of the airport's slots, and Virgin Atlantic, the owner of about 3% of the slots.
While BA has declined to comment on speculation, its ceo Willie Walsh said the possible sale of the slots was too tempting to ignore despite BA's currently weak financial position.
"In the current environment, it is difficult to argue we should go out and acquire those slots," the Financial Times reported.
"Having said that, it may be the only opportunity we ever get."
www.ba.com www.flybmi.com www.lufthansa.com www.virgin-atlantic.com www.flysas.com