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BERLIN: Lufthansa said on Tuesday it would respond to a decision by Germany's cartel office that charter airline Condor was entitled to an antitrust claim against the flag carrier over access to feeder flights for its long-haul passengers.

"We have received the Bundeskartellamt's draft decision. We will reply to the Bundeskartellamt and make a comprehensive statement," Lufthansa said in a statement. "Please understand that we will not comment on the draft beyond that at this time."

Lufthansa and Condor have an agreement that allows Condor passengers to use Lufthansa feeder flights as part of their journey to holiday destinations.

Lufthansa last year said it would cancel that agreement, prompting Condor to complain that Lufthansa abused its market dominance.

European stocks kick off 2022 at record highs

Lufthansa later agreed to extend the agreement until May 2022.

The cartel office said earlier on Tuesday that a preliminary examination found sufficient competition would only be possible if Condor could fall back on Lufthansa services.

With almost 90 transfer connections to tourist destinations, Lufthansa could gain considerable competitive advantages as a current or potential competitor if Condor were to break away, the cartel office said.

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