Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Flights for Austrian air Deal

Lufthansa is offering to give away slots on five flights from Vienna to ensure it passes European Commission competition scrutiny on its planned takeover of Austrian Airlines, according to a document seen by Dow Jones Newswires.

Lufthansa said it is prepared to give up slots on routes from Vienna to Stuttgart, Cologne, Frankfurt, Munich and Brussels, the document said.

On the first two routes, Lufthansa is offering to free up three flights a day. On the Vienna to Frankfurt flights in proposes giving up five flights and on the Munich and Brussels flights. it will give up up to four flights a day.

The commission has sent out a questionnaire to Lufthansa's competitors and other interested parties to see whether they think the offer made by Lufthansa is enough to remove competition bottlenecks identified in the takeover. The document outlines Lufthansa's proposals and asks those surveyed to respond by Thursday.

According to the document, the route slots are offered free to any competitor. Lufthansa has also promised the airline which takes slots will be able to participate in its frequent flyer program.

Priority will be given to an airline which isn't a member of the Star-Alliance group, the document said.

The document names Austrian low-cost airline Niki, Slovenia's Adria Airways and Slovakian low cost airline SkyEurope as airlines which might be interested in the slots.

However if the airline already operate on the route, which is the case with all three airlines, the number of flights they already have would be deducted any slots they take from Lufthansa, the questionnaire said.