Slot exchange - A UK high court has ruled that the former Air UK, now KLM uk, did not illegally sell its Guernsey slots at London Heathrow to British Airways. According to the presiding judge in the case brought by Guernsey, the fact that the exchange was unequal - Air UK received lower-value night-time slots at Heathrow in return - and was accompanied by a payment "does not convert the exchange into a sale". AEA condemns - The Association of European Airlines (AEA)has condemned Eurocontrol for "inaction" over delays in Europe. Eurocontrol plans to hold delays this year at 1998 levels, compared with a previous target to reduce them by 25%, while accommodating half as much traffic growth - 4.4%. Performance worsened, however. Delays doubled in the first two months of this year, while traffic grew by 5%. AEA is considering proposing remedies such as giving Eurocontrol decision-making and enforcement powers similar to those of the European Central Bank, handing control of air traffic control systems to airlines and a pay-per-performance system linking en route charges to service levels. French moves - Lufthansa's French partner Regional Airlines has bought a 34% stake in Flandre Air, a franchise of British Airways subsidiary Air Liberté. French start-up Aerolignes, meanwhile, is taking over Flandre's French domestic routes. Virgin buy-back - Virgin Express will buy back up to $15 million of its shares in the open market, initially repurchasing $7 million-worth.

Source: Airline Business