|Bid||15.27 x 948200|
|Ask||15.27 x 1900800|
|Day's range||15.20 - 15.45|
|52-week range||12.58 - 23.66|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||0.82|
|PE ratio (TTM)||5.25|
|Earnings date||19 Mar 2020|
|Forward dividend & yield||0.80 (5.22%)|
|Ex-dividend date||08 May 2019|
|1y target est||N/A|
Shell thinks aviation fuel will be one of the critical growth areas to explore, as ground vehicle transportation fuel and other segments are expected to decline over time
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- A perennial risk in the airline industry is that executives splash money on shiny new planes but fail to make an adequate return. Willie Walsh, the chief executive officer of International Consolidated Airlines Group, has tried to do things differently by — shock! — insisting that the British, Irish and Spanish airlines he oversees make decent money. (Created in 2011, IAG now comprises British Airways, Spain’s Iberia, Ireland’s Aer Lingus and the no-frills Vueling and Level units).Nonetheless, the announcement on Thursday of his retirement won’t be mourned by all. His outspokenness and focus on the bottom line didn’t always endear him to customers, employees or suppliers. The moniker “Slasher Walsh” has stuck with him since his days running Aer Lingus, when he cut thousands of jobs and sold the company art collection.Today some British Airways customers lament that the “world’s favorite airline” isn’t as polished as it was — a series of IT glitches haven’t helped. Aircraft maker Airbus SE, engine supplier Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc and Heathrow airport have all received a tongue-lashing from Walsh lately.Investors are a different story. They admired his disciplined approach to capital allocation and his persistence in trying to consolidate the fragmented European industry under the IAG umbrella. This holding company structure has become fashionable — Rynair Holdings Plc and Germany’s Deutsche Lufthansa AG are copying it, and no wonder.If done well, knitting together national carriers like this should bring the cost-saving advantages of scale without compromising brand identities (or provoking political opposition to mergers). Walsh has been a keen acquirer but he also knew when to back off; he showed fortitude last year by acquiring a small stake in Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA in anticipation of a possible bid, and then walking away when his expectations weren’t met.IAG’s operating margins have steadily expanded, allowing the company to increase shareholder returns. Dividends and buybacks have totaled 4.1 billion euros ($4.6 billion) since 2015. Since 2011 the shares have returned 190% with dividends reinvested, about 13% a year. That’s not shabby considering the desperately low valuations investors ascribe to airlines. IAG trades on less than 7 times estimated earnings.Walsh’s departure feels like the end of an era, and he’s not the only long-timer nearing the departure gate. Tim Clark is stepping down from Emirates and Michael O’Leary is giving up directly overseeing Ryanair to focus on its new holding structure. IAG’s in decent shape but perhaps this is a good moment to be leaving the cockpit. The new decade will probably be hard for airlines. While Walsh has committed to achieving net zero emissions, environmental taxes may yet curtail his company’s growth ambitions or require expensive investments in even more fuel-efficient jets. His replacement, Luis Gallego of Iberia, will have to be equally disciplined.To contact the author of this story: Chris Bryant at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Bryant is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies. He previously worked for the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Iran on Wednesday fired missiles at airbases jointly used by the U.S. and Iraq in retaliation for the killing of General Qassem Soleimani, roiling financial markets and disrupting air traffic but causing no casualties. President Donald Trump promised additional sanctions on Iran, but said Tehran appears to be refraining from additional attacks.With no Americans killed, expectations of an immediate escalation in the oil-exporting region appeared to recede. Though retribution had been expected for the deadly drone strike, Iraq said it had received verbal notice from the Iranians prior to the strikes. A U.S. official said the Iranians were likely aiming to miss.Airlines changed routes to avoid the conflict zone, and the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority restricted flights over the Persian Gulf.Here is a rundown of major events in Iraqi local time since Tuesday:Key developments:Iran retaliates against U.S. in rocket attack on Iraqi basesCommodities move on the news, stocks pare initial losses and oil shippers raise Middle East ratesAir Canada, Malaysia Airlines joint list of operators changing routesTurkish and Russian Presidents meet in IstanbulNew U.S. Sanctions Most Likely to Hit Metals