Tag Archives: Airport Operators & Services (TRBC level 4)

UPDATE 1-Union Alitalia urges the Italian government to leave EU talks over an overhaul | Instant News


(Adding EU Commission commentary)

MILAN, April 13 (Reuters) – Representatives of the Alitalia trade union on Tuesday urged the Italian government to cancel negotiations with Brussels over an overhaul of the airline, saying the European Commission favors foreign airlines over the group.

Rome has been negotiating with EU executives for months over Italy’s plans to restructure the airline through the launch of a new state-owned company called ITA.

Speaking before the Italian parliament, UILT trade union chairman Claudio Tarlazzi rejected the idea that the new company could accept the European Union’s proposal for restructuring.

“We have to realize that the EU is supporting rival companies, and negotiations (with Brussels) must stop and the company created with all the necessary assets,” Tarlazzi told members of the two parliamentary committees holding joint hearings.

Criticism of the EU’s handling of Alitalia peaked last week, when Brussels approved a French contribution to a 4 billion euro ($ 4.8 billion) support package for Air France-KLM in exchange for a 4% reduction in take-off and landing slots at Paris-Orly Airport.

A Commission spokesman said the looser rules for state aid adopted during the pandemic through the EU’s “interim framework” could not be applied to Alitalia.

“Alitalia was constantly losing money and was in trouble at the end of 2019, prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, and so was excluded from … receiving assistance under an interim framework,” the spokesperson told Reuters. .

“On the other hand, Air France and Lufthansa will have no difficulties at the end of 2019, which is why they can be recapitalized.”

The commission is in contact with the Italian authorities, he added, without elaborating.

The EU has asked ITA to abandon its Alitalia brand, give up half of its slot at Milan’s city airport, and start without the handling and maintenance division of the old airline, sources said.

ITA management has planned to seek partnerships with rival operators using the negotiating power of the Milan-Linate Alitalia airport slot as a sweetener.

It was supposed to buy some of Alitalia’s old assets using part of the 3 billion euros injected by the government, and started flying on fewer than 50 jets in June.

Representatives from three other unions who attended the hearing agreed with Tarlazzi and said the ITA should start by doubling down on its planned fleet.

Alitalia has posted operating losses annually since 2012, and more than half of its 11,000 employees have been temporarily laid off due to the coronavirus crisis.

$ 1 = 0.8409 euros Additional reporting by Foo Yun Chee in Brussels; Edited by Jan Harvey

.



image source

Germany’s tourism industry warns of job losses due to tighter pandemic closings | Instant News


FILE PHOTOS: People queue to reach the top of the cross at the top of Germany’s highest mountain, Zugspitze, in Grainau near Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany, 19 August 2020. REUTERS / Michael Dalder

(Reuters) – Germany’s tourism industry has warned of layoffs and bankruptcy if authorities tighten further lockdowns meant to curb the spread of the coronavirus, including by imposing quarantines on those returning from holidays abroad.

A meeting of national and regional leaders on Monday evening to decide on the next round of steps to tackle the coronavirus pandemic is considering the need to quarantine all returning travelers, not just those in high-risk areas.

“From a tourism industry point of view, it is unacceptable and totally disproportionate to quarantine, regardless of the incidence rate at the destination,” said Michael Frenzel, president of the BTW tourism association, adding that tourists should already test for the virus.

Two other tourism industry associations, DRV and BDL, said further restrictions on international travel could put a strain on jobs for 2,300 tour operators and 10,000 travel agents in the sector.

State aid has so far only compensated for a fraction of the costs suffered by the industry as a result of the pandemic, they said.

Earlier in March, Germany removed territories in Spain, including the tourist island of Mallorca, and Portugal from a list of areas at risk of the coronavirus. The decision prompted tens of thousands of Germans to plan a last-minute Easter holiday to Spain’s Balearic islands.

Germany is set to extend the lockdown to a fifth month through April 18, according to the draft proposal, as the infection rate exceeds the level at which authorities say hospitals will be overwhelmed.

Reporting by Klaus Lauer; writing by Bartosz Dabrowski in Gdansk; Edited by Bernadette Baum

.



image source

Atlantia Italia extended talks on unit sales to March 27 | Instant News


FILE PHOTOS: Infrastructure group Atlantia logo seen outside their headquarters, in Rome, Italy October 5, 2020. REUTERS / Guglielmo Mangiapane

MILAN (Reuters) – Atlantia agreed to extend talks with a consortium led by state lender CDP regarding the sale of its 88% stake in highway unit Autostrade per l’Italia until March 27, the Italian infrastructure group said on Tuesday.

