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European Commission investigating codeshares; Alitalia and Meridiana in negotiations

European Commission launched a pair of investigations into European codeshare agreements. The investigations cover the Munich-Istanbul and Frankfurt-Istanbul routes, operated under codeshare between Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines and Brussels-Lisbon, operated by TAP Portugal and Brussels Airlines. The commission believes the codeshare agreements may distort competition between Germany and Turkey and between Belgium and Portugal.

Elsewhere in Europe, Meridiana confirmed it is engaged in negotiations with Alitalia regarding a possible partnership. Local media reports indicated that Alitalia is interested in the carrier as a defensive measure against its acquisition by Lufthansa.

European airline shares were mixed, with Aer Lingus rising 2.7%, Turkish Airlines up 2.7% and flybe gaining 1.3%. SAS Group shares slipped 2.1%.

Selected European airlines daily share price movements (% change): 11-Feb-2011

EAD