The Majorca-based airline Spanair has apparently become a target for the German airline Lufthansa which, according to the Financial Times Germany is interested in buying a 33 per cent stake in the company. Lufthansa is looking to strengthen its operations in southern Europe, but yesterday the airline would not comment on the report. However, it is not the first time Lufthansa has had an interest in Spanair and similar moves were made in November last year. Lufthansa did admit yesterday that its cargo outfit is negotiating a deal with the Scandinavian airline SAS, which owns a 49 per cent stake in Spanair. According to the FT's German edition, it was the chairman of SAS, Jan Stenberg, who recommended that Lufthansa takes a stake in Spanair and that both parties hope to complete a deal this year. But, in accordance with international air traffic rules, Spanair will have to remain as the majority shareholder, so SAS and Lufthansa may have to set up a Spanish registered holding company should the deal go ahead.

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