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Air France Denies Alitalia Merger– in the Short Term August 31, 2006

Posted by Andrew in Commercial Aviation.
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During a shareholder conference call on Thursday, Air France executives quashed rumors that Air France-KLM will merge with the Italian national flag carrier Alitalia– at least in the near future. Air France-KLM announced a sharp uptick in profits, despite continually rising fuel costs. The Franco-Dutch carrier has largely avoided the effects of high jet-fuel costs by aggressive fuel hedging. The eighty-four percent jump in fiscal first-year profits was largely attributed to “an economic rebound [which] helped [Air France] fill more of its premium seats on long-haul voyages.” Traditionally, legacy carriers reap a high percentage of revenue from their first and business class cabins. Some aviation analysts believe that Air France is in a good financial position to acquire, Alitalia, which has seen its “share of the domestic market fall to just over half at the end of 2005 from around 80 percent at the end of 1994.” In anticipation of the possible confirmation of merger, Alitalia stock rose significantly, only to lose value when Air France management denied the rumors at a recent shareholder meeting. Management did not completely nix the possibility of a merger within the next few years, but stated that a merger was unlikely until Alitalia was privatised and had developed a plan to stop losing money.

Source: Reuters

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Russian Bank Buys Large Stake In Parent Company of Airbus August 29, 2006

Posted by Andrew in Commercial Aviation.
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Media outlets are reporting that the Russian state bank Vneshtorgbank bought a five-percent stake in the second largest aerospace company in the world, EADS. EADS, which owns a family of aerospace companies, including Airbus, declined to comment. On news of the trade, shares in EADS rose nearly five percent. Not all industry analysts had a rosy outlook on the purchase, weighing an “uncertain political impact against potential business wins for EADS in Russia.” Fueled largely by revenues from mineral and oil industries, Russian banks like Vnestorgbank have been investing their assets on a more international scale than during previous decades. With the recent relaxation of foreign investment laws in Russia, this trend has only been expedited. Vnestorgbank picked an opportune time to purchase undervalued shares, targeting a company whom’s shares have underperformed French blue-chips by 34% this year. The stock purchase is endemic of the blossoming relationship between the European company EADS and Russian industries. In February, EADS signed an agreement to become the primary foreign partner of the newly formed Russian United Aircraft Corporation (RUAC). RUAC is the synthesis of several smaller Russian aerospace companies. Even with this news, aviation analysts do not expect the recent infusion of Russian money to change the international power structure from its current form, in which French and other European powers hold an equal role in decision making. With disappointing news from the Airbus A380 and A350 programs, the stock purchase is a step forward for a company licking its wounds from recent Boeing success.

Source: Yahoo News

Comair Flight 5191 Accident August 27, 2006

Posted by Andrew in Delta.
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According to major media outlets, Comair flight 5191 crashed at approximately 6am (EDT) this morning just outside Lexington Bluegrass Airport. The carrier confirmed that the aircraft, a fifty-seat Bombardier CRJ-200 regional jet, was carrying 50 people. In response to the crash, Comair’s CEO issued an emotional statement, saying that “on behalf of everyone at Comair, [he could not] adequately express [his] sadness about this accident and [his] deep concern for everyone involved.” In a recent media briefing, Lexington rescue officials announced that all rescue operations have been suspended, as they have accounted for all passengers on board. Only the first officer of the flight, James Polehinke, survived the crash. Mr. Polehinke, an employee of Comair since 2002, was in surgery as of early Sunday morning. Initial speculation surrounding the crash points to crew error, as the aircraft may have taken off from the wrong runway. There are two runways at Lexington Bluegrass Airport; runway 26, which is 3500 feet long, and runway 22, which spans 7000 feet. The Bombardier CRJ-200 aircraft is not capable of taking off with a full load of passengers and cargo from a runway less than 4000 feet. This crash spells bad news for both Comair and parent Delta Airlines, which are struggling to turn the corner towards profitablity. The loss of life on flight 5191 may speed Delta’s plans to either sell or dismantle it’s lagging regional subsidiary, Comair.

Sources: http://www.cnn.com,www.delta.com, http://www.airliners.net

Aeroposte Relaunch August 26, 2006

Posted by Andrew in Uncategorized.
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Welcome to the new Aeroposte website. The Aeroposte team decided to update the look of the website and switch hosting services because our old provider didn’t suit our future direction. A few months ago, Aeroposte management teamed up with a news aggregation company, Newstex. Now, with their support, our stories are licensed to major corporations who need to obtain their information in secure environments. Newstex’s selection of this website to join their select community of providers is a strong vote of confidence in our organization. While we may be growing, with the planned rollout of podcasts and other features in coming months, we will continue to provide commercial aviation news in a concise, but intelligent form.