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Lufthansa mulls Asia budget carrier

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NEW YORK - Deutsche Lufthansa said it's looking at establishing a long-haul, low-cost venture to help sustain its market share on routes to Asia as rival operators siphon more and more traffic through hubs in the Gulf. 

Lufthansa may form an intercontinental subsidiary similar to its Germanwings short-haul unit, Chief Financial Officer Simone Menne said at a briefing in New York. Other options include an alliance with a Middle Eastern or Asian airline.

Europe's second-largest carrier won't be able to keep pace with rivals such as Dubai-based Emirates and Etihad Airways of Abu Dhabi without a change in strategy, Menne said, adding that the Cologne-based company ended services to Hyderabad and Calcutta in India last year because the routes were uneconomic.

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