IAG selects four start-ups to join its “Hanger 51” innovation accelerator

London Air Travel » International Airlines Group » Page 2

International Airlines Group - Aer Lingus, BA, Iberia, Vueling
International Airlines Group – Aer Lingus, BA, Iberia, Vueling

International Airlines Group (“IAG”), the parent company of British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia and Vueling, has announced the names of four tech start-ups that will work with the group to develop new technology solutions for airlines and passengers.

This is all part of IAG’s tech accelerator Hangar 51 which it has developed with L Marks.

IAG received some 450 applications. 26 applicants were invited to attend a pitch day (video above) and the following four tech start-ups were selected:
Continue reading “IAG selects four start-ups to join its “Hanger 51” innovation accelerator”

The European Commission approves IAG’s takeover of Aer Lingus

London Air Travel » International Airlines Group » Page 2

Aer Lingus London Heathrow
Aer Lingus London Heathrow (Image Credit: Heathrow)

International Airlines Group’s takeover of Aer Lingus moved another step closer today, 14 July 2015, after the European Commission gave formal approval of the deal.

It is subject to some conditions, known as “commitments” in order to assuage competition concerns of the European Commission.

These are:

1. IAG must forfeit up to five slot pairs at London Gatwick airport for use on routes between London and Dublin and London and Belfast.  One slot pair must be used for London – Belfast, two slot pairs must be used for London – Dublin and the remaining two can be used for either route.

2. IAG must offer rival airlines special prorate deals for passengers connecting from Aer Lingus short-haul flights to long-haul flights operated by rival airlines at London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, Amsterdam, Shannon and Dublin airports.  This is so rival airlines such as KLM and Virgin Atlantic can still offer passengers connections from Aer Lingus short-haul flights.
Continue reading “The European Commission approves IAG’s takeover of Aer Lingus”

IAG’s bid for Aer Lingus looks certain to go ahead. What do we know now?

London Air Travel » International Airlines Group » Page 2

Aer Lingus Airbus A320
Aer Lingus Airbus A320 (By BriYYZ via Wikimedia Commons)

Following the news that the Irish Government has given its support for International Airlines Group’s bid for Aer Lingus and that Ryanair (which holds 30% of the shares in the airline) has also agreed to sell its stake, this means that, barring any last minute complications, it is now a near certainty that the bid will go ahead.

Full details of the bid can be viewed in the offer document. A more easily digestable summary of IAG’s bid for Aer Lingus can be viewed in this IAG presentation.

Here’s a summary of what we know (and don’t know) and what we expect to happen when Aer Lingus joins IAG:
Continue reading “IAG’s bid for Aer Lingus looks certain to go ahead. What do we know now?”

Irish Government approves sale of Aer Lingus to IAG – What we know

London Air Travel » International Airlines Group » Page 2

Aer Lingus Airbus A320
Aer Lingus Airbus A320 (By BriYYZ via Wikimedia Commons)

The Irish Government has today announced its support for International Airlines Group’s bid for Aer Lingus.

Full details of the bid can be viewed in the offer document. A more easily digestable summary of IAG’s bid for Aer Lingus can be viewed in this IAG presentation.

The deal is also far from done yet as Ryanair (which holds 30% of the shares in Aer Lingus) has yet to show its hand. The transaction will also be subject to regulatory approval.

Here’s a summary of what we know (and don’t know) so far
Continue reading “Irish Government approves sale of Aer Lingus to IAG – What we know”

IAG outlines plans for Aer Lingus to assuage Government concerns

London Air Travel » International Airlines Group » Page 2

Since Aer Lingus formally recommended a takeover bid from International Airlines Group (“IAG”) there has been a growing political storm in Ireland amid doubts as to what IAG’s ultimate intentions are for Aer Lingus, specifically with regard to links between the Republic Of Ireland and London Heathrow.

IAG has sought to assuage these concerns by today releasing a statement providing assurances as to connectivity between London Heathrow and Ireland.

Here’s a précis of these assurances.
Continue reading “IAG outlines plans for Aer Lingus to assuage Government concerns”

Qatar Airways acquires a 9.99% stake in IAG

London Air Travel » International Airlines Group » Page 2

International Airlines Group - Aer Lingus, BA, Iberia, Vueling
International Airlines Group – Aer Lingus, BA, Iberia, Vueling

Interesting news breaking this morning, and proof that aviation is never dull.

International Airlines Group has confirmed in announcement to the stock exchange that Qatar Airways has acquired a 9.99% stake in International Airlines Group.

The news has been welcomed enthusiastically by IAG CEO Willie Walsh, citing the fact that Qatar Airways has recently joined the Oneworld alliance and British Airways has recently started co-operating with BA on areas such as codesharing on Qatar routes from Doha to Asia.

Willie Walsh also cites the opportunity for further commercial co-operation between Qatar Airways and IAG mber airlines.

There is certainly scope for greater collaboration. For example, BA still serves Doha via a stop in Bahrain and the two airlines could explore a revenue sharing joint-venture on routes to and beyond Doha, as BA has with other Oneworld alliance partners such as American Airlines and Japan Airlines.

At the moment there are no changes to the board structure of IAG. Should Qatar Airways wish to increase its stake in IAG, under EU ownership rules, it would be capped at 49%.

Qatar Airways is not the first Middle Eastern airline to invest in European aviation as Etihad Airways has taken equity stakes in a portfolio of airlines such as Air Berlin, Aer Lingus, Alitalia and Air Serbia. Etihad also has a codeshare relationship with Air France KLM. Emirates has so far eschewed taking equity stakes in other airlines.

