IAG plans to put Aer Lingus to compete in the UK for traffic to the US | Companies

The baton of the CEO of IAG, Luis Gallego, is already perceived as the head of the airline holding company, where he is making decisions that are reminiscent of his time in Iberia. Between the first stall movements, you will put Aer Lingus, when the crisis begins to be overcome, to compete with their own British Airways in the United Kingdom.

The Irish woman will have an offer, which would be understood as a natural from her group sister, where she can make the operation more competitive. But without disturbing the powerful unions that represent the more than 40,000 workers of the British airline.

IAG finalizes the obtaining of permits for Aer Lingus fly direct between the British Isles and the United States. The placet to commercialize the offer is expected imminently, while the flight licenses would still take several weeks. The first operations could be activated next summer if the health situation allows it. Both the United States Department of Transportation and the British Civil Aviation Authority have a voice and vote in this project.

Manchester has the third largest airport in the United Kingdom by passenger traffic, after Heathrow and Gatwick

“As part of an ongoing process to see if there are opportunities for Aer Lingus to operate North Atlantic routes from UK regional airports, a request was submitted to the US Department of Transport. No final decision has been made regarding with the launch of these services, subject to the granting of different permits ”, acknowledges the airline.

Aer Lingus does not break into Heathrow, where it would generate suspicion from the British Airways staff and the slots are numbered, but instead seeks to fly from Manchester to New York, Boston and Orlando.

Observers of the air market explain that IAG tries to occupy the space left by Thomas Cook with a more cost-competitive product than what British Airways can offer. The rival to beat in the third largest airport in the United Kingdom by volume of traffic is Virgin Atlantic.

Without noise

The commitment to the Irish is one of the first steps of Luis Gallego as CEO of IAG

The project to implement IAG’s Irish benchmark in the UK for travel to long-distance destinations is not new. The novelty is that Gallego is going to take it forward, with all the precautions required by Brexit and the pandemic itself, without the slightest outbreak of protest in the holding’s star airline.

The initiative has the backing of the British pilot unions (Balpa) and also that of the Irish (Ialpa).

The recent replacement of the CEO of British Airways, Alex Cruz, after the political and labor battle triggered by the announcement and negotiation of severe cuts, and the subsequent reduction of the aforementioned adjustment, may explain the atmosphere of tense calm at British Airways.

For Aer Lingus, for its part, flying from the United Kingdom can be a spur as IAG begins to use its fleet and equipment as a piece to compete outside of Ireland to maintain leadership in the North Atlantic corridor.

Aer Lingus, through the newly created British subsidiary Aer Lingus UK, plans that the route to New York is daily and throughout the year, as it has transpired in the Irish press. Those that will link with Boston and Orlando would be operated during the summer season.

Apparently, the company reserved the space to operate from Manchester airport at the end of 2020 and would make the jump with two A330 aircraft and another pair of A321 LRs, the latter expected to arrive in the fleet next summer.

As a preliminary step, and not a minor one, the Shamrock airline has just obtained permission from the United States Department of Transportation to join the transatlantic joint venture alliance of which they are part British Airways, Iberia, American Airlines y Finnair.

Among the movements of IAG with Luis Gallego already in charge are the capital increase of the holding for 2,741 million euros to deal with the current crisis; the change of the chief executive at British Airways, and the restructuring of the national control structures of the group’s community airlines to maintain flight certificates after Brexit.

When the moment when traffic will pick up again cannot yet be assured with certainty, the executive moves tab in the United Kingdom to take part in the recovery.

Doubts about the rule of airline ownership

The CEO of Wizz Air, Jozsef Varadi, came out yesterday in the wake of an HSBC report in which it is questioned that the suppression of political rights to British shareholders is enough for airlines to comply with EU regulations on ownership and control after Brexit. “Personally, I think this is a sustainable proposal,” Varadi told Reuters.

80% of Wizz participants have non-EU nationalities. Other companies exposed are Ryanair or IAG, both with a large UK stakeholder base. The report pointed out the need for a regulatory change to validate the strategy of leaving these investors without voting rights. Otherwise, HSBC argues, they would be forced to take over the shares or restructure the capital.

The EU obliges its airlines to have at least 50.1% of the capital in the hands of investors from the community bloc, including those from countries aligned with the European Economic Area.

The post-Brexit aviation agreement between the EU and the UK has not relaxed the rule, but recognizes “the potential benefits of continued liberalization of ownership and control” and commits to revising the rule this year.


Brexit is building up on the M20

Trucks at Dover Eastern Docks. picture: Ron Hann, CC BY-SA 2.0

Before the deadline for trade deal with the EU at the turn of the year: massive truck chaos at the British border. Corona mutation creates further complications

Thousands of trucks are packed together on the M20 motorway in southern England. An airport has been converted into a trucker parking lot. For the stranded drivers there are hardly any sanitary facilities and only an inadequate supply of food: this scenario has been forecast for many months as a horror vision in the event of a “no-deal Brexit”.

When the British government gathered hundreds of truck drivers together for a mass test on the M20 in 2019 to try out the effects of border and customs controls on the British access routes to the port city of Dover towards the English Channel, there was much ridicule and malice. Now you have to be grateful for these simulation games. The truck chaos that has been observed in the past few days could otherwise have been much greater.

