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News of April 2007


easyJet urges European Commission to ban old aircraft

26 April 2007

Low-cost airline easyJet has called on European governments to remove around 700 of the oldest aircraft from Europe’s skies by banning any aircraft built before 1990 from operating within the European Union after 1st January 2012.

The no-frills carrier argues that older aircraft are far less fuel efficient and, therefore, more environmentally damaging than newer planes. As such, easyJet has called for a strict age-limiting policy to be implemented on aircraft used by European airlines.

source: Forbes


Virgin to fly non-stop from London to Sydney

25 April 2007

Virgin Atlantic will become the first airline to fly non-stop from London to Australia after buying 43 new, fuel-efficient aircraft from Boeing.

Sir Richard Branson, the airline’s chairman, announced the US$8 billion ($9.6 billion) order for up to 43 787 Dreamliners. They will allow Virgin to launch super-longhaul flights to Perth and later to Syndey and Melbourne.

Qantas considered launching a non-stop service last year using 777s, but it abandoned the idea because the increased fuel required would cut revenues.

source: The Australian


EU concerned by KLM move to buy out Moller-Maersk’s share of Martinair

25 April 2007

The European Commission is concerned over Dutch airline KLM-Air France’s intention to buy out co-owner Moeller-Maersk’s shares in Martinair — a move which Martinair says would see KLM become ‘too dominant‘ on the Dutch market, according to financial daily Het Financieele Dagblad.

KLM-Air France wants to buy the remaining 50 pct from Danish transport group AP Moeller Marsk, which wants to sell its stake.

The paper says other companies have expressed an interest in the Moeller-Maersk stake and said they are also keen on buying a part of the KLM-Air France share to obtain a majority of the shares.

A spokesperson for KLM responded that it is not interested in selling part of its share.

source: abcmoney.co.uk


A new low-fare airline on a web-only approach

25 April 2007

The extreme low-fare airline, already well established in Europe, will try for a comeback in the United States on May 22 with a well-financed start-up, Skybus Airlines, beginning service that day and promising at least 10 seats on every flight priced at $10 one-way — before taxes.

If it sounds like People Express and Laker Airways — low-price carriers that made a splash, expanded too fast and then collapsed — there are similarities.

But the organizers of Skybus are counting on the $160 million cushion that they have raised and on a big change in consumer behavior to help the carrier follow the success of Ryanair, the Irish airline. Ryanair brought ultracheap fares to much of Europe, charging fees for many extras and transforming the short-haul market there.

source: NY Times


Norwegian Airline to Buy FlyNordic

24 April 2007

Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA on Tuesday announced an agreement to buy Finnair PLC’s subsidiary FlyNordic, a budget airline based in Stockholm, Sweden.

The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, will be settled with shares and options. Finnair will receive about 5 percent of Norwegian’s shares with the option to increase its stake to 10 percent at 115 kroner (US$19.1, euro14.4) per share through 2008.

This acquisition will strengthen our position in the Nordic region as well as in the European market,” Norwegian chief executive Bjorn Kjos said in a statement.

source: Forbes


BA teams up with private equity firms for Iberia bid

24 April 2007

British Airways is in negotiations with private equity about a potential €5bn (£3.39bn) takeover offer for Iberia but has ruled out making a solo bid for the Spanish flag-carrier.

It is understood that Apax Partners is one of three private equity houses in talks with BA and is negotiating to bring Spain’s Gestair on board. In an announcement to the Stock Exchange yesterday, BA said it was considering how to use its 10 per cent stake holding in Iberia after US private equity house Texas Pacific Group (TPG) made an indicative offer of €3.60 a share for the carrier last month. This valued the Spanish airline, whose shares have doubled in the past six months on the expectation of further consolidation in the sector, at €3.4bn.

source: independent.co.uk


Jazeera Airways launches Kochi-Dubai flight

23 April 2007

Jazeera Airways, the Middle East’s first private airline, Monday officially launched its non-stop flights between Kochi and Dubai. The airlines would operate its flights between the two cities thwice a week.

Though Jazeera has been operating flights from Kochi to Dubai from March 25, the official launch took place Monday.

source: monstersandcritics.com


Virgin Atlantic launches daily services to chicago

23 April 2007

Virgin Atlantic Airways today launched daily services between London Heathrow and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. Chicago, which becomes Virgin Atlantic’s 27th destination worldwide, will be the airline’s tenth US gateway. Chicago is a key destination in its own right as well as a hub for the Mid West.

source: v-flyer


easyJet welcomes European Commission decision on Italian PSO routes

23 April 2007

No-frills airline easyJet has said it welcomes the European Commission’s decision to limit the abuse of anti-competitive Public Service Obligation (PSO) routes in Italy.

The decision follows official complaints by easyJet and other airlines against an Italian decree that was imposed last year to create monopolies on the 16 most important routes between mainland Italy and Sardinia.

source: Forbes


BA eyes bid for Spain’s Iberia airline

23 April 2007

British Airways (BA) is considering forming a consortium to launch a takeover bid for Iberia, the Spanish flag-carrier in which it has a 10 per cent stake.

The British airline said this morning that it had held talks with a string of private equity companies over the possible creation of a bidding vehicle.

source: Times online