Airline Finance News - Europe.
Environment Tax could be with us by 2009 following a European Parliament non-binding vote specifically aimed at the airline industry. What is not clear is whether it will be implemented, and if so when. How much aviation in total, including the military, actually contributes to atmospheric pollution is not very clear or defined. Certainly the numbers of aircraft in the sky at any one time are far less than during the Second World War, when 'planes flew at a much lower levels. A permit system is being mooted but any restrictions could adversely affect trade. British Airways, to its credit, seems to be ahead of other carriers with a proper policy in this area and is leading the way in promoting carbon trading as the most efficient and environmentally effective means of curbing aircraft emissions. http://www.ba.com Jul 8, 2006
Aer Lingus is to be floated on the Dublin and London stock exchanges probably in September. This follows a motion passed in the Irish parliament, the Dail, last week transport minister Martin Cullen noting that the government would retain at least a 25.1% stake "to protect the nation's strategic interests." The airline remains one of the few national carriers operating at a profit, a legacy from the leadership of Willie Walsh, now British Airways CEO. Current chief is former Emirates executive Dermot Mannion who is known to be keen on the privatization prospect and with it the possibilities of expanding the airline's long haul. The unions and opposition parties are against the scheme for different reasons. The unions are after job protection whilst a mixed bag of politicos has found grounds to oppose the plans, one group saying the price is too cheap, whilst another concerned over a possible foreign takeover. http://www.aerlingus.com Jul 8, 2006
Lawmakers Vote to Privatize Aer Lingus Group; Plan Runs Into Resistance From Employees. Lawmakers voted Thursday to privatize Aer Lingus Group, one of the world's few profitable state-owned airlines, and immediately ran into resistance from employees worried about job security and benefits. Irish Transport Minister Martin Cullen outlined privatization plans for Aer Lingus to Ireland's parliament, confirming the government's April decision to sell off most of its stake in the carrier by the end of September. Jul 6, 2006
Air France has finally come together with AF Group member KLM, moving into the Dutch airline's offices near Heathrow. The commercial and sales, human resources and finance departments have been combined and now total 180 staff. At the present time the joint airlines operate from 17 UK airports and offer 803 weekly frequencies to Paris CDG and Amsterdam. Since KLM effectively became part of Air France in April 2004 where practical duplicate services have been eliminated 49 out of the 115 long haul destinations are served only by Air France, 33 by KLM and only 33 by both airlines. Similarly, 51 out of the 127 medium haul destinations are operated only by Air France, 24 by KLM and 52 by both airlines. We see here Christine Ourmieres and Vincent Knoops, respective GM's of Air France and KLM. http://www.airfrance.co.uk Jul 8, 2006
Loftleidir Icelandic, the charter and ACMI-marketing subsidiary of the Icelandair/FL Group, has bought a majority of shares in the Latvian charter operator Latcharter Airlines and says it is committed to acquiring the balance in the future. The Reykjavik-based company has a policy of expanding in the Baltic area and the former Soviet area of influence. Latcharter was established in Latvia in 1992 and whilst originally Soviet aircraft equipped it now operates a pair of Airbus A320. Loftleidir itself has a fleet comprising six Boeing 757-200 and three 767-300. Parent company Icelandair offers scheduled transatlantic services to a number of US destinations and is supported by a fleet of 17 Boeing 757s. http://www.loftleidir.com Jul 8, 2006