Airline Finance News - Europe.

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New York, Geneva (AirGuideBusiness - Airline Finance News Europe) May 27, 2012

Aeroflot Aeroflot reports $491 million profit in 2011. RussiaOs Aeroflot has reported a 2011 profit of $491 million, up 94% from a $253 million profit in the year-ago period. Revenue rose 25% to $5.3 billion and traffic revenue increased 21% to $4.5 billion. Operating costs rose from $2.9 billion to $4 billion year-over-year. The airline said the results, in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards, were due to the growing number of passengers. It also sold shares in several subsidiaries, including Moscow Insurance Company, Nordavia Airline and Sheremetyevo Refueling Complex, among others. OThe aggregate gain on disposal related to mentioned transactions recognized income is $424 million,O Aeroflot said in a consolidated financial statement. In 2011, Aeroflot carried 14.2 million passengers, up 25.6% compared to the year-ago period. The carrierOs fleet exceeds 100 aircraft and includes 15 Airbus A319s, 43 A320s, 18 A321s, 14 A330s, nine Boeing 767s, six Ilyushin Il-96-300s and eight Sukhoi SSJ100s. May 22, 2012

Air Asia, Airbus Air Asia is considering additional A320s to fill gap until A320neo arrives. MalyasiaOs fast-growing low-cost carrier AirAsia is considering ordering more Airbus A320s until its A320neo aircraft arrive, where he took delivery of the carrierOs 100th A320. AirAsia ended last yearOs Paris Air Show with a massive order for 200 A320neos, which should be available from 2015. Fernandes said he Ohas a sense to advance our orderO but questions whether to buy or lease more A320s Obecause I donOt think our 175 aircraft are enough until the neo comes,O Fernandes said. In December, AirAsia will take delivery of an A320 manufactured at the Chinese Airbus facility in Tianjin, becoming the first non-Chinese carrier to receive an A320 from this facility. Fernandes confirmed the airline will do a come-back to Europe when the A350-1000 arrives in 2015. OHopefully it is not delayed,O he said. AirAsia transports about 33 million passengers annually, has a 80% load factor and added 12% capacity last year. It operates 720 daily flights within the system excluding Air Asia X the airline said. Regarding growth opportunities, AirAsia will add flights to Jeddah, and to Libya, Egypt, or Baghdad. May 25, 2012

Air Asia, Airbus Thai AirAsia IPO To Double Fleet Size. The impending listing of Asia Aviation, a holding company that owns 51 percent of Thai AirAsia (TAA), on the Stock Exchange of Thailand will help raise the proceeds to double TAA's fleet size and grow its network, according to a report in The Edge Financial Daily. The Asia Aviation IPOs is expected to take place in July. Media reports, quoting a filing with the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission, said the company may raise MYR460.5 million ringgit (USD$150 million) from the issuance of 750 million new shares representing a 15.46 percent stake. May 22, 2012

Air Cote DOIvoire New airline in Ivory Coast to launch in July . The West African state of Ivory Coast will again have its own airline this summer, when Air Cote DOIvoire launches regional services in July. The airline is a partnership with Air France and the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), the economic development agency of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). Initial capital was set at XAF2.5 billion ($4.9 million) and will rise in the short term to XAF25 billion. The Ivory Coast government will retain a majority 51% stake in the new airline, while Air France will hold 20% and the AKFED holding company will have 15%. The remaining shares will be held by private Ivory Coast investors. The new airline will work closely with neighboring Air Burkina and Air Mali, which are also part of the AKFED Group, to develop technical, commercial and operational synergies. OThese three airlines will cooperate very close together, in order to build an economically viable long-term model,O Abdoulaye Coulibaly, chairman of the steering committee for the creation of the new airline, said. Having established regional routes, Air Cote DOIvoire will begin operating a domestic route network by the end of this year. Flight and cabin crew recruitment is underway and it is believed the airline will initially operate two leased Airbus A319s, although fleet details have not been confirmed. Government plans for the new airline were first announced in November 2011 to replace the former Air Ivoire, which ceased operations in March 2011. May 21, 2012

Air France Air France confirms cost-cutting plans, restructures operations. Air France has reiterated its Transform 2015 plans to increase productivity by 20% and expects to sign new agreements with ground personnel, flight deck and cabin crew unions at the end of June. Negotiations have been ongoing since the end of March. Air France will also be trimming a number of Oexcess staff,O it said in an update on Transform 2015. However, it will not disclose exact numbers until the second half of June, Odepending on the outcome of the talks and decisions concerning the Transform 2015 plan.O The airline said it hoped to minimize involuntary lay-offs. Air France is also restructuring short- and medium-haul operations into three distinct areas of activity. Air FranceOs own short- and medium-haul operations will include flights feeding long-haul services at Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG), routes with a high proportion of business travelers in France and Europe, plus flights from Marseille (MRS), Nice (NCE) and Toulouse (TLS). Regional activities will be focused on its Regional, Britair and Airlinair subsidiaries, operating to CDG on behalf of Air France, as well as point-to-point flights from Paris-Orly (ORY) covering the domestic network. Leisure activities will be concentrated on Transavia France, which will operate from ORY to Europe and the Mediterranean (excluding MRS, NCE and TLS). By 2015-16, the Transavia France fleet is expected to have grown from its current eight aircraft to between 20 and 22. Air France said this restructuring would help it Ooptimize the organization of its regional flight operations and make better use of growth in the leisure segment with Transavia France.O Also, Air France plans to increase fleet utilization by more than one hour a day, with crews assigned to more flights per rotation. This will enable AF to reduce its short- and medium-haul fleet by 34 aircraft by 2014 (excluding Transavia France) without affecting the number of available seat kilometers. Air France said it hoped to grow profitable long-haul routes this winter and suspend unprofitable ones. It is also confident that lower costs and greater aircrew productivity will support the introduction of new routes. Air France chairman and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said these objectives were Oambitious but feasible.O He said the airline needed to Orenovate its organization and increase productivity by 20%.O The measures, he said, would help consolidate the airlineOs future in an environment of Oextremely fierce international competition.O May 25, 2012

Air France Air France said it will reduce staff numbers and its short-haul and medium-haul fleet in an effort to cut costs and return the airline to growth in the face of rising competition and fuel bills. As it overhauls its unprofitable French operations, the airline plans to beef up its Transavia low-cost airline. It also wants to add new routes on its long-haul network, while loss-making services without any prospect of making money will be suspended, the airline said in a statement. Air France, which employs more than 70,000 of the 103,000 workers at Franco-Dutch carrier Air France-KLM, confirmed that it had "excess staff" but said it would not give details until the second half of...

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