Sector (2:35 a.m.)President Donald Trump on Wednesday vowed more sanctions on Iran as part of his “maximum pressure” campaign against the Islamic Republic. Those penalties are likely to target key regime figures and the country’s metals sector, according to a person familiar with U.S. plans to keep squeezing Iran’s economy following the killing of Soleimani.The sanctions will likely be aimed at non-oil sectors of the Iranian economy and fit into a previously disclosed administration plan to choke off other sources of revenue now that the U.S. has clamped down on the country’s oil exports, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing private deliberations.Pentagon Says Iran Fired With Intent to Kill Troops (1:50 a.m.)U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley said Iran targeted personnel with intent to kill in its strike on two bases in Iraq, and that it’s too early to tell what the Islamic Republic will do next.Defense Secretary Mark Esper, briefing reporters at the Pentagon alongside Milley, said 16 Iranian missiles were launched from three sites in the country and that a U.S. warning system gave American forces in Iraq time to protect personnel. Esper said he expects Shiite militias to still target U.S. forces.The Pentagon chief also said he has no information on whether Iran shot down the Boeing jet that crashed near Tehran the same night as the missile barrage in Iraq.Two Republicans Rip Administration Over Briefing (12:55 a.m.)Republican Senators Mike Lee and Rand Paul, two libertarian-leaning lawmakers, ripped the administration’s briefing on its strike against an Iranian official as inadequate and said the administration must get authorization from Congress before taking any further military action.Lee, of Utah, called it the worst briefing on military affairs he’s heard since coming to Congress and said it was “insulting” to lawmakers who wanted to understand President Donald Trump’s strategy. As a result, he said he’ll back a Democratic-sponsored resolution to limit Trump’s options to take military action.“That briefing changed my mind,” Lee said. “After today, every time they pull a stunt like this, I’m willing to consider and introduce any and every war powers act resolution.”Paul, of Kentucky, said he considers himself a Trump supporter but that debate about a president’s authority to wage war is bigger than this administration or this president. He said he also would vote for the resolution sponsored by Virginia Democratic Senator Tim Kaine that would require the president to cease military actions against Iran unless authorized by Congress or in response to an imminent threat.Their remarks stood in stark contrast to the reactions of most other Republicans following a briefing by Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and other administration officials. Senator James Risch of Idaho called it “one of the best briefings” he’s gotten at the Capitol.Republicans, Democrats Feud Over Soleimani Threat (11:10 p.m.)Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Congress had starkly different interpretations of the classified briefing from Trump administration officials to justify the strike that killed Soleimani.The justification was “sophomoric,” according to House Foreign Affairs Committee Democrat Gerald Connolly. He said the explanation centered on the president’s constitutional authority to respond to imminent threats and the 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force in Iraq.“No case was made for imminence,” Connolly said. “No case was made for thinking this through. I leave this briefing more troubled than when I went in.”Representative Mark Meadows, a Republican from North Carolina, said he was satisfied by the administration’s justification, backed by intelligence presented by CIA Director Gina Haspel. He said Haspel’s information was exhaustive and contained “numerous” multiple potential threats and reasons why the action “was necessary.”Meadows said Soleimani will “not be easily replaceable,” and “some of his operational abilities will take months if not years to replace.”Trump Says Iran Appears to Be Standing Down (7:31 p.m.)Trump said Iran appears to be refraining from additional strikes against U.S. targets, calling it a “good thing” for both nations and the world.“Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned,” Trump said in an address from the Grand Foyer in the White House.“The American people should be extremely grateful and happy. No Americans were harmed” in the attacks, Trump said.Trump said he would impose additional economic sanctions on Iran and would keep the measures in place until the Islamic Republic becomes less bellicose toward the U.S. He said he would ask NATO to become more involved in the Mideast, without elaboration.Trump to Give Iran Address at 11 a.m. (6:34 p.m.)Trump will speak to the American people at 11 a.m. Washington time from the White House on Wednesday to address the confrontation with Iran, the administration said.The speech marks the president’s most significant foreign policy remarks of his tenure as tensions in the region simmer.In the hours after the Iranian strikes, Trump sent a message of reassurance, saying in a tweet, “All is well!”Putin and Erdogan Urge De-Escalation (6:15 p.m.)Russia’s President Vladimir Putin traveled to Istanbul on Wednesday to meet with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan. They issued a joint statement urging the U.S. and Iran “to act with restraint, with common sense and with priority given to diplomatic means.”