Frankfurt: The head of German airline Lufthansa does not rule out possible cooperation between its low-cost arm Eurowings and British rival easyJet, the weekly magazine Der Spiegel reported on Friday.

Lufthansa chief executive Carsten Spohr “can imagine a possible collaboration between Eurowings and easyJet,” the magazine revealed in a pre-released article scheduled to hit the news-stands on Saturday.

Spohr had never made any secret of the fact that Eurowings should be an open platform, Der Spiegel quoted him as saying in an interview.

easyJet had “frequently expressed interest in working together with the Luftansa group,” he said.

In face of ferocious competition, the airline has transferred many of its short- and medium-haul flights to its low-cost subsidiary Germanwings in recent years. And it plans to beef up that business using Eurowings as a rival to operators such as Ryanair and easyJet.

Those plans are the bone of contention in a long and bitter battle between management and Lufthansa pilots that has seen repeated industrial action over the past 18 months.

After a German court ruled that a 13th walkout earlier this month was illegal, discussions between the two sides resumed on Thursday.