German flag-carrier Lufthansa has agreed with tour operator giant TUI Travel to merge the operations of subsidiary carriers Germanwings, Eurowings and TUIfly.

Lufthansa and Eurowings majority shareholder Albrecht Knauf have signed a memorandum of understanding with TUI Travel allowing the parties to proceed with the merger plan. The airlines will be brought together under a joint independent holding company.

Full details of the structure of the merger have yet to be disclosed but TUI Travel confirms the agreement was signed today.

“The prerequisites for the conclusion of legally-binding agreements will be a due diligence process and negotiations of the specific details,” says the tour operator.

It adds that the merger will require regulatory approval.

Eurowings is part of Lufthansa’s regional division while affiliated Germanwings emerged from Eurowings as a specialised budget operator. TUIfly was formed from the integration of holiday carrier Hapagfly and budget brand Hapag-Lloyd Express.

Combination of the carriers would mark further major consolidation within the German market following Air Berlin’s acquisition of DBA, LTU and its proposed takeover of holiday carrier Condor.

Source:'s premium sister news site Air Transport Intelligence news