“We believe that the exchange of strikes and the use of force by either side do not contribute to the search for solutions to the complex problems of the Middle East and lead to a new round of instability, not responding to anyone’s interests,” they said in the statement.No American Casualties in Iranian Strike (2:55 p.m.)There were no American casualties in Iranian missile strikes targeting bases in Iraq that hosted U.S. and Iraqi soldiers, a U.S. official said, asking not to be named because the information hasn’t yet been made public.The attacks used guided missiles and in this instance, Iran appeared to have intentionally aimed the strikes away from Americans on the base, the official said.No British Troops Injured, Says Johnson (3:05 p.m.)Prime Minister Boris Johnson said no British troops had been injured in last night’s attack. Answering questions in Parliament, he urged de-escalation in the region, but added that the question of the legality of killing Soleimani was one for the U.S.“The U.S. has a right to protect its bases and its personnel,” Johnson said. Pushed by opposition Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn, Johnson said Soleimani had armed terrorist groups, including those who attacked British soldiers. “That man had the blood of British soldiers on his hands,” he said.Tanker Majors Suspend Transit Through Straits of Hormuz: DJ (1:26 p.m.)Petrobras, Bahri, other tanker companies suspend sailing through the Straits of Hormuz, Dow Jones reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter. The decision comes after the Iranian strike raised concerns of a military escalation in the oil-exporting region.Iraq Says Got Verbal Notice From Iran Prior to Its Attack (1:16 p.m.)The iraqi Prime Minister’s office said it got verbal notice from Iran prior to its attack. Iran said it would only target U.S. positions and no causalities were reported, it said in a statement on Twitter.The “commander in chief has continued to follow developments from the beginning of the attack until this hour and is making necessary internal and external contacts in an attempt to contain the situation and not enter into open war where Iraq and the region will be among the first victims,” it said.Lufthansa Suspends Flying Over Iran, Iraq Airspace (11:23 a.m.)Lufthansa has suspended flights over Iraqi and Iranian airspace in the wake of the missile strikes, a spokesman said by phone. Lufthansa also canceled a 1330 CET flight from Frankfurt to Tehran.Iran’s Zarif Says He Has No Statistic on Attack Fatalities (11:17 a.m.)Iranian Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif doesn’t have any statistics on fatalities in the Iranian attacks on U.S. targets in Iraq, he told reporters in comments broadcast on TV. Zarif said he’s sent a message to the Americans “immediately after the attack” but did not elaborate on its contents.Iran Gave U.S. ‘Crushing Response,’ Supreme Leader Says (10:42 a.m.)Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a televised address on Wednesday that his country had given the U.S. a “crushing response” to the killing of Soleimani and called for an end to the U.S. presence in the region.Turkey Hints Readiness for U.S.-Iran Mediation as Putin Visits (10:53 a.m.)Turkey indicated it’s willing to mediate between the U.S. and Iran as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan prepares to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Istanbul to discuss escalating tensions in the Middle East and North Africa.“Turkey is one of few countries and probably the most important one that can speak both with the U.S. and Iran,” Erdogan spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said after a cabinet meeting late Tuesday.Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will visit Iraq on January 9 “within the context of our intensified diplomatic efforts to alleviate the escalated tension in the aftermath of recent developments in the region,” the ministry said in a statement.Iraq says 17 missiles hit Ayn al-Asad base (9:13 a.m.)A Facebook account belonging to the Iraqi prime minister’s office says 22 missiles entered Iraqi airspace early Wednesday, hitting “coalition locations.” It says there were no casualties among the Iraqi forces. Earlier, U.S. officials said Iran fired 15 missiles in total.Gold Tops $1,600 as Iranian Attacks Might Invite U.S. Action (07:58 a.m.)Oil and gold both rose while equities fell immediately on the news that Iran launched missiles against American targets as investors looked for a safe haven. But stocks in Asia pared losses and crude came off highs after Iran assured its strike didn’t mean it was seeking war, and President Trump declared, “All is well!”Gold surged above $1,600 an ounce for the first time in more than six years but gains moderated as calm returned.U.A.E. Calls for De-escalation after Iran hits U.S. Targets (7:0.8. a.m.)U.A.E. hopes that there is no further escalation in the region, Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei told reporters in Abu Dhabi.