Tag Archives: Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus swings to the red for 2014

Aer Lingus (Dublin), adding to our previous story, reported a net loss of €95.8 million ($107.8 million) for 2014, reversing the €34.1 million ($38.3 million) net profit for 2013.

Christoph Mueller Aer Lingus’ CEO commented: “The year 2014 proved the strength of our “value carrier” business model across both our short and long haul businesses. 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 trans-Atlantic 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.

The focus on our business is unabated and in the coming months we will invest in our customer proposition and distribution model in addition to reducing costs. Now that the complex IASS pension funding issues have been addressed, we are re-launching our CORE program, starting with the introduction of a new voluntary severance scheme at the beginning of this year.

I am delighted to hand the reins to Stephen Kavanagh at the end of this week. I know that the entire Aer Lingus team has a lot of work planned for 2015 and I am confident that they will drive further improvements in profitability, customer satisfaction and employee engagement.”

International Consolidated Airlines Group, S.A. (IAG” offer update:

1. Board willing to recommend the financial terms of IAG’s offer to shareholders

2. Compelling strategic rationale and significant benefits for Aer Lingus, its current and future employees, its customers and for Ireland. The combination would:

A. Enhance Ireland’s position as a natural hub for Europe on the North Atlantic; Accelerate Aer Lingus’ transatlantic, long haul growth plans;

B. Grow employment;

C. Enhance short haul growth;

D. Strengthen Ireland’s connectivity; and Provide access to a global cargo network

3. Aer Lingus has confirmed IAG’s intentions to preserve Aer Lingus as a separate operating business within the group with its own brand, management, head office and operations

Colm Barrington, Aer Lingus Chairman, said: “Our performance in 2014 was strong, with significant growth in long haul and resilient short haul operations. To enhance these excellent results and to accelerate Aer Lingus’ growth, it is the Board’s strong belief that the company should now take the opportunity to combine with IAG. In this combination Aer Lingus will operate as a separate business while gaining access to IAG’s extensive network and benefiting from its scale. These significantly positive benefits will de-risk Aer Lingus’ future, strengthen its operations and enhance the future success of the company .”

The Irish government as we previously report, still has reservations about the sale of the flag carrier to IAG and has requested additional clarification.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-111 EI-EPT (msn 3054) arrives in London (Heathrow).

Aer Lingus Aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

AG Each photo carefully selected

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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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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Ryanair vs Aer Lingus battle takes to Twitter: Is this the ultimate “airline photobomb”?

Aer Lingus-Ryanair Photobomb #1

Aer Lingus-Ryanair Photobomb #2

The everlasting rivalry between Ireland’s two major carriers, Aer Lingus (Dublin) and Ryanair (Dublin), erupted into action again this week with the two airlines exchanging blows over Twitter. Well, we say “blows”, more like witty banter.

It all kicked off when flag carrier Aer Lingus pointed out that a photo of one of it’s own aircraft had been used in an advertisement of the low-cost carrier, Ryanair (above).

In response to this, a follower of the airline asked the question on everyone’s mind: do the two airlines actually hate each other?

Aer Lingus responded by tweeting “Just some healthy rivalry. Isn’t that right, ‪@Ryanair”

Ryanair Response on Twitter

However, Ryanair saw this as a challenge and swiftly responded (above) with a harsh uppercut to their rivals. Tweeting “We stopped being rivals in the 90s ‪@AerLingus. We’d have to treble our fares & lose 81m customers to be your rival ‪#EuropesNo1”

(Ouch!)

Aer Lingus ended the exchange with a simple “‪@Ryanair‪ Okay, nevermind. #PeaceOut”

The two airlines occasionally exchange banter over the social network but this is one fray that couldn’t go unnoticed.

What’s next in this epic battle? Facebook statuses? Or all out text war? Watch this space.

Report by Assistant Editor Oliver Wilcock from Manchester.

Copyright Photo Below: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Now known by us as the “Aer Lingus-Ryanair “Photobomb” Airbus A320″, the real Aer Lingus A320-214 EI-DVM (msn 4634) in the 1963 retro jet scheme arrives at “Ryanair safe” Heathrow Airport.

