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Feb 20, 2015

Lufthansa shares plunge after dividend scrapped

BERLIN, Feb 20 (Reuters) – Germany’s Lufthansa
said it will not pay a dividend for 2014, conserving cash for
restructuring, after its net result was hit by the sale of an IT
unit, an increase in pension liabilities and losses from
fuel-hedging activities.

Lufthansa is trying to cut costs to better compete with
low-cost carriers and rivals from the Middle East. Its efforts
have met fierce resistance from pilots, who went on strike 10
times last year and have already held one walkout this year.

Feb 16, 2015

Europe’s airlines race for Wi-Fi in battle for passengers and new revenues

BERLIN/LONDON (Reuters) – Europe’s airlines are racing to add Wi-Fi to their planes, eager to attract Internet-hungry customers in a cut-throat short-haul market and potentially add millions of dollars of revenue through entertainment, services and advertising.

U.S. airline passengers already have a chance of accessing Wi-Fi on 66 percent of miles flown, against a worldwide average of 24 percent, according to data from Routehappy, which rates flights worldwide on amenities such as seats and entertainment.

Feb 12, 2015

MTU Aero sees demand for new jets and strong dollar pushing up profit

MUNICH, Feb 12 (Reuters) – Strong global demand for new
passenger jets and a firmer U.S. dollar should help German
aircraft engine maker MTU Aero Engines beat analysts’
average sales and profit forecasts this year, it said on
Thursday.

Its two biggest customers, Airbus and Boeing
, are riding a wave of orders for new fuel-efficient
passenger jets, boosting business for suppliers. Airbus won net
orders for 1,456 planes in 2014, against 1,432 for Boeing.

Feb 11, 2015

Pilots’ union calls 2-day strike at Lufthansa’s Germanwings

BERLIN, Feb 11 (Reuters) – A long-running row between
Lufthansa management and German pilots union
Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) over pay and conditions shows no sign
of ending soon after the union called for a two-day strike at
the group’s budget airline Germanwings.

The VC pilots staged 10 strikes last year, affecting
hundreds of thousands of passengers and wiping up to 200 million
euros ($226 million) from 2014 operating profit at Lufthansa,
which is under pressure to reduce costs to keep up with rivals.

Jan 30, 2015

Qatar Airways takes $1.7 billion stake in British Airways: owner IAG

LONDON/BERLIN (Reuters) – Qatar Airways has bought a stake worth about 1.15 billion pounds ($1.7 billion) in the owner of British Airways and Iberia, aiming to forge closer links to a group with two major European hubs and strong transatlantic networks.

The Gulf airline, which disclosed a 9.99 percent holding on Friday, already partners International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) (ICAG.L: Quote, Profile, Research) in the oneworld alliance and has limited code-sharing deals and a freight partnership with BA.

Jan 30, 2015

Qatar Airways takes $1.7 bln stake in British Airways-owner IAG

LONDON/BERLIN, Jan 30 (Reuters) – Qatar Airways has bought a
stake worth about 1.15 billion pounds ($1.7 billion) in the
owner of British Airways and Iberia, aiming to forge closer
links to a group with two major European hubs and strong
transatlantic networks.

The Gulf airline, which disclosed a 9.99 percent holding on
Friday, already partners International Consolidated Airlines
Group (IAG) in the oneworld alliance and has limited
code-sharing deals and a freight partnership with BA.

Jan 22, 2015

Ryanair’s ascent can’t be repeated, says former finance boss Millar

DUBLIN, Jan 21 (Reuters) – Having been at the financial
controls since Ryanair’s traffic has climbed from under
1 million passengers a year to over 90 million, Howard Millar is
confident no upstart can repeat that performance.

“That (low-cost) train has left the station a long time ago
and I think it will be increasingly difficult for start-ups to
gain any traction,” he told Reuters on the sidelines of an
annual aviation finance gathering in Dublin.

Jan 21, 2015

Ryanair says may return to bond market in next 12-18 months

DUBLIN, Jan 21 (Reuters) – Ryanair could return to
the bond market in the next 12-18 months after its debut bond in
June was well received, the airline’s chief financial officer
told Reuters on Wednesday.

“This is a market that we will come back to at some stage
over the next 12-18 months,” Neil Sorahan said in an interview.

Jan 20, 2015

Financiers urge airlines not to squander oil price windfall

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Airlines enjoying a $100 billion windfall from lower oil prices this year are being urged not to let up on cost controls which helped them survive the recent oil price boom.

Gerry Laderman, treasurer at United Continental Holdings (UAL.N: Quote, Profile, Research), said that if oil prices stayed low, airlines could find themselves generating more cash than they expected. “For us, we have a goal of certain gross debt targets, and as treasurer I would vote for taking some of that cash and accelerate the timing to get down to those levels,” he said at an Airline Economics conference.

Jan 19, 2015

Oil price fall gives lease of life to old planes

DUBLIN, Jan 19 (Reuters) – The slump in oil prices has given
a new lease of life to passenger jets that until recently were
destined for the scrap yard, aircraft financiers said on Monday.

Aircraft such as the four-engined Airbus A340 or earlier
models of the Boeing 747 which have been sentenced to desert
storage or to be dismantled, are winning a stay of execution
because lower oil prices make them economic for some carriers.

    • About Victoria

      "Based in Frankfurt, covering German companies in the retail, travel and leisure sectors. In my previous Reuters incarnation in London, I focused on green tech firms, utilities and an array of smallcaps that came my way on the Breaking News team. I started my career as a translator with the Financial Times in London before switching into journalism."
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