Lufthansa is yet to notify the European Commission formally of its plans to increase its stake in UK Star Alliance partner BMI, although the window is open for the deal to progress.
The German Star Alliance carrier is planning to increase its stake in BMI from just under 30% to 80%, but previously indicated that the acquisition would not occur earlier than 12 January.
A Lufthansa spokesman says: "Today was the earliest possible date for the option to take place. It means that the window is open to start the transaction. We will start the process over the coming days and weeks."
Lufthansa has established the framework of the deal and is working on BMI's future set-up and strategy, but it is taking a relaxed stance over the acquisition. The European Commission has not yet been notified, but the spokesman says this is one of the next key steps in the process.
"There is no concrete date to notify the EC. There is no pressure from our side to push it forward. Most of the parameters have been set between BMI and Lufthansa, so there's no pressure," he says.