“We are hoping the wisdom of both sides will de-escalate the tension,” Al Mazrouei said, adding that he’s not concerned about oil supplies.Air Canada Joins Other Operators in Route Change Over Middle East (06:57 a.m.)Air Canada said it was altering flight routes into and over the Middle East, joining Malaysia and Singapore Airlines as tensions flared.Boeing 737 Jet Crashes in Iran to ‘Technical Issue’ (05:33 a.m.)A state-controlled news agency said a Boeing 737 Jet crashed in Iran shortly after takeoff due to a “technical issue.”All 176 passengers and crew perished.U.S. Restricts Flights Over Persian Gulf (5:05 a.m.)U.S. aviation regulators issued new restrictions barring civilian flights over Iraq, Iran, the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.The effect of the restrictions wasn’t immediately clear because the Federal Aviation Administration had been prohibiting U.S. carriers from flying over most of those areas.“The FAA will continue closely monitoring events in the Middle East,” the agency said in a statement. “We continue coordinating with our national security partners and sharing information with U.S. air carriers and foreign civil aviation authorities.”Key Stories:Iran Retaliates With Missile Strike on U.S.-Iraqi BasesStocks Pare Losses as Iran Says Attack Concludes: Markets WrapIran’s Retaliation Offers Room for Trump to Calm TensionsGlobal Market Reaction to Iran Rocket Attack in Four ChartsIran Strike Renews Fight Over Who Has Say on U.S. War: QuickTake\--With assistance from Arsalan Shahla, Richard Bravo, Nikos Chrysoloras, Thomas Penny, Jennifer Jacobs, Todd Shields, Nick Wadhams, Justin Sink, Kyunghee Park, Alan Levin, Kartikay Mehrotra, Olga Tanas, Josh Wingrove, Glen Carey and Tony Capaccio.To contact the reporter on this story: Nick Wadhams in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Bill Faries at email@example.com, ;Lin Noueihed at firstname.lastname@example.org, Joshua GalluFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Struggling Italian carrier Alitalia [CAITLA.UL] is burning through its cash resources at the pace of around 300 million euros ($334 million) a year, its new temporary administrator Giuseppe Leogrande told members of a parliamentary committee. In November, after months of talks, railway group Ferrovie dello Stato, U.S. carrier Delta Air Lines and infrastructure group Atlantia backtracked on a plan to rescue the carrier. Alitalia, which has been through two previous unsuccessful reorganizations, is due to receive a further 400 million euros from the government, in addition to the 900 million euros the state has injected since May 2017.
Struggling Italian carrier Alitalia [CAITLA.UL] is burning through its cash resources at the pace of around 300 million euros (253.82 million pounds) a year, its new temporary administrator Giuseppe Leogrande told members of a parliamentary committee. In November, after months of talks, railway group Ferrovie dello Stato, U.S. carrier Delta Air Lines and infrastructure group Atlantia backtracked on a plan to rescue the carrier. Alitalia, which has been through two previous unsuccessful reorganisations, is due to receive a further 400 million euros from the government, in addition to the 900 million euros the state has injected since May 2017.
The trade union representing cabin crew at Lufthansa's budget airline Germanwings decided on Wednesday not to continue their strike for the time being after three days of stoppages led to dozens of flights being canceled. The Ufo labor union, which called strikes from Monday to Wednesday at Germanwings, will discuss on Sunday how to proceed in the dispute with the company after deciding not to extend the strike, a spokesman said. The cabin crew strike had led to only 20 of 220 scheduled Germanwings flights taking off in the three days, although Lufthansa subsidiaries like Austrian Airlines has given seats to stranded passengers, limiting the impact on customers.
Around 180 flights in Germany were cancelled on Monday due to cabin crew strikes at Lufthansa's budget airline Germanwings, in a bid to put pressure on management in wage talks. The Ufo labour union on Friday announced strikes from Monday to Wednesday this week at Germanwings, which operates on behalf of Lufthansa's Eurowings brand, saying little progress has been achieved in talks with Lufthansa management. Around 15% of flights at Eurowings needed to be cancelled, a Lufthansa spokeswoman said on Monday.
