TNT Express N.V. (Hoofddorp) has announced the conditional sale of 100% of the equity interest in its subsidiary TNT Airways SA (TAY) (Liege) and Pan Air Lineas Aereas SA (PNR) (Madrid) to ASL Aviation Group Limited (Dublin). The transfer is conditional on and will become effective immediately prior to completion of the proposed UPS-TNT Express merger.
This change of ownership and control will ensure service continuity of the TNT Express operations after the completion of the proposed merger, in compliance with EU airline ownership and control rules .
ASL Aviation Group is an established European group of aviation companies, which currently includes three airlines (including Air Contractors), two support services companies and various leasing entities. ASL Aviation Group holds a European air operator license and operates and owns a fleet of about 90 aircraft in use for freight and passenger services. ASL Aviation Group employs close to 1,200 personnel and generated revenues of around €410 million in 2011. ASL Aviation Group is owned by Compagnie Maritime Belge N.V. (51%) and 3P Air Freighters Ltd (49%).
ASL Aviation Group will take over all flights performed by TNT Express’ airlines. ASL Aviation Group has entered into a service contract that will maintain service continuity. ASL Aviation Group will become a key third-party provider of the combined UPS-TNT Express group and will be invited to bid for all of the combined group’s outsourced air business in Europe when this becomes open to tender. Alongside its commercial agreement with UPS-TNT Express, ASL Aviation Group expects to develop further its third-party airline and maintenance businesses.
Almost all employees of the airlines will stay with the airlines except for a small number of employees who will transfer to the TNT Express’ Liège hub due to the nature of their work. As part of the transaction, ASL Aviation Group has committed to comply with applicable laws and regulations to respect all individual employee rights, covenants and benefits as exist under current ownership.
TNT Express does not expect the airlines ownership transfer to impact activities at TNT Express’ hub in Liège for at least one year following completion of the proposed UPS-TNT Express merger. Further, ASL Aviation Group intends to maintain the TNT Airways headquarters in Liège. UPS recognizes the significant value of TNT Express’ operations, assets and people in Liège and will develop longer-term plans for the hub, with involvement of employees’ representatives, the Walloon Region and Liège Airport.
Copyright Photo: Pedro Baptista/Flyingphotos. Boeing 737-45D OO-TNP (msn 27256) of TNT Airways completes its final approach into Lisbon.