CDP, along with co-investors Macquarie and Blackstone, and Atlantia have been negotiating Autostrade since last year as part of efforts to end a dispute sparked by the 2018 collapse of the bridge run by the unit.

Atlantia hopes for “substantial improvements” in the consortium’s offering, the group said in a statement, adding that, if a compromise is reached, they could submit new proposals to its shareholders.

Last month the consortium presented a binding proposal valuing all Autostrades at 9.1 billion euros but Atlantia advisers said the fair value of the business was at least 10.5 billion euros, three sources close to the matter said.

The consortium also asked Atlantia to guarantee up to 700 million euros in potential damage claims and another 800 million euros in pending legal cases, making the offer less attractive.

To date there has been no concrete improvement to the proposals submitted, said two sources with knowledge of the matter, adding that there was still room for negotiations.

The Benetton family, which controls Atlantia with a 30% stake, last week supported extended talks with the CDP, asking the group chair to negotiate an increase in the offer, said a source close to the matter.

Minority investors, including hedge fund TCI, even asked the group to reject the consortium’s offer which was considered too low.

Tuesday marked an earlier deadline for Atlantia to decide whether to accept or reject the binding offer made by the consortium.

Reporting by Andrea MandalĂ , Francesca Landini and Stephen Jewkes; editing by Cristina Carlevaro and David Gregorio

.



image source

Portugal extended a ban on flights from Brazil, Britain to March 31 | Instant News


LISBON, March 15 (Reuters) – Portugal extended a ban on flights to and from Britain and Brazil by two more weeks Monday through March 31, with only humanitarian and repatriation flights allowed, the interior ministry said in a statement.

Direct commercial or private flights to and from these countries have been banned since January to limit the spread of the new coronavirus variant.

Starting March 7, passengers flying indirectly to Portugal from the UK or Brazil must also present a negative COVID-19 test that was carried out 72 hours prior to departure and quarantine for two weeks after arrival.

Portugal, which has so far reported 814,257 cases of COVID-19 and 16,684 deaths, began relaxing its two-month national lockdown on Monday, after a spike in cases caused in part by the rapid spread of the variant first identified in Britain crippled the health care system. earlier this year. (Reporting by Victoria Waldersee, Editing by Catarina Demony and Barbara Lewis)

.



image source

Big escape? Britain will return to work in July, said the Daily Mail | Instant News


LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Boris Johnson is considering a phased end of the COVID-19 lockdown that will see Britain’s hit economy fully functional again in July, the Daily Mail reported, citing a government plan.

FILE PHOTO: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds a coronavirus pandemic media briefing on Downing Street, London, England February 15, 2021. Stefan Rousseau / PA Wire / Pool via REUTERS / File Photo

The new coronavirus, which emerged in China in late 2019, has killed 2.4 million people worldwide, boosted normal life for billions and sent Britain through its worst slump in 300 years.

Johnson, who is due out of lockdown on February 22, said the exit plans would be cautious but irreversible. The United Kingdom has vaccinated 15.6 million people with the first dose so far.

The Mail said the limited escape from the lockdown will begin in April with holiday permits and larger hotels reopening, although pubs, bars and restaurants will have to wait until May. Some sports such as golf and tennis can be continued.

Full pub reopening will begin in early June.

“The leisure business may not return to ‘broad normal’ until July under the roadmap out of lockdown,” Mail reported, although it said a final decision had not been made by Johnson.

“Office staff are expected to be told to keep working from home when the prime minister announces his road map,” Mail said. “The message ‘work from home if you can’ will continue into the future.”

Johnson, who has warned people to take newspaper reports on his plans with caution because the final decision has not been made, said he would like to see more data on how the vaccine rollout affects serious illness and death.

So far, there is some data from Israel on that, but not enough from the UK to really be sure of its repercussions, Chris Whitty, the government’s chief medical adviser said on Monday.

The easing of the most stringent peacetime restrictions on personal freedom in modern British history would be accompanied by a program of mass testing. British schools will reopen on March 8.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Edited by Kate Holton and Paul Sandle

.



image source