Around 180 flights in Germany were canceled on Monday due to cabin crew strikes at Lufthansa's budget airline Germanwings, in a bid to put pressure on management in wage talks. The Ufo labor union on Friday announced strikes from Monday to Wednesday this week at Germanwings, which operates on behalf of Lufthansa's Eurowings brand, saying little progress has been achieved in talks with Lufthansa management. Around 15% of flights at Eurowings needed to be canceled, a Lufthansa spokeswoman said on Monday.
An attempt by Deutsche Lufthansa to avert a planned cabin crew strike at the airline's Germanwings unit failed on Saturday as their trade union rejected management concessions as insufficient. An offer by Lufthansa's short-haul budget division to enter mediation and make concessions on part-time working was jilted by cabin crew union UFO, which said it would proceed with the strike from Monday to Wednesday next week as announced on Friday. The strike is an escalation of a months-long dispute with Lufthansa and its subsidiaries over pay and pensions.
German cabin crew will go on strike from Monday to Wednesday next week at Lufthansa's budget airline Germanwings, the UFO labour union said Friday. The strike is an escalation of a months-long dispute with Lufthansa and its subsidiaries over pay and pensions. Lufthansa management and UFO last month agreed to enter large-scale arbitration talks in an effort to avert further strikes.
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German cabin crew union UFO said arbitration talks with Lufthansa on Sunday had failed and its members could stage strikes any time from now on, though they would spare passengers industrial action on Dec. 24, 25 and 26. In addition to a dispute over pay and pensions, UFO has been at odds with Lufthansa for months over the union's legal status. Lufthansa has said the union's leadership team that took office earlier this year was not elected in a way that met legal requirements.
German airline Lufthansa said arbitrators had proposed a further meeting with cabin crew union UFO in early January after they held wage talks on Sunday. "Lufthansa continues to expect that good solutions can be found for the 22,000 cabin crew members with regard to the arbitration issues," the airline said in a statement.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The Swedish word flygskam or its German version, Flugscham, meaning “flight shame,” is one of the words of 2019. While it’s not easy to separate its effect on airlines’ business from other factors, the countries where people are most worried about climate change do appear to be seeing drops in avoidable air traffic.In November, the number of people taking domestic flights in Germany fell 12% year-on-year, while the number of intercontinental passengers increased and intra-European travel dropped less sharply. As rail traffic keeps rising, it appears many people prefer the train when it doesn’t take considerably longer than flying and waiting at airports. That isn’t necessarily the result of flight shame. The European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation, also known as Eurocontrol, noted in its November report on European air traffic that the drop in German domestic flights was explained largely by a Deutsche Lufthansa AG cabin crew strike, and traffic decreases in other European countries, such as France and the U.K., were a consequence of the bankruptcy of travel operator Thomas Cook Group Plc. Domestic air travel has been falling in India too — because of an economic slowdown rather than climate change fears.Eurocontrol data, however, show there’s something to the flight shame hypothesis. According to a recent Eurobarometer survey, Sweden, Denmark, Malta, Finland, Germany and the U.K. are the European countries with the highest percentage of people who believe climate change is the world’s number one problem. In Sweden and Finland, the number of flights taken within Europe has dropped between January and October; in the other nations most worried about climate, it has increased, but less markedly than in countries where people aren’t as concerned.Of course, a scientific correlation between people’s feelings about climate change and their transportation preferences is impossible to establish on the basis of these data. In every country, people’s choices depend on a combination of geography, the state of infrastructure, holiday and work traditions and, most important, the economy.And we’re not seeing much evidence of shame in other modes of transport. Emissions from those have increased faster than those from aviation in recent years. The biggest source is cars and trucks.In virtuous Sweden last year, emissions from road transport actually increased, largely due to heavier truck traffic — but also because, for all the climate awareness in that country, people aren’t driving much less or switching fast enough to fuel-efficient and electric cars. The number of cars in use has been increasing in Sweden, and their average age, 9.9 years, while lower than the European Union’s 10.8 years, is higher than in some countries less worried about the climate. Still, at least in the most climate-aware