HEATHROW SLOTS PRICE FOR AA-BA ANTI-TRUST DEAL
US regulators have tentatively approved transatlantic anti-trust immunity for Oneworld partners American Airlines, British Airways, Finnair and Iberia on condition they make four pairs of London Heathrow slots available to rivals for new US-Heathrow flights. The Department of Transport concluded the proposed alliance among the Oneworld partners will "enhance competition around the world by creating competition with the Star alliance and SkyTeam alliance, which have already been granted immunity".
FINNAIR EYES UP ASIA FREIGHTER OPTIONS
Indications of demand growth have Finnair's cargo division considering starting dedicated freight services to the Asia-Pacific region. The carrier, which has yet to determine whether to use its own aircraft or lease external capacity, points to a 40% rise in demand for freight services from Asia in January.
KUWAIT'S JAZEERA TAKES OVER LEASING COMPANY
Kuwaiti budget carrier Jazeera Airways has paid 25.6 million Kuwaiti dinar ($88.7 million) for full ownership of Sahaab Aircraft Leasing, which it established two years ago with German bank DVB and National Bank of Kuwait subsidiary NBK Capital. Jazeera says its plans also include acquisition of a Middle East airline. Sahaab, which leases Airbus A320s to Jazeera, will have at least 38 A320s by 2016 based on orders placed with Airbus.
INVESTORS CIRCLE TO SNAP UP FAILED SPARES FIRM
KPMG, the administrator for failed UK-based spares management company Aero Inventory, has received 30 expressions of interest in part or all of the company and has set a 1 March deadline for firm offers. The company collapsed last November after revelations of serious stock accounting problems led to the suspension of its London share trading and dismissal of several top managers. In 2008 Aero Inventory reported a pre-tax profit of $73 million on turnover of $440 million but, says KPMG: "Clearly there's an issue around the accuracy of the figures."
MOODY'S TAKES COOL VIEW OF SWEDISH STRUGGLE
SAS Group efforts to shore up its financial position by refinancing or extending the maturities of SKr2 billion ($275 million) in bonds over the next few months have met a cool response from credit rating agency Moody's, which may classify the move as a "distressed exchange" bond default. The Scandinavian Airlines parent last year lost SKr3.4 billion before taxes. Moody's will take into consideration cost-cutting plans and progress with a planned SKr5 billion rights issue.
UAC TO SITE COMPOSITES PLANT NEAR AVIASTAR
United Aircraft has opted to site an in-house composite production facility near Ulyanovsk-based airframer Aviastar. The plant, to be built by 2014 by specialist firm Aerokompozit, will be capable of making up to 100 sets of all-composite wings a year as well as structures for airframes, fins and rudders for the Sukhoi Superjet 100 and Irkut MS-21 airliners.
TEAMSTERS BOOST PRESENCE AT CONTINENTAL
At Continental Airlines, 7,750 previously non-unionised fleet services workers including ramp, operations and cargo agents have voted in favour of representation by the Teamsters, which already represents the carrier's 3,600 mechanics.
Source: Flight International