Germany’s Lufthansa to launch long-haul budget operation, may partner with Turkish Airlines

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BERLIN – Germany’s Lufthansa says it plans to expand its budget airline operation to offer long-haul flights, possibly in co-operation with Turkish Airlines.

Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Germany’s biggest airline, has been trying to cut costs amid tough competition from European budget carriers and aggressively expanding government-owned Gulf airlines.

It is expanding its European budget offshoot, and said Wednesday that it also plans “to create a competitive new long-haul platform … for the price-sensitive segment.”

Lufthansa says it’s considering whether to do that alone or with a partner and is in advanced talks with Turkish Airlines. It says the that the new long-haul operation is expected to launch in winter 2015, with a fleet that will gradually be built up to nine Boeing 767 or Airbus A330 aircraft.

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