UK's BAA stated (15-Sep-2011) it would be seeking a judicial review of the Competition Commission’s decision requiring it to sell Stansted and either Edinburgh or Glasgow Airport. The challenge relates to the Competition Commission’s consideration of whether there have been material changes of circumstances since its original 2009 decision such that it is not necessary or appropriate to require BAA to divest Stansted. BAA will be submitting the application for judicial review to the Competition Appeal Tribunal on 16-Sep-2011. Ferrovial-owned BAA has already lost an appeal to the Competition Commission (Bloomberg/Reuters/This is Money/Travelmole/Airport-World/Airports International/This is London/Express and Star, 15-Sep-2011). Ryanair condemned (15-Sep-2011) the appeal, stating it would delay the sale of Stansted for a further 12 months. "This is yet another legal delay to the sale of Stansted, which has been repeatedly delayed by Ferrovial/BAA's legal manoeuvrings," the LCC said. It has already been two years since BAA was ordered to sell the UK airports, but the company is arguing the market has changed significantly since the original decision was announced. Since then, the Coalition Government has ruled out an additional runway for London Heathrow, it said. [more - original PR from BAA] [more - original PR from Ryanair]
BAA to appeal against forced sale of Stansted and either Edinburgh or Glasgow
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The big five can be expanded into a big seven to include Turkish Airlines and the Aeroflot Group, although these two had contrasting growth rates in 2016. A chasing pack of middle sized airline groups includes three LCCs (Norwegian, Pegasus and Wizz Air) and three legacy airlines with varying challenges to establishing sustainable profitability (SAS, Air Berlin Group and Alitalia).
Most of the faster growing airline groups in the top 20 are LCCs and the main growth drivers for Europe's big three legacy groups are their LCC subsidiaries. Just outside the top 20 are some fast growing legacy airlines in Eastern Europe, demonstrating the potential there. Nevertheless, unless there is a big merger or acquisition, Ryanair looks set to remain at number one for some time.
Alitalia: "everyone has to pull in the same direction" – ongoing issues, and viability is at stake.
After Alitalia’s board approved the second phase of its business plan on 22-Dec-2016, CEO Cramer Ball stressed the importance of achieving the support of its workforce. He said, “Everyone has to pull in the same direction to make Alitalia a viable, sustainable success story and help the airline achieve its ambition of long-term growth and profitability”. Alitalia suffered strike action from some flight crew in 2016.
Full details of the plan, which has received the support of Italy's government, have not yet been made public. Alitalia's network strategy includes further long haul growth and a reworking of its short haul operation, with an emphasis on feeding long haul via Rome and Milan. Other elements of the plan include cost-cutting, reduced headcount and possible changes to joint venture agreements. Details are to be presented to Alitalia’s workforce in Jan-2017.
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