German flag-carrier Lufthansa is denying that it has put any pressure on SAS Group to persuade the Scandinavian company not to sell its Spanair operation to Iberia.

Oneworld alliance member Iberia declared earlier this year that it intended to bid for Spanair which, like Lufthansa, is linked to Star Alliance.

Lufthansa is not bidding for Spanair but the two airlines share strong links on Spanish routes from Lufthansa’s hubs at Frankfurt and Munich – connections which could be lost if Spanair becomes allied with Oneworld.

But while Spanish press reports, citing unidentified sources, today suggested that Lufthansa was trying to deter SAS from reaching a deal with Iberia, a spokesman for Lufthansa insists that this is untrue, adding that the German airline is not close enough to the sale process to exert such influence.


SAS Group similarly says that it is unaware of any such pressure from the German flag-carrier, although a senior source at the company stops short of explicitly stating that there has been no communication over the issue.

“We do take on board the views of our shareholders and partners,” he says.

Spanair declines to comment on the matter. The company is facing unrest from its pilots who are claiming, through Spanish pilots’ union SEPLA, that they have not been given enough information on the process of selling the company.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news