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Lufthansa plans to keep flying CLT-Munich

Lufthansa plans to keep its daily Charlotte-Munich nonstop flight after the US Airways-American Airlines merger, an airline spokesman said Tuesday.

Speculation has swirled since the merger was announced that Lufthansa might drop the flight because US Airways is leaving the Star Alliance and joining the American-led Oneworld travel alliance. Since Lufthansa is a Star Alliance member, the airlines will lose their code-sharing agreement and the ability to seamlessly transfer passengers between their flights.

Lufthansa CEO Christoph Franz told USA Today earlier this month that Charlotte could see changes after the merger. He called the city “a smaller destination … that is heavily depending on the first-class feeder network from US Airways.”

Lufthansa spokesman Nils Haupt said that’s not the case. “We are committed to the Charlotte market,” Haupt said. “US Airways is helping us, admittedly, at the moment with the feed.”

The US Airways-American merger is on track to close as soon as early December.

But Haupt said “We’re pretty sure we can manage” to make the Charlotte flights work without US Airways feeding Lufthansa passengers. “There are no plans, on a short-term basis” to change the flight to Munich.

The German carrier might not add more flights to Charlotte, however, or add new destinations such as Frankfurt, Haupt said.

US Airways flies nonstop from Charlotte to Frankfurt. Almost 200 German companies have operations in the Charlotte area, according to the Charlotte Regional Partnership, making the direct flights to Germany popular with local business travelers.

Portillo: 704-358-5041; Twitter: @ESPortillo
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