Fitch Ratings affirmed (20-Sep-2010) Germany’s long-term foreign and local currency issuer default ratings at AAA with a "stable" outlook, with the ratings agency also affirming Germany’s country ceiling at AAA and and short-term foreign currency IDR at F1+. Fitch stated the country's economic outlook has been enhanced by a robust macro-economic performance, mostly due to a strong recovery of exports and a pickup in investments, adding that Germany's recovery has taken a clear 'V' shape and is not at risk of dipping back into recession. Fitch raised its growth forecast for the country's 2010 GDP from 1.6% to 3.6%, although in the medium term that pace is likely to taper off, with the outlook for 2011 and 2012 at around 2%. Fitch warned that the banking sector will continue to be a source of potential risk. [more]Fitch Ratings: "Germany's economic outlook has been enhanced, not only by its recent robust macroeconomic performance - mostly due to a strong recovery of exports and a pickup in investments - but also by its resilient labour market, with unemployment reaching a low not seen since 1991. On a more fundamental level, Germany continues to command one of the world's strongest net international investment positions (at 38% of GDP in 2009), affording it safe-haven investment status, as reflected in its benchmark spreads that have tightened significantly during the euro area crisis," Maria Malas-Mroueh, Associate Director in Fitch's Sovereign team.
Fitch affirms Germany's rating; cites solid economic recovery
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Ryanair and Fraport announced on 2-Nov-2016 that the Irish ultra-LCC will open its 85th base at Frankfurt Airport, Lufthansa's main hub. Ryanair will base two aircraft at the airport and launch four new leisure routes in Mar-2017. With a daily departure to each of Alicante, Faro, Malaga and Palma de Mallorca, it expects to attract 400,000 passengers pa.
Although Ryanair has been increasing its primary airport presence for some time, CEO Michael O'Leary had previously said that Frankfurt Airport was one of the few, alongside London Heathrow and Paris CDG, that Ryanair would not serve. Frankfurt was seen not only as too expensive, but also as too congested for Ryanair's short turnaround times. Details of Ryanair's agreement with Frankfurt Airport have not been disclosed, but it is likely that the airline has secured favourable terms in return for traffic growth targets.
Ryanair's move into Frankfurt is relatively small compared with its operations in Berlin Schoenefeld and Cologne/Bonn, but this development supports its growth ambitions in Germany. Ryanair's average revenue per passenger is half that of Lufthansa's network airlines. Its move increases the competitive pressure on Germany's national airline.
Airberlin: airline's latest, more radical, restructuring gets help from TUIFly and Lufthansa
Airberlin's operations are to be split into three. First, there will be a core network airline with hubs in Berlin and Duesseldorf, deploying approximately half the current Air Berlin Group fleet. Second, there are plans for a new leisure airline, combining part of airberlin's fleet with TUIFly. Third, a significant part of airberlin's fleet will be wet-leased to the Lufthansa Group.
As a result of these moves the operating fleet of the core airberlin network airline will slip from second to third in Germany and risks becoming subscale. Eurowings will rise from third to second, and the expanded new TUIFly will go from fifth to fourth (overtaking Thomas Cook Group's Condor).
For several years airberlin has been unable to break the cycle of losses and successive restructuring initiatives, in spite of repeated bailouts from airberlin's 29% shareholder Etihad. A number of details are still to be clarified. These include the detailed route networks for the different operators, the network airline's strategy for feed, and the balance of charter versus scheduled flights in the new leisure airline. However, for now and with help from competitors and Etihad, airberlin looks to have ensured at least some kind of future.