Alitalia's alternative plan

Alitalia has begun to develop contingency plans for a new business strategy in the event that its privatisation process fails. Alitalia's board has been asked by the Italian government, which holds a 49% stake in the carrier, to put together a sustainable business plan for the next three years. The two teams bidding for Alitalia are backed by Russia's Aeroflot and Italian carrier Air One.

BA details Iberia consortium

British Airways has joined with Texas Pacific Group, Vista Capital, Inversiones Ibersuizas and Clickair shareholder Quercus Equity to investigate a possible bid for Spanish flag carrier Iberia. BA says there is no guarantee a formal bid will be made: "The airline has previously ruled out further capital investment as part of any consortium offer and will not make an independent bid for the airline."

Portugalia buy completed

TAP Portugal's acquisition of Portugalia secured final approval In June from local competition authorities. The two carriers will now co-ordinate their schedules to maximise connections, a process which is expected to be completed at the end of September.

TUI-First Choice cleared

TUI and First Choice received clearance in June from European regulators to go ahead with their planned merger. The European Commission initially ruled the deal raised competition concerns in Ireland but these were mitigated after TUI agreed to sell off its Irish business Budget Travel. Germany's TUI and UK-based First Choice first unveiled plans to merge in March.

Eastern plans overseas bases

UK regional carrier Eastern Airways plans to open its first overseas base within 12 months. Eastern managing director Richard Lake says he is in talks with a number of airports in two undisclosed Central European countries over opening two new overseas bases. Eastern also plans to acquire an undisclosed number of Bombardier Q300 turboprops within two years.

Source: Airline Business