Category Archives: British Airways

British Airways to add London Gatwick-Vienna service

British Airways (London) will add the London (Gatwick) – Vienna, Austria route on September 17. The carrier will operate six days a week with Airbus A319s according to Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Airbus A319-131 G-EUPE (msn 1193) taxies at London (Heathrow).

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International Airlines Group reports higher earnings in 2014 due to Iberia turnaround

International Airlines Group (IAG) (British Airways, Iberia and Vueling Airlines) (London and Madrid) presented Group consolidated results for the year to December 31, 2014:

IAG period highlights on results:

Fourth quarter operating profit €260 million (2013: operating profit of €113 million) before exceptional items

Revenue for the quarter up 9.9 per cent to €5,015 million, up 5.8 per cent at constant currency

Non-fuel unit costs for the quarter down 0.8 per cent at constant currency

Operating profit for the year to December 31, 2014 of €1,390 million (2013: operating profit of €770 million) before exceptional items

Revenue for the year up 8.0 per cent to €20,170 million and passenger unit revenue for the year down 0.4 per cent at constant currency

Fuel unit costs for the year down 7.8 per cent also down 7.8 per cent at constant currency.

Non-fuel unit costs before exceptional items for the year down 1.9 per cent, down 3.9 per cent at constant currency

Cash of €4,944 million at December 31, 2014 was up €1,311 million on 2013 year end

Adjusted gearing up 1 point to 51 per cent and adjusted net debt to EBITDAR improved 0.6 to 1.9 times

Willie Walsh, IAG Chief Executive Officer, said:

“We’re reporting strong full year results with an operating profit before exceptional items of €1,390 million which is up 80.5 per cent. Total revenue was up 8.0 per cent with non-fuel costs up 7.0 per cent and fuel costs up 0.6 per cent on capacity growth of 9.3 per cent.

“Iberia made an operating profit of €50 million compared to an operating loss of €166 million last year. The airline’s turnaround has been remarkable, both financially and operationally, and we’re very proud of its achievement especially its strong cost discipline. In 2013 we said our intention was for Iberia to breakeven in 2014 and it has fulfilled that promise.

“British Airways’ operating profit increased to €1,215 million up from €762 million last year which shows significant progress towards its long term targets. Vueling made an operating profit of €141 million, compared to an operating profit of €139 million in 2013, with the airline focusing on flexible growth.

“We achieved a strong unit cost performance, down 4.1 per cent, through increased productivity, supplier cost savings and lower fuel unit costs. The latter was boosted by the introduction of more efficient aircraft into our fleet and lower fuel prices in the last quarter of the year. However, the positive effect of the oil price reduction has been partly offset by hedging and significant currency impact.

“In the quarter, we made an operating profit before exceptional items of €260 million which is up from €113 million last year. Revenue for the quarter was up 9.9 per cent. Non-fuel costs were up 10.5 per cent and fuel costs decreased by 0.4 per cent on capacity growth of 5.8 per cent.”

Copyright Photo: Iberia Airbus A321-211 EC-JQZ (msn 2736) taxies at London’s Heathrow Airport.

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British Airways unveils its “GREAT Festival of Creativity in Shanghai” special livery on G-YMML

British Airways 777-200 G-YMML (15-GREAT Festival of Creativity)(Grd) LHR (DAP)(LRW)

British Airways (London) today rolled out at London Heathrow its brand new promotional livery on this Boeing 777-236 ER registered as G-YMML (msn 30313). The airline issued this statement about the new design:

“BA’s paint bay teams have brought a fantastic design, created by Chinese fashion designer Masha Ma, to life.

The Boeing 777-200 is a centrepiece of the airline’s contribution to the GREAT Festival of Creativity in Shanghai.

 

Click on the photo above for the full-size view.

The design by Ma on the Boeing 777-200 aircraft, depicts a bamboo and a rose in an east-meets-west fusion of symbols and artistic styles.

British Airways 777-200 G-YMML (15-GREAT Festival of Creativity)(Logo) LHR (SA)(LR)

The Engineering team used specialist techniques to paint the aircraft with Ma’s design which combines a western impressionistic style with Chinese ink-and-wash painting techniques. The design took 2,472 manhours and 186 individual stencils to apply.

The festival, which runs from March 2 to 4 at the Long Museum in Shanghai, is part of the GREAT Britain campaign aimed at promoting the UK as a world-class destination for trade, tourism, investment and education to generate jobs and growth”.

