Vueling announced (10-Aug-2013) plans to replace its board of directors and name current CEO Alex Cruz as chairman of the board, following the takeover by International Airlines Group (IAG) and subsequent de-listing. An agreement was reached at an IAG board meeting, with Vueling's current board and chairman Josep Piqué to submit their resignations "shortly". The carrier plans to begin "a new phase of its development under the control of IAG with a new board of directors made up of IAG executives yet to be announced." The new board will be "more operational and focused on the day-to-day activities of the airline", chaired by Mr Cruz. Mr Cruz plans to "cooperate closely" with Mr Pique, and said, "All the growth challenges managed by Vueling...have been achieved thanks to the great contribution and vision of each member of the board, who have wisely guided the company in the right direction over the past four years." [more - original PR]
Vueling to replace board of directors and name CEO Alex Cruz as new chairman
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Traffic at the airport held up relatively well during the second phase of Spain's 'double-dip' recession in 2011 to 2013, but its passenger growth has lagged that of the country as a whole since then. The mix of airlines has been in some flux, with Palma's leading airline airberlin gradually losing share to LCCs and the seat-only sales of charter airlines. Ryanair, number two at the airport, has returned to capacity growth there in 2016 after two years of cuts.
Eurowings' new base at Palma in May-2017 will follow the establishment of bases at the airport by easyJet and Norwegian in 2016. It is certainly a market that seems to attract the interest of Europe's leisure-focused airlines, but strong capacity growth at Palma (and elsewhere in Spain) increases the downward pressure on yields in a price-sensitive market.
Qatar Airways and Vueling to codeshare as LCC partnerships establish new models
Partnerships of any kind between Europe's principal LCCs and full service airlines are rare. The new codeshare between Qatar Airways and Vueling builds on the interline deal signed between the two in Oct-2014. Moreover, it marks a further deepening of the relationship between the Doha-based super connector and IAG, of which it now owns 20%. Vueling joins IAG-owned airline British Airways in codesharing with Qatar Airways, but the new agreement is more extensive.
Vueling is now carrying Qatar Airways' QR code on 67 European routes. These routes are from/to Barcelona El Prat and Rome Fiumicino, which are Vueling's two biggest bases, and both served twice daily by Qatar Airways from Doha. The accord significantly expands Qatar's offline network, but the value of this and two-stop connections is difficult to gauge.