It all started with a Covid-19 mutation spreading from southern England. Last weekend, therefore, far-reaching exit and travel restrictions were imposed on the capital London and neighboring regions. More than 16 million people are directly affected. In response to this measure, around 50 countries closed their borders with Great Britain. As a result, freight traffic between France and Great Britain largely collapsed.

While British supermarket chains fear supply bottlenecks and Eastern European truck drivers don’t know how to get back to their families, British seafarers are stuck in Germany. According to the European Transport Workers’ Federation, they cannot board their ships due to the imposed border closings and sometimes have twelve hours in narrow common areas Spent without food and water supplies. Even without the corona pandemic, these are not ideal conditions.

Chaos is not necessarily caused by Brexit

One can only speculate how this situation would have developed had the UK still been a member of the EU. It might not have gone much differently, if you remember how EU member states have regulated their border traffic among each other in the course of the pandemic. Here in Great Britain, 2020 was characterized by a series of national solo efforts rather than a coordinated European crisis management.

In fact, the negotiations on a new trade agreement between the EU and Great Britain, which will either be concluded or broken off, and the one-year transition period ending on January 1, 2021 after the UK leaves the EU, are part of the background noise in the border drama of the past few days.

But tensions within the EU also became apparent.

This is how it should be according to the online portal Politico between the French government and the EU Commission. There people were only moderately enthusiastic about the decision to block the English Channel in Paris. The Polish government is also said to have put pressure on France, after all, numerous Polish truck drivers are stuck in the English county of Kent.

But France also made demands. For a long time Paris only wanted to agree to the opening of the border if the British side carried out mandatory PCR tests for all those leaving. Great Britain, however, preferred the faster feasible, but considered less accurate “Lateral Flow Tests”. In the end, Great Britain was able to prevail on this issue. And now freight traffic is slowly rolling in again. However, weeks can still pass before the resulting truck jam is resolved.

British Tory press shoots France

On the British side, media close to the conservatively led government, such as the tabloid, missed out The Sun some verbal poison arrows towards France. The front pages made a more or less subtle suggestion that France had only closed the English Channel in order to stir up negative sentiment in Britain about the coming end of the transition period.

In fact, the much-discussed conflict over fishing quotas for European fishermen in British waters, which has been much discussed in recent weeks, is largely a British-French dispute (Brexit: waiting for the fish compromise). On Wednesday the EU offered a 25 percent cut in its catch quotas while the UK is calling for a 35 percent cut. It is also controversialfrom when the reduced catch quotas come into force and which fish species are to be affected.

French President Macron has his own fishermen behind his neck, which is why he is blocking excessive concessions. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has a very similar problem: his country’s coastal and fishing towns have seen decades of economic decline, which is why many people who live there voted for Brexit. The catch quota dispute is representative of the hope for greater economic sovereignty and an associated upturn.

However, it should not be forgotten that other essential aspects are also still in dispute. Should Johnson agree to the EU demand that the European Court of Justice should henceforth monitor compliance with a trade agreement with the EU, this would be a bitter political defeat that could cause him great difficulties within his own party. For the Tories’ Brexit wing, it is inconceivable that they will continue to bow to EU jurisdiction.
(Christian Bunke)


Chaos in UK ports drives prices – Economy: Breaking News and Reports

In Southampton on the English Channel, the containers have been accumulating for weeks. Photo: Andrew Matthews / PA / AP / dpa (Andrew Matthews / dpa)

Because of the chaos in the British ports, trade associations are warning of higher prices and delayed deliveries before Christmas.

After a challenging year, the companies are not in a position to offset higher delivery costs, said the head of the BRC trade association, Helen Dickinson, according to a statement on Thursday. “The consumer pays the bill.” Christmas packages could be delayed and dealers have no choice but to raise prices. Together with the Association of Food and Beverage Manufacturers, the BRC called on Parliament to investigate the situation.

At the British ports such as the important container port Felixstowe on the North Sea and Southampton on the English Channel, the containers have been accumulating for weeks. The reason is, on the one hand, delays due to the corona crisis. On the other hand, many companies are trying to replenish their stocks before the end of the Brexit transition phase on December 31. There are long truck traffic jams on the motorways. The toy manufacturers had also warned of delivery problems before Christmas and higher prices.

Dealers would find it difficult to build up their inventories for the Christmas season and for the end of the Brexit transition period, according to the associations. Some shipments would be diverted to other ports. “However, some delays are inevitable.” After the Brexit transition period, the pressure on the British ports will increase even further.

In addition, the transport costs are skyrocketing: in some cases, containers are being charged 25 percent more than a week earlier, and ports are also charging congestion fees. Companies have already lost hundreds of thousands of pounds. “These issues urgently need to be addressed. An investigation would provide the necessary controls to allow our ports to flow freely again, ”said BRC boss Dickinson.

Meanwhile, the port association BPA demanded more money to ensure the necessary border infrastructure in good time. “This infrastructure is needed, regardless of whether there is a Brexit trade pact or not,” said BPA boss Richard Ballantyne. “We urge the government to provide further funding so that all ports across the country are ready for Brexit.”

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 201217-99-724302 / 2 (dpa)


“Brexit has skyrocketed traffic by 25% for fear of a collapse”

Virginia Navarro | President of the Association of Consignees and Stevedores ACBE

He explains that companies are stockpiling stocks and that, given the already evident blockage on the road, they resort to the sea route

Container terminal of the Port of Bilbao.
Container terminal of the Port of Bilbao. / P. URRESTI
Ana Barandiaran

Monday 14 December 2020, 01:03