The Lufthansa group will maintain and strengthen its partnerships with both Japan Airlines Co. and All Nippon Airways Co., the chief of the German airline said Tuesday in Tokyo.

JAL and ANA are rivals, and JAL’s integration with Japan Air System Co. in the fall is likely to further intensify competition with ANA.

Lufthansa concluded a strategic partnership agreement with ANA in the passenger business in 1998.

“In the air cargo operation, Lufthansa has a long-lasting partnership with JAL, and this relationship will continue to grow,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jurgen Weber said during a news conference.

Weber declined to comment on what effect the deadly airplane collision Monday over southern Germany might have on the airline industry. The global industry has been plagued by people’s fear of flying and rising insurance costs since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Weber stressed that Lufthansa and its partner airlines have done everything possible to raise security and safety levels since Sept. 11.

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