Any further collaboration between Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa "would need to be something major such as a merger or a cross-equities deal" and is unlikely to happen imminently, says the German flag carrier’s senior vice-president of group strategy, Sadiq Gillani.
“If we do something it would have to be a big step because anything in-between doesn’t really drive revenue,” he said at Airline Business’s Alliances, Joint Ventures and Partnerships 2013 conference in London today.
However, he adds that “because of foreign ownership restrictions and other limiting factors, it’s not easy to imagine what kind of partnership option we’d look at in the short term”.
A potential merger between the two Star Alliance members, which evenly split ownership of joint venture SunExpress, featured in talks between Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdoğan and German chancellor Angela Merkel at the end of 2012.
Gillani says the airlines are discussing new ways of co-operating in areas such as flight training, but in areas such as in codesharing “the benefits tend to go towards” what he calls mid-point carriers such as Turkish and Emirates.