ANA and Lufthansa announced (01-Jun-2011) they are launching a strategic JV on Japan-Europe routes after ANA received antitrust immunity (ATI) approval from Japan's MLIT. The carriers became the first airlines to receive clearance for Asian-European ATI. This latest agreement between the two Star Alliance members follows the launch of a similar JV between ANA and United Airlines on trans-Pacific routes in Apr-2011. The carrier's stated the JV will "improve the level of service offered to passengers by allowing ANA and Lufthansa to work together on schedule coordination and joint product sales. Customers will benefit from seamless transfers and better connections". The carriers aim to introduce the new JV within the 2011 winter timetable. The Asian market is a growth market for Lufthansa and represents around 20% of its revenue, with Japan alone contributing 4% of revenue (Dow Jones, 01-Jun-2011). The carrier has been adding capacity to Asia and will deploy A380 equipment on Frankfurt-Singapore services from 30-Oct-2011 with A380 equipment also being deployed on Beijing and Tokyo services. The carrier however noted that impact of the Japan earthquake, stating "it will take time to see how big the effect in Japan is" and how long it will take for business and confidence to recover, which will affect demand for travel. [more]
ANA awarded antitrust immunity for JV with Lufthansa
You may also be interested in the following articles...
Lufthansa linked to possible acquisitions of SAS, Brussels Airlines & Condor. Eurowings is priority
Numerous media reports have speculated that Lufthansa may be on the acquisition trail. Group CEO Carsten Spohr told Bloomberg that consolidation in Europe is needed and that Lufthansa wants to be a part of it (Bloomberg, 22-Apr-2016), but did not identify specific targets. Moreover, Mr Spohr said the Group was concentrating on making sure that its LCC platform Eurowings worked first.
Interestingly, however, the reports have specified three possible acquisitions, in each case suggesting that they could be used as part of the Eurowings project. The three are SAS, Brussels Airlines and Condor Flugdienst (part of the Thomas Cook Group). In all three cases, there are historical and/or cultural reasons to suggest that some form of closer cooperation, including the possibility of acquisition (or partial acquisition), could feasibly be up for discussion.
Lufthansa's partnership with SAS goes back to the time before they were both involved in setting up the Star Alliance, while Lufthansa is already a minority shareholder in Brussels Airlines and a former shareholder in Condor. Of the three, only Condor could be a realistic candidate to become part of the Eurowings operation. None of these possible Lufthansa acquisitions would significantly change European airline market structure.
Airberlin: airline's latest, more radical, restructuring gets help from TUIFly and Lufthansa
Airberlin's operations are to be split into three. First, there will be a core network airline with hubs in Berlin and Duesseldorf, deploying approximately half the current Air Berlin Group fleet. Second, there are plans for a new leisure airline, combining part of airberlin's fleet with TUIFly. Third, a significant part of airberlin's fleet will be wet-leased to the Lufthansa Group.
As a result of these moves the operating fleet of the core airberlin network airline will slip from second to third in Germany and risks becoming subscale. Eurowings will rise from third to second, and the expanded new TUIFly will go from fifth to fourth (overtaking Thomas Cook Group's Condor).
For several years airberlin has been unable to break the cycle of losses and successive restructuring initiatives, in spite of repeated bailouts from airberlin's 29% shareholder Etihad. A number of details are still to be clarified. These include the detailed route networks for the different operators, the network airline's strategy for feed, and the balance of charter versus scheduled flights in the new leisure airline. However, for now and with help from competitors and Etihad, airberlin looks to have ensured at least some kind of future.