SAS’ discounted USD688 million rights issue was over-subscribed by 38% (Reuters, 03-May-2010). SAS launched its rights issue at a heavily discounted price in Apr-2010 as it pushes through a sweeping programme of cost cuts worth USD1.1 billion.
SAS rights issue over-subscribed
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CityJet: regional airline consolidator is re-energised & refocussed after second change of ownership
It is just over six months since CityJet chairman, Pat Byrne, and a group of private investors bought the airline from previous owner Intro Aviation. Meanwhile, CityJet has received its first two Sukhoi Superjets this summer. With 13 more scheduled for delivery by 2018 they will be replacements for its ageing BAE146 fleet at London City Airport, but the Superjet first needs steep approach certification. This will be important in restoring profitability to CityJet's refocused core network at London City.
In addition, CityJet has a growing presence in contract flying for other airlines. It inherited an Air France wet-lease operation at Paris CDG from its days under Air France-KLM ownership and acquired an SAS regional operator a year ago. Recent reports of possible consolidation involving CityJet in the European regional contract flying space demonstrate that it now has a higher profile and greater credibility than at any time for many years.
Although unconfirmed, these reports link CityJet with another SAS regional operator, Cimber, and with Stobart Air, which operates wet-lease capacity for Aer Lingus and Flybe. Even if they do not come to fruition, reports of such transactions are a sign of CityJet's increased status and revitalisation after years of near invisibility as part of Air France-KLM.
Oslo Gardermoen Airport seeks Asian flights to leverage tourism to Norway; perhaps the new Iceland
Oslo Gardermoen Airport has sat out the recent boom in Asian growth. This is not just in comparison to neighbouring Helsinki's rapid Asian growth in tandem with Finnair, but even more broadly. Norway is the largest Western European country without a flight to China, and is the smallest of Western European countries with flights to Asia. Its only destination is Bangkok.
This is a juxtaposition to Norway's strong credentials: maritime and gas businesses, a wealthy population (much more so than Finland's) for outbound travel, and untapped year-round tourism opportunity – not just for Oslo but for all of Norway, from fjords in the summer to northern lights in the winter.
New management at Oslo airport wants to regain the initiative in Asia. Norway has the credentials to follow Iceland's sudden rise in tourism, especially from China. Management is considering foreign airlines, since SAS is in low-growth mode and has historically favoured Copenhagen, and Norwegian Air Shuttle lacks US approval for the NAI license it seeks – but perhaps more importantly is unable to access Russian overflight rights.