欧盟批准爱琴航空收购奥林匹克航空

在对收购提案进行了为期六个月的竞争后果调查后,欧盟委员会批准爱琴航空收购亏损的奥林匹克航空。

根据约一年前宣布的计划,星空联盟成员爱琴航空将以7200万欧元(9700 万美元)收购奥林匹克航空,后者将成为前者的子公司。

尽管后勤部门及支持部门会合并,但爱琴航空有意保留两个品牌,而每个品牌都将保留独具特色的飞机和航班服务。

前国有航空公司Olympic Airlines于2009年实行私有化后更名为Olympic Air,主要提供国内航线服务,包括很多公益性服务部门。

欧盟委员会负责竞争事务的副总裁Joaquín Almunia表示:“显然,由于希腊危机仍在继续以及奥林匹克航空自己的财务状况举步维艰,因此,无论如何,该公司都会于不久后被迫离开市场。再者,由于收购不会对竞争构成任何其它负面影响,因此我们予以放行。”

报告指出,希腊经济危机已使从雅典出发的国内航空旅客人数下降了26%——从2009年的610万人次降到2012年的450万人次,而与上年同期相比,2013年上半年这一旅客运输量又下降了6.3%。

爱琴航空表示,做出收购决定的依据“证明要在希腊航空市场内生存下去绝对有必要开展规模经济”。

欧盟委员会在解释批准此次收购的原因——2011 年类似收购却以竞争为由遭到拒绝——时表示,如果奥林匹克航空倒闭,那么爱琴航空就会成为唯一一个重要的国内服务提供商并会取得奥林匹克现有的市场份额。

Thai AirAsia X set to fly with air operator’s licence

KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia X Bhd’s associate Thai AirAsia X Co. Ltd (TAAX) has received an air operator’s licence from Department of Civil Aviation of Thailand.

It said on Friday that TAAX had officially received the approval for the licence the previous day. TAAX had submitted its application on June 20.

AirAsia X, which is a low-cost, long-haul air transportation services company, holds a 49% stake in TAAX.

Two Thai citizens Tassapon Bijleveld and Julpas Kruesopon own 41% and 9% stakes respectively.

Tassapon is also the CEO of Thai AirAsia Co., Ltd since 2003. He also serves as a director of Asia Aviation Co., Ltd, which is a major shareholder of TAA.

As for Julpas, he is the president of Panda Security (US & Asia Pacific) since 2009.

AirAsia Zest to lease new planes by 2015

Budget airline AirAsia Zest, which was recently renamed from Zest Airways, is aiming to grow its fleet by 50 percent in two years as it seeks to tap new destinations in the country and overseas, an official said on Friday.

AirAsia Zest director Joy Caneba said in an interview that discussions were being held to acquire via lease deals as many as seven mid-range Airbus A320s through 2015, to end that period with 21 planes.

The expansions comes amid commitments of support from the AirAsia Group of Malaysian tycoon Tony Fernandes, which earlier said it would infuse about $100 million into the budget carrier established by juice magnate Alfredo Yao in 2008.

The move would also increase Air Asia Zest’s market share, currently at about 10 percent of domestic flights, with the lion’s share going to Cebu Pacific, PAL Express and Philippine Airlines.

A longer-term plan, beyond five years, could involve mounting flights to long-haul destinations in Europe or the United States, Caneba said.

“With the rebranding, we have been aligning the business,” Caneba said

More planes will allow the airline to serve new routes in North Asia like Japan and South Korea, as well as parts of China, she said. For domestic flights, the carrier was set to announce three new routes out of Cebu, namely, Davao, Puerto Princesa and Cagayan de Oro.

Prior to rebranding, AirAsia came into Zest Air as a minority investor, given the latter’s attractive slots at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport. AirAsia’s own Philippine unit said it would temporarily stop flights out of Clark International Airport to allow the group to focus on Manila.