Germany's Lufthansa has proposed to the Bonn government that the airline should take over the former East German carrier Interflug, Lufthansa management board chairman Heinz Ruhnau said.
In an interview with the Sunday newspaper Welt am Sonntag, made available Saturday, Ruhnau said Lufthansa would first restructure Interflug. Bonn could then evaluate the airline and set a price.Lufthansa, which is 52 percent government owned, could then purchase the restructured Interflug with shares in Lufthansa.
Ruhnau said that if the Bonn government accepted the Lufthansa plan, Interflug had a good chance of becoming a competitive airline.
A Lufthansa spokesman confirmed the plan.
Last March Lufthansa applied for Bonn government approval to take a stake of up to 26 percent in Interflug. But government officials and the then West German cartel office said such a move could give Lufthansa an unfair competitive advantage in the German air travel market.
A cartel office decision on the Lufthansa application had been set for Oct. 31 but on Oct. 16 Lufthansa said it had withdrawn its application because of the changed status of Interflug's ownership after German unification on Oct. 3.
Lufthansa had said Interflug was now in effect owned by the Bonn government and this offered new possibilities for a merger between the two airlines.