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Air Transport News - Asia / Pacific.

Dec 13, 2009

Air China

Air China Senior VP Fan Cheng was named Communist Party Secretary at Shenzhen Airlines last week, increasing speculation in China that CA will seek control of Shenzhen following the arrest of controlling shareholder Li Zeyuan. Fan reportedly will oversee day-to-day operations at Shenzhen, in which CA currently holds 25%. Dec 7, 2009

Air China, Air Macau

Air China has increased its 51% stake in subsidiary Air Macau to almost 81% following a capital injection into the loss-making airline. This comes after its board approved a contribution of 158 million Macau pataca ($20 million) to the share capital of Air Macau, says the Star Alliance carrier. "As some of the shareholders, whose shareholdings in total amount to approximately 27.5% of the total issued share capital of Air Macau prior to the implementation of the capital injection plan, chose not to contribute to the share capital of Air Macau, the company's shareholding in Air Macau will increase to 80.8625%," says Air China. It adds that the capital injection will "further support the company's investment in Hong Kong and Macau and would further help its consolidation of the shareholding in Air Macau". Dec 7, 2009

Air India

The Indian government will meet again with Air India's executives in January to discuss the carrier's plans to restructure its operations and return to profitability. "We continue to work on our plans and there will be a review in January. This will review both current and future milestones regarding revenue enhancement and cost cutting measures," says a spokesman at the Indian flag carrier. Air India's owner, the Indian government, has agreed to inject eight billion Indian rupees into the carrier to pay for its operations in November and December. This is part of a broader plan to keep the carrier afloat after Air India posted a net loss of 56 billion rupees ($1.2 billion) for the fiscal year ending 31 March 2009, more than double the 22 billion rupees it lost a year before. Dec 8, 2009

All Nippon Airways

U.S. and Japanese aviation officials are expected to reach an open-skies agreement at the end of this week's negotiations in Washington, and the agreement could be a game-changer for the region's airline service. Anticipating the agreement, All Nippon Airways will likely seek antitrust immunity with Star Alliance partners United and Continental on transpacific routes to beef up its market-commanding service, according to news and wire reports on both sides of the Pacific. "Open skies with the Japanese is a product of ANA and UA's efforts in Japan," said consultant Vaughn Cordle of the consultancy AirlineForecasts. Meanwhile, the promise of antitrust immunity lies at the heart of negotiations by the other two global alliances, Oneworld and SkyTeam, in their efforts to gain the favor of struggling Japan Airlines. American says that if JAL remains in Oneworld, the Japanese carrier stands the best chance of getting antitrust approvals and financial benefits. Delta says SkyTeam is just as likely to get such approvals, and JAL would see even more benefits from the larger alliance network. Aviation consultants say that over the long term, the SkyTeam proposal would likely provide the best opportunity for JAL and make the alliance a formidable foe in the Asian market, giving it the network and connections to compete comfortably with United and Star. But American, the experts say, could not afford to lose the JAL Asian components for global contracts. The deal is more than just a passing fancy for Delta, Cordle said. "Without a Japanese partner, Delta's Japanese routes are not doing well," Cordle said. "Delta's Japanese routes are collateral for their recent credit line." Delta would be hamstrung, then, if it wanted to make any changes. "Delta couldn't shift the service if they wanted to," Cordle said. But JAL is struggling to keep aloft under the burden of debt and pension commitments. Japanese officials said bankruptcy is an option. But today, Reuters reported, the government is considering a $7.7 billion loan to keep JAL operating. Dec 7, 2009

Delta Air Lines, Virgin Blue, V Australia

Delta Air Lines said the Australia Competition and Consumer Commission granted authorization for its proposed joint venture with Virgin Blue to operate flights between Australia and the US. "Delta and [Virgin Blue subsidiary] V Australia are eager to move forward with their joint venture and to bring new services to the market," DL said. "We look forward to a similar decision from the US Dept. of Transportation and urge the DOT to quickly conclude its review." Dec 11, 2009

Japan Airlines

The Japanese Government is considering guaranteeing about YEN700 billion ($7.8 billion) in loans for struggling Japan Airlines, according to news reports in the country. The funds will be allocated through an extra budget that is expected to be approved this week, says the Nikkei business daily. The newspaper did not name its sources. An airline spokeswoman declines to comment on the report. JAL posted a fiscal second quarter net loss of [acute accent]32.1 and has applied to the government-backed Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corporation of Japan (ETIC) for a bail-out. Dec 7, 2009

Japan Airlines

Japanese Transport Minister Seiji Maehara rejected widespread reports that the government has decided to provide YEN700 billion ($7.74 billion) in credit guarantees to Japan Airlines. "We haven't decided how to fund state guarantees for JAL yet, let alone the size of such potential guarantees," he told reporters yesterday. JAL, which is attempting to enter into a government-backed restructuring, reportedly will be given a loan guarantee as part of an "extra budget" for the Japanese government's fiscal year ending March 31, according to multiple media reports from Tokyo. "I don't understand why [[acute accent]700 billion] was reported," Maehara said. Meanwhile, Dow Jones reported that Finance Minister Hirohisa Fujii, when asked at a press conference whether a JAL loan guarantee would be included in the extra budget expected to be finalized by next week, responded, "I haven't yet heard about it." Dec 9, 2009

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Publication:AirGuide Business
Date:Dec 14, 2009
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