Lufthansa – not again, surely?

After the debacle of having to sell British Midland at a huge loss, you might have thought Lufthansa would have learned their lesson, but apparently not. According to the Financial Times, they are seriously interested in bidding for another airline basket-case, TAP.

Lufthansa have had a mixed – to be very polite – record in their recent investments. Aside from British Midland, they have had serious trouble with Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa Italia had to be closed almost as soon as it had started and Brussels Airlines is also looking dicey. Only Swiss has been a success.

Lufthansa is now very much under new management and the new bosses have been openly critical of their predecessor’s strategy. So why do they seem to be falling for the same trap?

Maybe they have learned one lesson from past errors. There is some point in going after a country’s flag carrier but no sense at all in trying to establish a second-string airline. Most European countries struggle to support one full-service airline and none have successfully managed to have two which compete head-to-head across the network. Of course, Portugal is in a very weak state financially, and has been since long before the current round of crises. The real attraction for Lufthansa lies in its routes to Brazil and its strong connections to South America. Oh, and the other big plus is that IAG are also interested in buying TAP and Lufthansa do not want to let them get a monopoly.

They are getting their towels out ready to reserve their space across the South Atlantic. You have a feeling that yet more hard-earned German cash is about to be blown in their determination to be a European leader.

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