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Qatar Airways acquires a stake in IAG

Qatar Airways (Doha) has bought a 9.99 per cent stake in British Airways’ owner International Airlines Group (IAG), becoming the company’s largest shareholder.

The move will cement a close commercial relationship between BA and the airline, whose owner, the Qatari government, is a significant investor in Britain.

Willie Walsh, chief executive of International Airlines Group, the BA owner, said in : “We’re delighted to have Qatar Airways, one of the world’s premier airlines, as a long-term supportive shareholder. We will talk to them about what opportunities exist to work more closely together and further IAG’s ambitions as the leading global airline group.”

BA sponsored Qatar’s entry into the Oneworld airline alliance, and they also have a cargo partnership. Qatar has indicated it would seek to extend ties following the investment, which could include codeshares on flights via the Gulf state, allowing the airlines to sell tickets on each other’s planes.

Akbar Al Baker, the Qatar airline’s CEO said: “IAG represents an excellent opportunity to further develop our westwards strategy.”

Qatar Airways is prohibited from owning more than a minority stake in IAG under EU ownership rules and said it does not currently intend to increase its 9.99% shareholding.

Report by Assistant Editor Oliver Wilcock from Manchester.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Qatar Airways’ second Airbus A380, the pictured A380-861 A7-APB (msn 143) completes its final approach to London’s Heathrow Airport, the home of IAG’s British Airways.

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Will Aer Lingus now accept IAG’s new raised cash bid to acquire the Irish carrier?

Aer Lingus (Dublin) is now expected to recommend a takeover by the International Airlines Group-IAG (London) (British Airways, Iberia and Vueling Airlines) according to a report today by The Irish Times. This change of heart comes after the IAG raised its bid for the flag carrier to a €2.50 ($2.80) a share cash bid. The offer could face opposition from the Irish government. If accepted and approved, Aer Lingus would join the Oneworld alliance.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Aer Lingus controls valuable slots at London’s Heathrow Airport. Airbus A320-214 EI-DEF (msn 2256) completes its final approach to Heathrow.

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IAG reveals failed Aer Lingus bid

International Airlines Group (IAG) (London), the parent company of British Airways (Heathrow), Iberia (Madrid) and low cost carrier Vueling Airlines (Barcelona), has revealed that the board of Aer Lingus (Dublin) has rejected a potential takeover attempt.

IAG confirmed in a stock exchange disclosure it had “submitted a proposal” to make an offer for Aer Lingus, but it added that this was “rejected by the board of Aer Lingus.”

IAG added: “There can be no certainty that any further proposal or offer will be forthcoming. A further statement will be made if and when appropriate,”.

“The board has reviewed the Proposal and believes that it fundamentally undervalues Aer Lingus and its attractive prospects. Accordingly, the Proposal was rejected on 16 December 2014,” Aer Lingus said in a stock market disclosure. “Shareholders are strongly advised to take no action.”

This is not the first time Aer Lingus has been the target of a takeover bid. Irish competitor Ryanair (Dublin) has made several attempts to acquire its fellow Irish carrier, but each of these efforts has been blocked on competition grounds.

Last September, a UK Competition Commission (UKCC) investigation into these unsuccessful Ryanair bids revealed that Aer Lingus was looking to combine with another carrier in 2012 and has more recently explored a variety of merger and acquisition scenarios. They also revealed that several sets of talks relating to Aer Lingus acquiring, merging and forming strategic initiatives with other airlines.

Ryanair was ordered to sell its 29.8% stake in Aer Lingus down to 5% by the UKCC, partly based on concerns the shareholding could jeopardize Aer Lingus’ consolidation with other carriers. Ryanair responded by putting its entire stake up for sale, with certain conditions. More recently Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has bemoaned a total lack of interest in the Aer Lingus stake.

O’Leary, speaking at the release of Ryanair’s first-quarter results this summer, said: “We’ve had depressingly received no interest in Aer Lingus stake, which has been up for sale for about 18 months.”

The takeover bid from IAG could have could have valued the Republic’s flag carrier at at least €1 billion, industry sources estimate. Earlier, Aer Lingus shares had jumped 14% after the Financial Times reported that IAG was considering a bid.

Reported by Assistant Editor Oliver Wilcock from Manchester.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Aer Lingus A320-214 EI-DEN (msn 2432) approaches the runway in London (Heathrow).

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