countries, people are willing to change their flying habits to cut emissions. Unfortunately that doesn’t mean they’re changing them in the most efficient ways. Less short-haul air travel will do some good: Because the emissions are the highest during takeoff and landing, it’s the shorter flights that release the most carbon into the atmosphere per mile flown. But if one chooses to drive an aging car instead, and not fill it with travel companions, flight shame is a fad rather than a useful contribution to lowering emissions.It’s probably time for policymakers to help people get their priorities straight by adopting the old idea of personal carbon trading. If people are issued an equal amount of carbon credits at the beginning of the year, which they can spend on different kinds of travel and energy use according to a unified national price list, they soon will understand what works for them personally. The need to buy additional credits, or the ability to sell some of the allowance, should provide an incentive to work that out. Such schemes would be intricate and not easy to administer, but at least in the Nordic countries, with their small populations and excellent internet infrastructure, they are not impossible. Environmentally motivated shame is all well and good, but economic motivation probably would prove more effective. To contact the author of this story: Leonid Bershidsky at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Leonid Bershidsky is Bloomberg Opinion's Europe columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Foreign investors will be able to buy unlimited stakes in the holding company proposed by Germany's largest airline Lufthansa , German magazine Der Spiegel reported on Friday. Spiegel said the new structure proposed by Lufthansa was aimed at attracting more capital from abroad as at present the majority of the airline must be German-owned in order to retain its flying rights in many countries. Lufthansa said on Wednesday it was planning to adopt a holding structure and manage its core brand separately, following pressure from investors to simplify its operations and improve efficiency.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Michael O’Leary of Ryanair Holdings Plc is an unlikely spokesman for how aviation can avoid killing the planet. The budget travel evangelist has delighted in disparaging “eco-warriors” and casting doubt on climate science. But as chairman of the European airline association, A4E, he’s now front and center of the effort to persuade governments not to impose new climate taxes on the industry. It’s not going well.This week the European Commission’s president Ursula von der Leyen unveiled a plan to make the continent carbon neutral by 2050. Her Green Deal is still thin on detail, but it’s already prompted plenty of criticism — from the green groups who say it doesn’t go far enough to the big polluters who fear it will harm their competitiveness, such as coal-dependent Poland and the airlines.One aim of the Green Deal is to make the price of transport “reflect the impact it has on the environment.” Accordingly, Europe will review aviation’s tax exemptions — kerosene isn’t taxed — and consider cutting the free allowances allocated to airlines under Europe’s emissions trading system.The airlines think they’re being unfairly maligned. They contribute about 2% of global emissions, a fraction of what cars and trucks produce. But unlike road transport, the aviation industry doesn’t have a convincing plan to decarbonize. Europe’s airlines are spending 170 billion euros ($189 billion) on new fuel-efficient aircraft, but these will still spew out carbon. Synthetic fuels are expensive and battery limitations mean emission-free commercial flights are years away.Aviation is typical of the trade-offs we’ll have to make to get to net-zero emissions. So far we’ve only done the easy stuff that doesn’t force people to give up much or pay more for cheap products and services. The airlines are lobbying for better air traffic management in Europe’s crowded skies, which would cut the amount of fuel used. But there’s only a certain amount of carbon we can keep emitting before things go from bad to catastrophic.The question of who will have to cut back most on their polluting raises issues around economic growth and fairness: The top 10% of most frequent fliers took more than half of all flights from England last year, while almost half the population don’t fly at all. Airlines don’t even agree among themselves about whether to punish the business lounge elite or the weekend City breakers. IATA, the airline trade body, boasted this week that more than 4.5 billion passengers will take a flight this year as tickets become ever cheaper. The average return fare, adjusted for inflation and taxes, is almost two-thirds lower than it was 20 years ago. “Flying is freedom,” Iata’s Alexandre de Juniac intoned.But even flying fanatics are no longer convinced that its growth should be unconstrained. Over-tourism in the Mediterranean has brought this to wider attention. When the environmental impact of a business isn’t priced in, there can be such a thing as too much freedom. Ryanair makes the reasonable point that aviation taxes are a levy on the poor. Making flights more expensive will hurt those for whom 20 euros in new taxes, say, is the difference between flying and staying home. It’s fine to encourage people to take a train, but rail fares are often higher, and decent services are concentrated in richer European countries. A similar debate is raging in the car industry, where the cost of electric batteries could make small cars — often bought by the young and elderly — uneconomical.Hence the budget airline Wizz Air Holdings Plc struck a nerve with a video that calls for the business class cabins of its big legacy rivals to be banned.