Lufthansa-SunExpress talks confirmed by Turkish Airlines
After initially denying Lufthansa’s announcement, THY has confirmed talks are going on between German carrier and their joint venture SunExpress.Turkish Airlines confirmed German air carrier Lufthansa is having talks with their joint venture SunExpress for long-haul budget flights, a day after denying the start of the negotiations.
Lufthansa said on July 10 it plans to start talks about introducing long-haul flights at SunExpress, its budget joint venture with Turkish Airlines.
“Currently, SunExpress is short-range narrow-body [planes] only, but we will be discussing this with SunExpress and Turkish [Airlines] over the next months and we will potentially extend SunExpress into long-range flights,” Lufthansa Chief Executive Carsten Spohr said in a webcast presentation to analysts.
Lufthansa first unveiled plans to expand its low-cost services under new brands on July 9, naming Turkish Airlines as a potential collaborator.
Turkish Airlines rushed to rule out having talks over the issue after Lufthansa’s announcement.
“There are no projects regarding long-haul flights as mentioned in the media between Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa,” it said in a statement.
However, it later issued a statement to say it was in constant, positive talks with Lufthansa about the SunExpress joint venture.
Germany’s biggest airline has been trying to cut costs amid tough competition from European budget carriers and aggressively expanding government-owned Gulf airlines.