Lufthansa buys stake in Belgian airline


BRUSSELS: Deutsche Lufthansa, the second-largest European airline, agreed to buy 45 percent of SN Brussels Airlines for €65 million as the pace of consolidation in the industry accelerates.

Lufthansa will buy the stake, worth $92 million, in the parent company SN Airholding, adding 12 new destinations to its network, the companies said Monday. The Cologne, Germany-based carrier has an option to buy the remaining 55 percent of stock from 2011.

Europe’s largest carriers are vying to buy smaller competitors to expand networks and cut costs amid slowing economic growth and surging fuel bills. Lufthansa has also been linked with bids for Austrian Airlines Group, Scandinavian carrier SAS Group and BMI of Britain. Air France-KLM is the largest European carrier.