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In one of his first public outings as new CEO of Lufthansa, slick former cargo boss Carsten Spohr has followed in the footsteps of his colleagues by complaining about state-owned airlines. In what is normally a thinly veiled attack on Middle East carriers, he said that lack of a level playing field was a “game-changer”. He complained: “The biggest challenge for a chief executive of a European airline, just as for my counterparts in the United States, is running privatised companies in an industry where government-owned airlines are gaining more and more market share.”

Of course, airlines from elsewhere in the world might interpret the fact that Mr Spohr was having a meeting with President Barack Obama at the time, might also amount to a somewhat uneven playing field.

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