Lufthansa has ended months of negotiations by finally taking full control of Austrian Airlines. The German carrier now holds more than 90% of shares in the troubled flag carrier after state-owned holding company.
Aer Lingus has admitted to having “no idea” if it would be able to resist a third bid by Ryanair after its first half losses trebled. But the beleaguered carrier dismissed as “speculation” new reports that it is set to make 500 redundancies from its 3,800-strong workforce in a €130 million savings plan.
The European Commission today approved the merger of the Austrian Airlines Group and Lufthansa
Lufthansa could be poised to offload its loss-marking subsidiary BMI to Virgin Atlantic as it grapples to raise cash. Despite taking full control of the Heathrow-based carrier just two months ago, it is now eyeing a disposal and has already held preliminary talks with Richard Branson over a complete or partial sale.
Continental Airlines has announced that it plans to join Star Alliance on Oct. 27, 2009. As previously announced, Continental will end its participation in SkyTeam after its last scheduled flight on Oct. 24, 2009.
Richard Branson has taken his battle against the proposed tie-up between British Airways and American Airlines to Barack Obama. The Virgin Atlantic founder has written to the US President in the hope of persuading US administrations to block the transatlantic tie-up between his two arch rivals, claiming it will suffocate competition at Heathrow.
The European Commission has given the green light for Lufthansa’s take-over of Austrian Airlines, but with a series of conditions. EU antitrust chief Neelie Kroes made the announcement following a series of talks with the Lufthansa chief executive.
Southwest Airlines is gearing up to make a bid for bankrupt low-cost Frontier Airlines when it emerges from bankruptcy protection later this year.
The new chairman of Iberia has pledged to seal the proposed merger with British Airways. Antonio Vazquez Romero said that his aim was to close the deal between the Spanish and British flag carriers after almost a year of dragging.
Merger talks between British Airways and Iberia have been given a boost following the sudden departure of the Spanish flag carrier’s chairman. Fernando Conte has vacated the top job, with the official line that he wanted to step down before his 60th birthday next year. But according to company sources he was ousted because of a lack of progress in merger talks with BA.
Delta Air Lines and Virgin Blu are planning a joint venture in a bid to expand the reach of both carriers between the US, Australia and the South Pacific.The airlines announced they are seeking regulatory approval for the alliance, and antitrust immunity in the meantime to implement code sharing, frequent-flyer programme reciprocity and lounge exchange rights.
Merger talks between British Airways and Iberia are making little headway despite reassurances from both sides of an imminent tie-up, according to sources within both airlines.The number of problems to be resolved before the merger can proceed is far bigger than the respective heads Willie Walsh and Fernando Conte have revealed. A deal is unlikely to be struck before the summer, reports the Times newspaper.