News for Europe/MEA

AFI KLM E&M testing eddy-current inspection technology at Amsterdam engine unit

17 August, 2017

AFI KLM E&M director innovations James Kornberg confirmed trials of non-destructive testing eddy-current inspection technology at the company's Amsterdam engine unit (MRO Network, 16-Aug-2017). Mr Kornberg said efficiency increases through automation, made possible by the technology, "has resulted in a 50% reduction of process time with the ability to test with efficient use of resources". Mr Kornberg also confirmed collaborations with Donecle, a French drone aircraft inspection manufacturer, to develop a system of autonomous drones to detect airframe defects.

El Al CEO confirms plans to take delivery of 787-9 in Aug-2017

17 August, 2017

El Al CEO David Maimon confirmed (16-Aug-2017) the carrier's first Boeing 787-9 aircraft will arrive in Aug-2017 and enter service in Aug/Sep-2017. Mr Maimon added: "This plane is the first out of 16 to reach by the end of 2020". CFO Dganit Palti said the carrier paid "advances totaling approx USD24 million for the aircraft it has acquired" in 2Q2017. [more - original PR]

airberlin to choose bank to finance insolvency by Nov-2017

17 August, 2017

airberlin appointed specialist insolvency lawyer Dr Frank Kebekus of Kebekus et Zimmermann and Dr Lucas Flöther of Flöther & Wissing to direct the airline's insolvency proceedings (Wirtschaftswoche/Berliner Zeitung, 15/16-Aug-2017). Dr Kebekus expects the carrier's employees to be paid salaries as usual in Aug/Sep/Oct-2017. He added: "we will finance the insolvency with a bank" in Nov-2017.

Partnership for Open and Fair Skies: Gulf subsidies are 'distorting the market'

17 August, 2017
Partnership for Open and Fair Skies, via its official Twitter account, stated (16-Aug-2017) American workers will "win" if they work under a level playing field, tweeting that "illegal Gulf carrier subsidies are distorting the market & putting American jobs at risk". 

airberlin CEO commends speed of German Government bridging loan

17 August, 2017

airberlin CEO Thomas Winkelmann commented on the German Government's EUR150 million bridging loan, stating: "The speed with which all parties in the government worked impressed me... We avoided a national disaster" (Die Zeit/The Business Times, 16/17-Aug-2017). Mr Winkelmann reportedly expects the airberlin brand to eventually dematerialise, as rival carriers express interest in the carrier.

Samoan PM confirms plan for Samoa Airways to lease Boeing 737 from Icelandair Group

17 August, 2017
Samoa's Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi stated Samoa Airways will lease a Boeing 737 from Icelandair Group by Nov-2017, allowing the carrier to resume international services ( Secretary, 17-Aug-2017). Mr Malielegaoi said the carrier will concentrate on the Apia-Auckland, Apia-Sydney and Apia-Brisbane routes, as research "confirmed that the three routes have huge revenue potentials and it fits perfectly with our partnership with Fiji Airways".

IAG purchases 310,074 company shares in buy back programme

16 August, 2017

IAG purchased (15-Aug-2017) 310,074 ordinary shares of EUR0.50 each in the capital of the company on 14-Aug-2017. All of the shares will be held in treasury until cancelled. Following the purchase, IAG holds 52,935,234 treasury shares, and issued share capital consists of 2,080,053,509 shares (excluding shares held as treasury shares). [more - original PR]

Ryanair lodges competition complaints around airberlin insolvency proceedings

15 August, 2017

Ryanair lodged (15-Aug-2017) competition complaints with the German Bundeskartellamt and the EU Commission regarding the "obvious conspiracy playing out in Germany", between the German Government, Lufthansa and airberlin, to "carve up" airberlin's assets. Ryanair also alleged the parties are "excluding major competitors and ignoring both EU competition and State Aid rules". Ryanair stated: "This manufactured insolvency is clearly being set up to allow Lufthansa to take over a debt free Air Berlin which will be in breach of all known German and EU competition rules". [more - original PR] [more - CAPA Analysis]

airberlin files for insolvency proceedings, Etihad intends to no longer offer financial support

15 August, 2017

airberlin filed (15-Aug-2017) to commence insolvency proceedings, in order to continue with "the restructuring process that is already underway". The proceedings are due to Etihad Airways intending to no longer provide airberlin with financial support. airberlin stated Germany's Federal Government, Lufthansa and other partners are "supporting airberlin in its restructuring efforts", with the Federal Government offering an EUR150 million bridging loan to maintain flight operations. The carrier confirmed all services operated by airberlin and NIKI will continue as planned, bookings remain valid and all services can still be booked. Etihad Airways stated the development is "extremely disappointing for all parties, especially as Etihad provided "extensive support to airberlin for its previous liquidity challenges and restructuring efforts over the past six years". Etihad provided EUR250 million in additional funding to airberlin in Apr-2017, however stated: "airberlin's business has deteriorated at an unprecedented pace, preventing it from overcoming its significant challenges and from implementing alternative strategic solutions". Etihad intends to "support airberlin's management during these difficult times", while emphasising: "we have a commercial relationship with airberlin across a range of areas, including codeshare operations". [more - original PR - airberlin] [more - original PR - German - BMVI] [more - original PR - German - ver.di union] [more - original PR - Etihad] [more - BMVI video] [more - CAPA Analysis]

New CEO and chairman appointed at Air Senegal: reports

15 August, 2017

Senegal's President Macky Sall reportedly appointed Philippe Bohn as Air Senegal CEO, replacing Mamadou Lamine Sow ( Business/, 14-Aug-2017). Mr Sow was appointed chairman, replacing Thierno Niane.

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