Lufthansa sticks with Berlin flight expansion plan

FRANKFURT Tue May 8, 2012 7:51am EDT

A do-not-enter sign is seen near a Lufthansa check-in counter at Berlin's Tegel airport, February 23, 2010. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz

A do-not-enter sign is seen near a Lufthansa check-in counter at Berlin's Tegel airport, February 23, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Tobias Schwarz

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Lufthansa said it was in talks with Tegel airport in Berlin to secure more slots following news that the opening of a new airport in Germany's capital will be delayed.

"We want to stick with our planned expansion of flights from Berlin," a spokesman for Germany's biggest airlines said in a statement on Tuesday.

The airport operator said earlier the opening of Berlin's new airport, scheduled for June 3, will be delayed until after the summer due to problems with fire safety.

Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) has said it plans to increase fourfold the non-stop routes to European and Middle Eastern destinations its main carrier offers from Berlin.

"We have noticed in test runs over the past days and weeks that there is still need for action on many matters. It is important for us that smooth flight operations can be ensured at the new airport," the spokesman for Lufthansa said.

(Reporting by Maria Sheahan)