The European Commission’s August 29 decision to launch a full probe into Ryanair’s proposed takeover of Aer Lingus appears to mean that all bets are off in terms of the long-term ownership of the Irish flag carrier. Under stock market rules, Ryanair’s bid for a majority stake in Aer Lingus automatically expired with the move by regulators, who believe the resulting merger would prove anti-competitive.
Africa First, the first Boeing 787 Dreamliner destined for the African continent, touched down at Washington Dulles International Airport in northern Virginia on August 15, a day after Ethiopian Airlines took delivery of the aircraft from Boeing in Everett, Washington, and four years later than planned. On August 16, the aircraft departed for Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport on its first revenue flight.
Japan Airlines took delivery of the first two of 45 Boeing 787 Dreamliners it has ordered at a ceremony in Everett, Wash., on March 26.
Boeing Commercial Aviation Services announced here at the show yesterday that it had rebranded its entire service and support offering as Boeing “Edge.” This will cover material services, fleet service, flight services and information services, said the company.
Lufthansa Technik signed a 10-year agreement with Japan Airlines to provide component support for JAL’s new fleet of Boeing 787s. The Germany-based company will support all 35 aircraft currently on order. The contract calls for Lufthansa Technik to provide material support, including repairs and logistics services.
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.
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.
Japan Airlines exited bankruptcy today, after the Tokyo District Court found that JAL had repaid more than two thirds of the monetary claims listed in a reorganization plan.
Airlines are starting to count the financial cost of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated large areas of northeastern Japan on March 11. The International Air Transport Association has warned of a “major slowdown” for airlines operating in the Japanese market and says that this is unlikely to recover before the second half of 2011.
This year will likely be an improvement on 2009 for airlines in this part of the world but it won’t mean a quick return to profitability, according to Andrew Herdman, director general of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA). But the substantial losses the group’s members have suffered in the last two years should at least be reduced, he told AIN in an interview ahead of this week’s Singapore Airshow.