Finally, it is also noteworthy that Qatar Airways has invested in IAG at a time when it’s share price is at an all time high, above 550p. IAG’s share price has previously hit lows of around 110p.

IAG makes a further takeover bid for Aer Lingus

London Air Travel » International Airlines Group » Page 2

Aer Lingus Airbus A320
Aer Lingus Airbus A320 (By BriYYZ via Wikimedia Commons)

After much press speculation over the past few weeks, International Airlines Group (parent company of British Airways, Iberia and Vueling) has submitted a further takeover bid for Aer Lingus.

Aer Lingus has formally acknowledged the bid, valued at €2.50 a share with a cash dividend of €0.05 per share.

Aer Lingus say the bid remains conditional on, amongst other things, confirmatory due diligence, the recommendation of the Board of Aer Lingus and the receipt of irrevocable commitments from Ryanair and the Minister for Finance of Ireland to accept the offer.

The key stumbling block to IAG acquiring Aer Lingus will be the Irish Government which holds a 25.1% stake in the airline. The Irish Government will need to be satisfied that links between London Heathrow and Ireland will be maintained and Aer Lingus will not loose its Heathrow slot-holdings.

Here are some thoughts we gathered before Christmas on what may happen of IAG is successful in acquiring Aer Lingus.

Update: Ireland’s RTE is reporting that Aer Lingus may make a statement on Tuesday about the bid.

Update:

Aer Lingus has issued a statement on Tuesday recommending the bid. International Airlines Group has also statement confirming that if the acquisition goes ahead Aer Lingus will maintain its own brand and join the Oneworld alliance and transatlantic joint-venture with BA and American Airlines. IAG will also seek to assuage concerns about the maintenance of links between London Heathrow and Cork and Shannon by entering into discussions with the Irish Government.

The story of an airline turnaround: IAG & Iberia

London Air Travel » International Airlines Group » Page 2

Iberia Express Airbus A320 (Image Credit: Iberia Express)
Iberia Express Airbus A320 (Image Credit: Iberia Express)

This post is perhaps for students of aviation rather than the travelling public at large, but it is something worth noting in any event.

We have written much in recent years about British Airways’ International Airlines Group (“IAG”) sibling Iberia, and the wildly divergent financial performance of the two airlines since the formation of IAG four years ago in 2011.

Since Iberia started to report very heavy losses in 2012, IAG has taken a number of steps to improve the performance of Iberia.

This has included a complete overhaul of its senior management by a new CEO and (after bitter and unedifying industrial action with some rather unpleasant anti-British sentiment) reaching new collective agreements with its pilots and other staff working groups.

Continue reading “The story of an airline turnaround: IAG & Iberia”

What would IAG gain from buying Aer Lingus?

strong>London Air Travel » International Airlines Group » Page 2

When International Airlines Group (“IAG”) was formed a little under four years ago from the merger of British Airways and Iberia, it stated an ambition to acquire up to 12 additional airlines.

So far it has acquired two. These are bmi and Vueling. bmi has been integrated into British Airways (bmibaby was closed and bmi regional was sold). Vueling continues to operate on a standalone basis.

Today we learned of an approach by IAG to Aer Lingus. IAG confirmed in a statement to the Stock Exchange that it submitted a proposal to make an offer for Aer Lingus, which has been rejected by the Board of Aer Lingus.

Aer Lingus also formally acknowledged the approach, stating that the initial approach was preliminary, highly conditional and non-binding. Furthermore, in their view it under-valued the company.

What would IAG gain from buying Aer Lingus and why is it bidding now?
Continue reading “What would IAG gain from buying Aer Lingus?”

An update on BA developments from IAG’s Capital Markets Day

London Air Travel » International Airlines Group » Page 2

British Airways Logo (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Logo (Image Credit: British Airways)

International Airlines Group is holding its annual Capital Markets today, Friday 7 November 2014.

Whilst the presentations are very much aimed at the investor community (This is the full slide deck – all 144 slides!.) there are some useful updates for passengers.

Here are some small items of news we’ve gleaned so far, principally concerning London Heathrow

As expected, BA will move out of Terminal 1 in 2015 and consolidate its operations in Terminals 3 and 5.

Work will also be underway to improve the experience for connecting passengers at Terminal 3.

All departures from Terminal 3 are now from boarding gates with coaching from remote stands eliminated.

Automatic check-in is to be introduced for domestic flights (this was trialled on some short haul routes some time ago).

Self baggage tagging at check-in and automated boarding gates are also to be introduced.

There is likely to be limited growth in BA’s long-haul network in 2015, beyond what new routes have bed announced, namely Kuala Lumpur.

The Boeing 767 is to be retired from BA’s long-haul fleet by 2016, to be replaced by the Boeing 787. A small number of Boeing 767s will operate in a short-haul configuration until 2018. This will then leave all short haul flights operated with Airbus A319/320/321 aircraft.

BA referred to its Oneworld alliance partner Qatar Airways and a potential codeshare partner in China providing growth opportunities. However, it has to be said these have been mooted for some time.

The presentation also included a section on Avios which is the currency used by the British Airways Executive Club and Iberia Plus frequent flyer programme. It is also the name of a travel regards programme in its own right, formerly known as Airmiles. This is likely to be a growth area in the coming years with more potential airlines joining the programme, in addition to Meridiana Fly and FlyBe.

We’ll update this page further with any more points of interest from the presentations and Q&A session.