Aer Lingus 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

Aer Lingus shareholders approve €191 million ($237 million) payment to the new pension fund

Aer Lingus‘ (Dublin) shareholders have voted in favor of a deal to address the airline’s pension deficit, which was previously described as “a real and significant risk to the success of the company.”

A proposal to plough €190.7 million ($237.6 million) into the pensions scheme, which has taken four years to finalize, was put to shareholders during an extraordinary general meeting December 10.

In a stock exchange disclosure, Aer Lingus said the motion had been passed, with 421,859,027 votes in favor and 1,942,425 against.

The numbers indicate that the holders of close to 80% of the company’s shares voted, while the margin of the vote itself was 99.55% in favor and 0.45 against.

This rubber stamp means the Irish carrier can now proceed with the implementation of the IASS proposal, which will avoid labor conflict, give financial and legal clarity, and stabilize staff costs.

Aer Lingus and Dublin Airport Authority jointly operate IASS, which has an estimated €750 million deficit. Part of the proposals for tackling the problem involve transferring staff to a defined benefit scheme, to which both companies will contribute lump sums totaling €263 million.

The vote followed a stormy meeting at the Dublin Airport Radisson, which was nearly disrupted by protesting retired workers, who at one point surrounded part of the conference room in which it was held and banged on the windows.

A number of former staff attending the meeting itself also expressed their anger to Aer Lingus chairman, Colm Barrington, and claimed the scheme’s trustees had refused to deal with them while the company’s management were ignoring their plight.

They say that they are facing the loss of up to six weeks income a-year under the plan to restructure the insolvent scheme.

The pensioners have hired a legal team and are considering going to court. Leaving the meeting, retired Aer Lingus worker, Vincent McCabe, said “we will go to court if we have to go to court”.

Speaking afterwards, Mr Barrington said that Aer Lingus had honored all its obligations:

“We have got to get the situation resolved and get industrial peace,” he added, referring to the strikes and other unrest that have been a feature of the pension dispute.

Read the full story for the Irish Times: CLICK HERE

Reported by Assistant Editor Oliver Wilcock from Manchester.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 EI-DVM (msn 4634) in the 1963 retro livery arrives in London (Heathrow).

Aer Lingus aircraft slide show:

Beleaguered Malaysia Airlines choses Aer Lingus CEO Christoph Mueller as its new leader

Aer Lingus CEO Christoph Mueller

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) is suffering as it continues to bleed money in the face of two air disasters this year. The beleaguered airline has turned to the west for its new chief executive officer. Aer Lingus boss Christoph Mueller has been selected to become the new CEO of Malaysia Airlines. Mr. Mueller will become the first foreigner to run the flag carrier. He will join the airline sometime in the first half of 2015.

Christoph Mueller CEO Aer Lingus

Biography of CEO Christoph Mueller (from Aer Lingus):

Christoph Mueller joined Aer Lingus as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in September 2009. He previously held the position of Executive Aviation Director at TUI Travel plc., a FTSE 100 company. In January 2006, Christoph joined the Executive Committee of TUI AG, a DAX 30 company with responsibility for its flight division.

He served as the Chief Financial Officer of DHL Worldwide from 2002 to 2004 and became a member of the Executive Committee of Deutsche Post AG in 2004 after the acquisition of DHL by Deutsche Post AG.

Christoph has extensive experience within the aviation industry, having held senior position in Daimler Benz Aerospace, having been Executive Vice President at Lufthansa AG and Chief Executive Officer of the Sabena Group.

In January of 2012 Christoph was appointed to the Board of Tourism Ireland, the organisation responsible for the international promotion of the island of Ireland as a tourism destination.

In March of 2013, Christoph was appointed to the role of Chairman of An Post.

He has an MBA from the University of Cologne and subsequently completed an Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.

Read the full story from the BBC: CLICK HERE

Images: Aer Lingus.

Malaysia Airlines aircraft slide show:

Malaysia logo-1