Category Archives: Vueling Airlines

Is IAG’s seduction of Aer Lingus working?

International Airlines Group’s (IAG) (British Airways, Iberia and Vueling Airlines) (London) continued seduction of Irish flag carrier Aer Lingus (Dublin) seems to be finally working, as the airline is revealing the positives of a takeover by the owner of British and Spanish flag carriers British Airways (London-Heathrow) and Iberia (Madrid).

In a statement to The Guardian, Christoph Mueller, the clover-tailed carrier’s outgoing CEO says that Ireland’s entire economy will benefit if the International Airlines Group takes over Aer Lingus.

Mueller, who steps down as CEO of the airline this week, said IAG’s £1.02 billion (€1.4 billion) ($1.57 billion) offer to buy Aer Lingus would be the biggest single foreign investment in the Republic since the financial crash.

He continued that there was “a great deal of excitement” that Aer Lingus would be able to create jobs on a much larger scale if IAG took charge of the former state-run airline.

Mueller also stressed that talks between IAG and the Aer Lingus trade unions had been “very constructive”.

Aer Lingus announced on Tuesday that its profits had risen by almost 18% to €72 million ($81.6 million) from the previous year. Total revenue was up by 9.2%. For the first time in the airline’s history the number of passengers has exceeded 11 million.

On the hike in profits and the IAG take-over proposal, Mueller added: We profitably expanded our long-haul network utilizing our cost advantage and favorable geographic position and helped establish Dublin as the 7th largest European hub for transatlantic connections.

“Our short-haul business continued to demonstrate its resilience despite a highly competitive market. Commercial initiatives, in addition to cost control, led to the highest operating profit since the financial crisis and 17.8% above last year.”

Read more from The Guardian: CLICK HERE

Assistant Editor Oliver Wilcock reporting from Manchester.

Update: The Irish government late on February 24 stated it cannot accept the current offer from IAG for Aer Lingus. The government according to the BBC has raised concerns and wants more information before selling its share. Red the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. A takeover by IAG would lead to an updated fleet. Aircraft like this wet leased Air Contractors Boeing 757-2Q8 EI-LBR (msn 28167) would be phased out.

Aer Lingus aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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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.

Qatar Airways aircraft slide show:

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Vueling Airlines’ new promotional Coruña logojet

Vueling.com A320-200 WL EC-LZM (14-La Coruna)(Grd)(Vueling)(LR)

Vueling Airlines (Barcelona) last month introduced this promotional livery for the Spanish province of Coruña on this Airbus A320-232 registered as EC-LZM (msn 5877). This province is located in the northwest section of Spain on the Atlanta Ocean and is one of the four provinces which constitute the autonomous region of Galicia.

Image: Vueling Airlines.

Vueling Airlines aircraft slide show:

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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.

Aer Lingus aircraft slide show:

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Vueling adds three new African destinations from Barcelona

Vueling Airlines (Barcelona) will add Rabat (Morocco), Yerba (Tunisia) and Accra (Ghana) from Barcelona starting on June 20.

The airline will also launch a summer service to Istanbul. From June through October the airline will fly three times a week from Barcelona.

After launching flights to Marrakech in 2009, the airline gradually added new African services and now has 16 routes reaching 11 destinations on the continent: Marrakech, Rabat, Casablanca, Nador, and Fez in Morocco; Tunis and Yerba in Tunisia; Algiers and Oran in Algeria; Dakar in Senegal; Banjul in Gambia; and Accra in Ghana. At 3,960 km, the Barcelona-Ghana route will be the longest operated by the airline.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 EC-LZE (msn 5885) taxies at Palma de Mallorca.

Vueling aircraft slide show:

 

Vueling Airlines announces it has become the first airline in the world to implement a contactless payment method for tickets with a cell phone

Vueling PayPal

Vueling Airlines (Barcelona) claims to have become the first airline in the world to implement a contactless payment method using a cell phone. The airline issued this statement:

Vueling once again leads the pack in technological innovation, become the first airline in the world to implement contactless systems for paying with cell phones. On its app the pioneering Barcelona-based airline has deployed two revolutionary systems —Near Field Communication (NFC), and Scanning— to enable users to automatically enter their personal and credit card data during the purchase process. The two systems are available for telephones using the Android operating system. For security’s sake they are enabled only to fill in the data, but not to complete the purchase. A version for the Apple iOS is initially confined to storing credit card data which can be retrieved only upon detection of the user’s fingerprint when needed for a purchase.

The NFC system reads and transmits wireless data, and it needs a contactless credit card and a terminal enabled for its use. The Scanning system requires only a camera phone to photograph the credit card. The system extracts the necessary data from the photo and transmits it automatically to the app. The service is optional, and can be invoked from the “payment data” screen. There the user may choose one of these options for automatically entering the personal and credit card data needed for a purchase. At the end of the process the user must select “Pay now” to complete the payment.

This new service on Vueling’s app reflects the company’s strategy for giving customers the easiest possible experience that is compatible with security. Vueling’s IT chief Samuel Lacarta comments “We have to take advantage of the speed of technological advances to enable the customer to worry only about when and where to fly, and not waste time copying credit card numbers, for example. If we can do this without compromising security, the customer will have a much simpler experience, which is what technology is for.”

Since launching its website in 2004 and the creation of its cell phone app in 2009, Vueling has been positioned as a leader in the use of technology to smooth and enhance passengers’ travel experience. The cell phone app for iOS and Android, incorporates the airline’s three fare levels, along with a space for flight status information via the Vueling.com website, and the option to use a wearable boarding pass with Sony’s Smartwatch 2.

Vueling Airlines aircraft slide show:

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).

Aer Lingus aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show