Germany's Lufthansa to launch long-haul budget operation, may partner with Turkish Airlines

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BERLIN (AP) — Germany's Lufthansa says it plans to expand its budget airline operation to offer long-haul flights, possibly in cooperation with Turkish Airlines.

Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Germany's biggest airline, has been trying to cut costs amid tough competition from European budget carriers and aggressively expanding government-owned Gulf airlines.

It is expanding its European budget offshoot, and said Wednesday that it also plans "to create a competitive new long-haul platform ... for the price-sensitive segment."

Lufthansa says it's considering whether to do that alone or with a partner and is in advanced talks with Turkish Airlines. It says the that the new long-haul operation is expected to launch in winter 2015, with a fleet that will gradually be built up to nine Boeing 767 or Airbus A330 aircraft.

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