05 Oktober 2021 | Geschäft

COMPANY NEWS IN BRIEF

Delta Air's ticket sales improve

Delta Air Lines said on Sunday that its ticket sales had stabilized and started to improve, putting it on course to deliver third-quarter revenue within its original forecast for a 30%-35% drop versus corresponding 2019 levels.

This is an improvement from its projection last month when it adjusted the forecast to the lower end of that range after a resurgence in Covid-19 cases. The airline is due to report results for the quarter through September on Oct. 13.

"For Delta, they bottomed out in the later part of August and the first part of September," Chief Executive ED Bastian told reporters on the side-lines of a meeting of airlines group IATA. "Business traffic is growing back in the US".

Domestic travel bookings are expected to surpass 2019 levels next year, Bastian added. Later, the airline said it would boost its capacity by more than 20% next summer over the 2019 peak by increasing service from Boston.

The company is also seeing a surge in demand for trans-Atlantic flights after the White House's decision late last month to reopen the country to fully vaccinated travellers from around the world. -Nampa/Reuters

Lufthansa adds four new Airbus

Lufthansa said on Sunday it has agreed to lease four new Airbus A350-900 long-haul passenger jets, taking on newer planes left without homes as airlines restructure their balance sheets amid the coronavirus crisis.

Airplanes are currently available at low lease rates as carriers review their portfolios, industry sources say.

Chief Executive Carsten Spohr announced the move by the German flag carrier on the side-lines of an airlines conference dominated by debate over emissions and heavy industry losses due to the pandemic.

"Fleet modernization, in my view, is one pillar to cope with the sustainability challenges," Spohr told reporters on the side-lines of a meeting of airlines group IATA.

The aircraft were originally earmarked for Philippine Airlines, which has been restructuring its fleet, and will be available early next year, a person familiar with the deal said.

Their arrival will speed up the replacement of less fuel-efficient Airbus A340-600 and Boeing 747-400 jets, Lufthansa said, with 30% fewer emissions per plane. -Nampa/Reuters

British Airways close to reversing decision

British Airways is set to reverse its decision to scrap short-haul flights from Gatwick airport, the Telegraph reported on Sunday.

Executives of trade union Balpa will take a new pay deal to pilots after re-opening talks last week in the hope that they will support rapid changes at Gatwick airport, the Telegraph report added.

British Airways, owned by London-listed IAG, announced its plans to scrap short-haul operations in London on Sept. 23, citing pilots' rejection of its plan to set up a low-cost unit.

"While we have been actively pursuing alternative uses for our slots, last week Balpa asked us to resume discussions. These talks were constructive, addressed key concerns and have secured the efficiencies required," a spokesperson for British Airways told the Telegraph.

British Airways did not immediately respond to request for a comment. -Nampa/Reuters

China Evergrande to raise US$5 bln

Distressed developer China Evergrande will sell a half-stake in its property management unit to Hopson Development for more than US$5 billion, Chinese media said on Monday, after both Evergrande and Hopson requested trading halts ahead of a major transaction.

Once China's top-selling developer, Evergrande is facing what could be one of the country's largest-ever restructurings as a crackdown on debt leaves it unable to refinance US$305 billion in liabilities.

Evergrande said it requested a trading halt pending an announcement about a major transaction and Evergrande Property Services Group said the announcement constitutes "a possible general offer for shares of the company."

China's state-backed Global Times said Hopson Development was the buyer of a 51% stake in the property unit for more than HK$40 billion (US$5.1 billion), citing unspecified other media reports.

Hopson said it had suspended trading in its shares, pending an announcement related to a major acquisition of a Hong Kong-listed firm and a possible mandatory offer. Both Hopson and Evergrande did not respond to requests for comment on the Global Times report. -Nampa/Reuters

CD&R wins auction for Morrisons

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice has won the auction for Morrisons (MRW.L) with a 7-billion-pound (US$9.5 billion) bid, paving the way for the US private equity firm to take control of Britain's fourth-biggest supermarket group.

The board of Morrisons recommended CD&R's 287 pence per share bid on Saturday, hours after its bid beat a consortium led by Softbank owned Fortress Investment Group, which had made an offer worth just a penny less per share at 286 pence.

CD&R's victory marks a triumphant return to the UK grocery sector for Terry Leahy, the former chief executive of Britain's biggest supermarket chain Tesco, who is a senior adviser to CD&R.

The board recommended that shareholders vote in favour of the 287 pence per share offer at a meeting slated for Oct. 19, saying the private equity group had confirmed its previously stated intentions towards Morrisons remained unchanged.

"Today's final offer from CD&R represents excellent value for shareholders while at the same time protecting the fundamental character of Morrisons for all stakeholders," Morrisons Chairman Andrew Higginson said in a statement. -Nampa/Reuters

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