News for Europe/MEA

WOW air wants a partner by 2019

5 September, 2017

WOW air CEO Skuli Mogensen confirmed plans to seek a partner within the next two years to 2019 (Bloomberg/E24, 01-Sep-2017). Mr Mogensen said the ideal partner should invest more than just monetary value: "We need someone who can help us get into new markets, and anyone who can make sure we get good deals on new aircraft, which is our biggest expense at the moment". The carrier reportedly received several expressions of interest from international companies.

Etihad Airways vows to increase investment in Chinese market

5 September, 2017

China's Ambassador to the UAE Ni Jian met with Etihad Airways CEO Peter Baumgartner on 28-Aug-2017. Mr Baumgartner said the carrier attaches great importance to the Chinese market, adding it will further increase investment in the Chinese market, seeking to expand new routes to China and continuously improve the level of service. Mr Ni said the rapid development of China-UAE relations in recent years has resulted in increasing travel from China to the UAE, adding the cooperation potential between the countries is "huge". [more - original PR - Chinese]

EU Commission approves EUR150m bridging loan for airberlin

5 September, 2017

EU Commission approved (04-Sep-2017) the German Government's plans to grant a "temporary" EUR150 million bridging loan to airberlin. The Commission expects the measure "will allow for the orderly wind down of the insolvent airline Air Berlin without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market". German public credit institution KfW will provide a credit facility of up to EUR150 million to airberlin over the coming months. The Commission noted the loan will be paid out in installments under "stringent conditions", which include airberlin demonstrating its liquidity needs on a weekly basis, and new installments will only be paid when all existing liquidity has been used. The Commission confirmed Germany is "committed to ensure that either the loan will be fully repaid, or Germany will submit a winding down plan for Air Berlin". [more - original PR]

Qatar Airways offers special introductory fares for several Canberra-Europe services 

5 September, 2017
Qatar Airways opened "special introductory fares" for several Canberra-Europe services scheduled to launch from 13-Feb-2018 (Brisbane Times, 04-Sep-2017). The carrier plans to launch service from Canberra to 23 destinations throughout Europe in Feb-2018.

Amsterdam Schiphol reports successful 'small bags only' security lanes trial, extends service

4 September, 2017

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport reported (04-Sep-2017) its 'small bags only' security lanes trial saw 95% of passengers wait between zero and 10 minutes. As previously reported by CAPA, Schiphol trialled a dedicated security lane for passengers with no baggage or small bags during Jul/Aug-2017. Additionally, 15% to 20% more passengers passed through the 'small bags only' security lanes compared to regular security lanes. Schiphol subsequently extended the service up to and including the autumn holiday period. [more - original PR - English/Dutch]

Qantas and El Al commence codeshare agreement

4 September, 2017

Qantas Airways launched (04-Sep-2017) a codeshare agreement with El Al Airlines on 04-Sep-2017 for travel from 12-Sep-2017. Qantas will codeshare on El Al operated services from Hong Kong, Bangkok and Johannesburg to Tel Aviv, while El Al will codeshare on Qantas operated services from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Hong Kong, as well as on Sydney-Bangkok and Sydney-Johannesburg services. [more - original PR]

Air Mauritius to support creation of new national carrier in Ghana

4 September, 2017

Mauritius' Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth and Ghana's Minister for Aviation Cecilia Abena Dapaah held (30-Aug-2017) a meeting on 30-Aug-2017 focused mainly on the possibility of a JV between Air Mauritius and Ghana. Air Mauritius chairman Dr Arjoon Suddhoo said Ghana's Government is seeking assistance from the airline to launch a new national carrier. The parties also agreed on a business plan for Air Mauritius to expand in Africa. Air Mauritius CEO Somaskaran T Appavou said a team from both countries is holding talks on establishing the new carrier. Mr Appavou and Ms Dapaah signed a MoU regarding the project on 31-Aug-2017 (defimedia.info, 01-Sep-2017). [more - original PR]

SAA confirms plans to transfer services to partner airlines

4 September, 2017

South African Airways (SAA) confirmed (31-Aug-2017) plans to adjust its domestic and regional network as part of a five year corporate plan designed to return the airline to financial stability. The network changes aim to optimise SAA's schedule by transferring services to other airline partners. SAA will maintain its SA flight code on services operated by "sister airlines". [more - original PR] [more - original PR - II]

CityJet to suspend London City-Antwerp service in Oct-2017

4 September, 2017

Antwerp International Airport announced (01-Sep-2017) CityJet plans to suspend London City-Antwerp service, effective 27-Oct-2017. Passengers who have booked travel after the suspension date will offered full refunds. Antwerp Airport stated it is seeking another carrier to operate the "historic route". [more - original PR - Dutch]

Kyrgyzstan's Government considers plans to sign MoU on fifth freedom rights

4 September, 2017

Kyrgyzstan's Government reportedly entered a review of plans to sign a MoU on the provision of fifth freedom rights to foreign airlines from the EU, Southeast Asia, Near East and Middle East (Tazabek, 02-Sep-2017). The project would see the development of Bishkek Manas International Airport as a hub for passengers and cargo. A positive decision is expected to help attract investors for the establishment of a national carrier with joint foreign ownership.

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