British competition authorities have dismissed complaints that they did not investigate the British Airways (BA) bid to buy BMI (the former British Midland International) from Germany’s Lufthansa—a deal approved by the European Commission (EC) on March 30.
Europe’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) not only has many international airlines and governments concerned, but now even at least one of the world’s two biggest OEMs has joined the chorus of protest after China blocked a sale of Airbus A380s to Hong Kong Airlines.
The scramble for precious slots at London Heathrow Airport has spurred a bidding war for struggling UK carrier BMI. Virgin Atlantic Airways has told Lufthansa, BMI’s owner, that it will be able to close the deal more quickly than the International Airlines Group (IAG), which launched a bid for BMI in November.
Airlines appear headed for another bumpy ride in 2012, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which last week slashed $1.4 billion from its forecast profits for member carriers.
Stung by development delays and now intent on shifting its emphasis from long-haul to regional and domestic services, China Eastern Airlines on October 17 announced a decision to cancel orders for 24 Boeing 787s in favor of a new order for 45 Boeing 737NGs.
Cargolux took delivery of the first Boeing 747-8 Freighter today following the resolution of contractual “issues” that led to the cancellation of handover ceremonies originally planned for September 19 and 21 in Everett, Wash.
Atlas Air has cancelled delivery of three “early build” Boeing 747-8 Freighters, lowering the total number of the airplanes covered under its firm order to nine. The company placed the original order for 12 airplanes in September 2006, but chose to exercise its termination rights on the first three, apparently due to Boeing’s failure to meet performance guarantees.
Developments planned by Australia’s Qantas Airways and American Airlines demonstrate membership benefits for global alliance partners seeking to rationalize operations while improving competitiveness. The operators belong to Oneworld, whose members include British Airways (BA), Chile’s LAN, Iberia, and Japan Airlines (JAL), with Malaysia Airlines waiting in the wings.
A five-year Qantas Airways plan to reduce dependence on domestic flights and business services and establish two Asian joint-venture partnerships aims to help the Australian carrier to stimulate overseas business. It will lay off 1,000 employees, defer deliveries of six Airbus A380s (and possibly some Boeing 787s), retire four Boeing 747-400s and replace two London services with British Airways code-shares beyond Bangkok and Hong Kong.
In a bid to resuscitate “steadily fading” overseas operations, Australia’s Qantas Airways plans to make 1,000 domestic jobs redundant, defer Airbus A380 (and possibly some Boeing 787) deliveries, retire some Boeing 747-400s, and replace some long-haul services with code-sharing flights.