M1 buys 19% stake in royal jordanian
Royal Jordanian has generated JD164.5 million ($232 million) from its initial public offering. M1, which is controlled by the Lebanese Mikati family, has emerged as the largest single new investor in the carrier with a 19% stake. M1 already owns several companies in the aviation industry, including Swiss regional carrier Flybaboo. Early in 2007 it tried to buy UK carrier BMed. The remaining 26.4% of Royal Jordanian that was available as part of the IPO has been sold to several Jordanian retail and institutional investors.
Qatar expands again
Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker says the carrier will launch flights in 2008 to Houston and its first South American destination. Al Baker says Qatar will also unveil new business and first class products in 2008. He predicts the carrier will be profitable from 2010 or 2011 and about three years later will pursue an initial public offering. Al Baker has also unveiled plans to set up a leasing company using the aircraft Qatar Airways plans to retire from 2013.
New airline for Bahrain
Bahrain Air plans to launch operations in early 2008 with services to Dubai, Beirut, Alexandria in Egypt and Mashad in Iran. The new privately-owned carrier, led by former Gulf Air chief Ibrahim Al-Hamer, insists it will not compete with Gulf Air, which is now 100% owned by the Bahraini government. It will start with two Airbus A320s in two-class configuration and add a third by mid-2008. Its business plan envisions a fleet of six aircraft covering 23 destinations by 2009.
Source: Airline Business