Lufthansa says aims to hold its own in any merger - paper

FRANKFURT Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:38pm GMT

The logo of German air carrier Lufthansa and the cancelled flights on a flight schedule board are seen at the Fraport airport in Frankfurt, September 7, 2012. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

The logo of German air carrier Lufthansa and the cancelled flights on a flight schedule board are seen at the Fraport airport in Frankfurt, September 7, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German flagship carrier Deutsche Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) is shaping up its business to have an equal footing should it take part in any global merger talks in the future, its chief executive told a German paper.

"Should there be negotiations over mergers across continents in the future, we want to be at the table, but at eye level," CEO Christoph Franz told Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung in an interview published on Sunday.

The chairman of Turkish Airlines (THYAO.IS) said last week that talks with Lufthansa over furthering their cooperation will begin next month.

Speculation about plans for deepening ties between the two airlines was triggered this month when Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said he had agreed with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to "joint management" of the companies.

The Lufthansa CEO said in the interview that it was too early to comment on Turkish Airlines.

Lufthansa last month said it would widen its cost-cutting drive to counter rising fuel prices and sluggish growth in its core market.

(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by David Cowell)

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