(2) “We think you’re doing great… harm to our planet… Are all those empty seats worth the damage they cause?” the narrator asks.Wizz is, of course, talking its own book; it doesn’t offer business class. But in a carbon-constrained world, abolishing business and first class isn’t so outlandish. Because of their ability to sell out flights and cram passengers on-board, Wizz and Ryanair are Europe’s two most efficient airlines when measured on CO2 per passenger km traveled.Naturally, the older carriers don’t see it that way. Ryanair’s promotion of tickets that cost less than 10 euros is “economically, ecologically and politically irresponsible,” according to the Lufthansa chief executive officer Carsten Spohr. KLM of the Netherlands is even encouraging consumers not to fly if they don’t have to.The airlines still hope to find a way out of the impasse. EasyJet Plc will offset the carbon produced by all its flights, for example by paying to plant trees. That will cost the airline just 25 million pounds a year, equivalent to about 26 pence per passenger or 3 pounds per ton of carbon produced. But such measures haven’t always delivered the promised benefits and have been likened to the old Catholic practice of selling indulgences. While the price of European carbon permits has risen above 20 euros a ton, that’s probably too low to really affect ticket prices or encourage the use of expensive synthetic fuels. In 2019 Ryanair paid 115 million euros for emission allowances, or less than 1 euro per passenger.(1) The Green Deal is billed as a “growth strategy” but nobody should pretend this won’t involve hard decisions. The noisy complaints are an industry realizing its license to expand and pollute is being revoked.(1) On flights lasting less than five hours(2) If you include air passenger duty, it claims the total for environment taxes is about 4 euros per passenger.To contact the author of this story: Chris Bryant at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Bryant is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies. He previously worked for the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Germany's flagship carrier Lufthansa is planning to adopt a holding structure and manage its core brand separately, it said on Wednesday, following pressure from investors to simplify its operations to improve efficiency. Patrick Staudacher, who is joining the airline from Boston Consulting, will look after the Lufthansa brand's strategy and finances, Lufthansa said. "The appointment is also being made against the backdrop of the planned legal independence of the Lufthansa Airline," a company spokesman added.
Lufthansa will initiate the sale of the parts of its catering unit LSG it is not selling to Switzerland's Gategroup early next year, the German carrier said on Monday. Lufthansa announced last month it is selling the European operations of LSG to Gategroup. The businesses it is selling generated revenues of around 1.1 billion euros (945 million pounds) last year - about a third of LSG's total.
German airline Condor plans to more than double its operating profit margin, its chief executive said, hoping to lure in potential investors that will take it over following the collapse of its parent Thomas Cook. Condor, which filed for investor protection proceedings - which require that a business can still be saved - made adjusted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of 57 million euros ($63 million) in the last fiscal year. Its adjusted EBIT margin stood at about 3.4%, compared with 7.9% at larger rival Lufthansa.
Lufthansa's supervisory board approved the sale of the European operations of its airline caterer LSG to Switzerland-based Gategroup, Lufthansa said in a statement https://newsroom.lufthansagroup.com/english/newsroom/all/supervisory-board-gives-go-ahead-for-sale-of-lsg-group-s-european-business/s/af72116f-9817-4a1d-b14b-7d5adf20b78a on Tuesday. Germany's largest airlines said last month the sale was part of its new strategy to focus on its airline business.
Lufthansa responded coldly on Monday to a report that rival Qatar Airways was interested in taking a stake in or collaborating with the German airline. The Gulf carrier, which holds minority stakes in airlines including IAG , Cathay Pacific , and China Southern Airlines, has been seeking to boost collaborations. Its chief executive Akbar al-Baker was quoted by German news agency dpa on Sunday as saying he was interested in investing in Lufthansa to seize business opportunities in Europe's biggest economy.