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Lufthansa discussing code-sharing deal with Condor - sources

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Lufthansa discussing code-sharing deal with Condor - sources
FILE PHOTO: A Lufthansa Airbus A321-100 airplane takes off from the airport in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, July 29, 2018. Picture taken July 29, 2018. REUTERS/Paul Hanna   -   Copyright  Paul Hanna(Reuters)
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BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s Lufthansa <LHAG.DE> and charter carrier Condor <TCG.L> are discussing a possible code-sharing deal that could help save both money on long haul routes, sources familiar with the matter said.

A deal is possible by the end of the year that would allow the airlines to offer tickets on the same plane under different flight numbers, helping reduce the number of empty seats on flights. Both companies declined to comment.

Lufthansa had offered to buy Condor, but the sale has been put on hold while the charter airline’s cash-strapped owner, Thomas Cook <TCG.L>, holds talks on a rescue deal with China’s Fosun Tourism <1992.HK>.

CEO Carsten Spohr is meanwhile under pressure to boost efficiency and profitability at Lufthansa. According to a report in Germany’s Manager Magazine on Thursday, he plans to raise his medium-term profit target to 3 billion euros (£2.7 billion) from 2 billion euros.

Lufthansa cut its earnings guidance for this year in June, forecasting an adjusted operating margin of 5.5% to 6.5% for 2019. That corresponds with profit of 2 billion to 2.4 billion euros – a decline of 14% to 28.5% from last year.

A Lufthansa spokesman declined to comment on the magazine report.

(Reporting by Klaus Lauer; Writing by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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