The European Commission has "raised serious concerns" over Austrian Airlines' relationship with Star Alliance partners Lufthansa and SAS.

The EC is worried about the monopoly position these carriers hold between their home markets, involving 33 routes between Austria and Germany and four routes to Scandinavia.

Austrian has started "swift and constructive" discussions with the EC and does not rule out having to make concessions or the prospect of new entrants being encouraged to operate on these routes.

The examination comes as Austrian looks to form a holding structure overseeing the group - Austrian, Lauda Air and Tyrolean Airways -- and cut costs.

Source: Airline Business