New carrier among options to replace Adria: prime minister
September 30, 2019
Slovenia's prime minister has hinted at a possible new carrier to replace Adria Airways, while refusing to offer financial support to the troubled airline as long as it remains under its current ownership. Adria Airways is aiming to restore some of its depleted network on 30 September, having spent much of the last few day only operating its Frankfurt service. "All eyes are on the Slovenian government with the expectation that it will save the company," says prime minister Marjan Sarec. But he insists that the state will not give financial assistance to the company "under any circumstances" while it retains its present owners because, he believes, "they would throw money away" – although he points out that legislation would prevent such aid in any case. Slovenia's government has previously provided support to the carrier which was privatised three years ago when it was sold to a German investment fund. Sarec, speaking through his official social media feed, says he will not comment on whether the sale was appropriate."Crying won't help us much," he says. "[Adria] was sold because it was in bad shape. It was screwed up long ago." While he claims that the Adria situation suggests the country is viewed as a "dairy cow, from which it is necessary to squeeze the last cent", Sarec says the government is looking as options for the future. It has not reached any decision but Sarec indicates that the possibilities include "setting up a new company" or "providing connectivity with other carriers". "Although we expect difficulties, the aim is to maintain Slovenia's connection with the world, especially for tourism," he says, adding that the country is due to take over the presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2021. Slovenian social democrat party SD senior representative Matjaz Han has argued that the government must immediately rescue Adria Airways. "The existing owner does not trust us," he says. "So we oppose solutions that maintain the current ownership of the company. Adria therefore needs a new owner immediately." Han claims that this is the only step which allows further measures to be taken to rescue the company, and maintain Slovenian links with key destinations.

Source: FlightGlobal

Delta takes 20% stake in LATAM
September 27, 2019
Delta Air Lines is investing $1.9 billion in LATAM Airlines Group, representing a 20% stake in the Chile-based airline, Delta says on 26 September. Delta and LATAM will serve 435 destinations worldwide through the partnership. As part of the deal, Delta will buy four A350 aircraft from LATAM and will assume LATAM’s commitment to purchase 10 additional A350 aircraft to be delivered beginning in 2020. “This transformative partnership with LATAM will bring together our leading global brands, enabling us to provide the very best service and reliability for travelers to, from and throughout the Americas,” says Delta chief executive Ed Bastian. Delta will get seats on LATAM's board of directors and will invest an additional $350 million in the partnership. Delta's stock price rose by 0.81% on 26 September and closed at $58.78. Shortly after the announcement from Delta, American Airlines released a statement saying it understands LATAM’s decision to partner with a US carrier that isn’t burdened by "a recent negative ruling by the Chilean Supreme Court, which would have significantly reduced the benefits of our partnership since Chile was not approved as a part of the potential joint business arrangement". American and LATAM had been applying for a joint venture and had run into snags in a Chilean court in May. American and LATAM dropped Chile from the application in August. "This change in partnership is not expected to have a significant financial impact to American, as the current relationship provided less than $20 million of incremental revenue to American, and the proposed joint business without Chile would have provided limited upside," American says in the statement.

Source: FlightGlobal

BA counts cost of pilots' industrial action
September 27, 2019
British Airways parent IAG has put the cost of the UK flag carrier's pilot strike, and other threatened industrial action at London Heathrow, at €170 million ($186 million). It attributes the majority of this – some €137 million – to the strike by cockpit crews which were planned for 9, 10 and 27 September. BA initially cancelled over 4,500 flights but reinstated nearly 2,200. IAG adds that the carrier introduced "flexible" commercial policies, for refunds or rebooking, on another 4,070 flight not affected directly by the industrial action. "There have been no further talks between British Airways and [pilot union] BALPA," says IAG. The parent company has also warned that booking trends with its budget operators Vueling and Level are likely to have an adverse impact of €45 million. These combined elements have prompted IAG to review its full-year forecast. It expects its operating profit, before exceptionals, to be €215 million lower than the pro-forma figure of €3.48 billion achieved in the previous year. It had originally expected operating profit to be "in line" with the reported €3.23 billion for 2018 when it released its outlook at the beginning of this year. "Clearly any further industrial action will additionally impact IAG's full-year 2019 operating profit," adds the company.

Source: FlightGlobal


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