Qantas Airways is cutting first-class seats from all but a few key routes following a 72 percent slump in profits. The flag carrier blamed the figures on falling customer demand and said it was also scrapping dividend payments.
British Airways has surprised the markets by posting its first operating profit in more than a year, but still expects to rack up the heaviest annual losses since privatisation in 1987.
Ryanair has raised its forecast for this year as narrowing losses and a better mix of new routes are expected to put Europe’s budget carrier back into the black. It also reported a €10.9 million loss for quarter ending December 31, compared to a €101.5 million loss year-on-year.
Russian oligarch Alexander Lebedev is to sell his stake in Aeroflot for $400m (£247m) in a bid to raise cash for other projects in aviation, agriculture and publishing. He was the state-controlled airline’s largest shareholder with 25.8 percent.
Aerospace giant Boeing has reported a sharp rise in fourth quarter revenues, up 42% to $17.9bn, ahead of forecasts. The increase came despite the poor economic climate, with net income for the period $1.27bn, compared with a loss of $86m year-on-year.
Low-cost carrier Tiger Airways has made a strong debut on the Singapore stock market, signalling a return to financial favour of the aviation sector. The Singapore-based airline raised S$248m (US$177m) in the first IPO by an Asian airline for five years.
EasyJet has managed to post strong revenue growth, despite its schedules being severely disrupted over the past month due to the big winter freeze. The budget carrier cited higher load factors, a hike in non-UK passengers and greater capacity for contributing to double-digit revenue growth over the past quarter.
Boeing says its customers ordered just 142 commercial aircraft last year as the recession forced airlines to shrink, leaving the aerospace company neck and neck with archrival Airbus.
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The Japanese government has said that it will not guarantee funding for debt-ridden national carrier Japan Airlines, meaning a tie-up with an American airline has emerged as the most likely candidate to option avoid insolvency.
Qantas will be given freer reign to raise capital following plans by Australia’s government to ease foreign ownership rules. This would allow the airline to play a greater roll in the consolidation of the global airline industry in the downturn, as well as expansion under new open skies agreements.
The odds of a merger between British Airways and Iberia have lengthened following news that the pension deficit of the British flag carrier has grown by £1.6bn over the past year. BA may now no longer be able to meet long-term payments to its entire workforce, which has been the main sticking point in the proposed tie-up with Iberia.