ASL Aviation Group (ASL) signed (16-Nov-2012) an agreement to acquire TNT Airways and Pan Air Líneas Aéreas from TNT Express. ASL said the integration of the airlines will "strengthen the company’s capabilities and ensure that it continues to provide customers with first class and reliable professional service. This transaction represents a unique opportunity for ASL to be in a position to provide services to the major integrators and assert itself as the neutral provider of airline services to the major express integrators in Europe." ASL also owns Air Contractors, Europe Airpost and Safair. The transfer is conditional on, and will become effective immediately prior to, completion of the proposed merger between UPS and TNT Express. The change of ownership and control will ensure continuity of TNT Express operations after the merger, in compliance with EU airline ownership and control rules. TNT Express interim CEO Bernard Bot said, "We have found a new ownership and control structure that secures the future of the airlines, ensures service continuity and safeguards jobs in Liège. This is an important step towards completion of the proposed UPS-TNT Express merger and a positive outcome for the airline employees." [more - original PR - ASL Aviation Group] [more - original PR - TNT Express]
ASL Aviation Group to acquire TNT Airways and Pan Air Líneas Aéreas
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Three of IAG's four operating airlines improved their margin in 1H2016 but Vueling's declined, since the external disruption affected it the most. Vueling's operating margin has been on a downward trend since its acquisition by IAG in 2013. Its capacity growth plans for FY2016 have now been trimmed, also scaling back the group's growth for the year.
IAG now expects 2016 operating profit growth of a low single-digit percentage, much less than the 40% increase previously anticipated but still an increase. This outlook is more positive than that given recently by Lufthansa, which expects a fall in profit this year. Moreover, IAG remains a higher margin group than either of Lufthansa or Air France-KLM, and should be better placed if there is to be a full-scale downturn.
Europe's aviation strike spike could signal a cyclical peak - with downturn to follow
One swallow does not make a spring and nor does a rash of aviation strike news guarantee a turning point for the aviation industry. But the signs are ominous. In the month of Jun-2016 (to 20-Jun-2016), there have been 136 articles on CAPA's website mentioning the word 'strike'. This compares with 81 for the first 20 days of Jun-2015. For 2016 so far (1-Jan-2016 to 20-Jun-2016), the 's' word has occurred in 594 articles – about 20% more than in the same period in each of the past two years. If this rate continues, 2016 could be the biggest year for strike-related articles since before the global financial crisis.
The vast majority of the Jun-2016 articles – 80% – relate to Europe. A significant source is air traffic control disputes, particularly French ATC. There have also been strikes and/or strike threats involving airport workers and ground handlers. Among European airlines, Air France has generated the most coverage for its ongoing dispute with its pilots, and it may also face a cabin crew strike. Lufthansa has not yet faced a strike by its employees this year, but has not yet reached new agreements with pilots or cabin crew after industrial action last year.
History tells us that labour's demands grow as profits rise. The apparent increase in industrial action this year could be a signal of an approaching peak in the airline profit cycle. There are other causes of unrest, such as impending French labour legislation, but the correlation reflects some history.