TAP Portugal CEO Fernando Pinto said the carrier's privatisation process will be relaunched in Sep-2013 (Jornal Noticias, 04-Jun-2013). Mr Pinto said, "From September we will restart the process of privatisation and this will create more investment capacity for the company." Meanwhile, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Lufthansa and TAM Airlines are reportedly not interested in making a bid for the carrier (Publico, 04-Jun-2013). As previously reported by CAPA, Portugal's Transport Secretary Sergio Monteiro recently said the carrier's privatisation would be relaunched once favourable market conditions existed and that this would likely be in 2H2013. Synergy Group owner and previous bidder German Efromovich retains his interest in the carrier, while JetBlue Airways and Azul founder David Neeleman is also reportedly interested.
TAP CEO says privatisation to be relaunched in Sep-2013; Emirates, Qatar, TAM and Lufthansa out
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The A380 is once again under media scrutiny, despite there being no major movement on the type. Comments from Air France and Qantas about not taking further A380s have long been assumed, and it has been apparent that Malaysia Airlines does not even have the need for its A380s. Singapore Airlines not renewing the lease on its first A380 is hardly surprising, and offers no definitive conclusion about the A380 or second-hand market; early A380s had different production and are not as efficient as later models. The lack of movement on the A380neo continues to irk the model's largest customer by far, Emirates, and may not make for a productive relationship as Emirates weighs an A350 or 787 order.
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Cathay-Lufthansa air freight JV an example of responses to the growing role of Gulf airlines
Among the challenges in the continuing weak air freight market is the role of Gulf airlines moving freight between Europe and Asia. Gulf airlines have already well proven themselves adept at moving people between many markets (some argue unprofitably so) but though their role in freight is quieter it is not without consequences.
Gulf airlines can offer dedicated freighter flights from cargo hubs to their home bases, where cargo is then transferred to lower-cost passenger belly space. European and Asian airlines typically fly freighter aircraft, with more expensive costs, over the entire journey. As a result, freighter flights between Asia and Europe have significantly decreased. Gulf airlines have bulked up freighters since 2012, in addition to doubling passenger flights to Europe and Asia since about 2010, creating ample belly space for freight.
In response to this is a growing, but still small, number of joint ventures, including Lufthansa-ANA and IAG-Qatar. Both were comfortably within Star and oneworld alliance groupings, but a recent JV formation between Star's Lufthansa and oneworld's Cathay Pacific indicates that solutions to the weak cargo market must be deeper.