Tag Archives: Transportation Infrastructure (TRBC level 3)

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

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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

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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)

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New Zealand announced an infrastructure package worth $ 22.4 billion for the largest city | Instant News


March 12 (Reuters) – New Zealand on Friday announced a transport infrastructure package worth NZ $ 31 billion ($ 22.4 billion) for its largest city, Auckland, to overcome years of investment barriers in public transport and lower emissions.

The package, due to launch in the next 10 years, will invest NZ $ 1.5 billion in walking and cycling initiatives, and NZ $ 1.3 billion to increase public transport travel by 91%, Transport Minister Michael Wood said in a statement. statement.

“This is the first time we have reversed the increase in transport emissions in Auckland,” said Wood.

Wood said the package would result in a 13% reduction in per capita emissions compared to the previous package and could prevent up to 3.3 million tonnes of carbon emissions in Auckland over the next decade.

$ 1 = 1.3837 New Zealand dollars Report by Renju Jose in Sydney; Edited by Peter Cooney

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Shares in Italian highway group ASTM surged in a bid to make the company private | Instant News


MILAN, Feb 22 (Reuters) – ASTM shares surged 27% on Monday, lifted by a buyout offer from a top Italian motorway group investor who wants to take the company private and revamp it.

Nuova Argo Finanziaria (NAF), which holds a 42% stake in ASTM, said at the weekend it would offer 25.60 euros per share in a new vehicle to buy minority investors at an outlay of up to 1.7 billion euros ($ 2 billion).

This represents a premium of 28.8% over ASTM’s official closing price on Friday.

The NAF said it plans to transform business, adding it will be easier to pursue reorganization of unlisted companies.

The Italian Gavio family are major investors in the NAF along with the infrastructure arm of French private equity firm Ardian.

Ardian agreed to invest in ASTM just days before a highway bridge operated by toll road company Atlantia collapsed in August 2018, killing 43 people.

In response to the tragedy, the Italian government has stepped up investment oversight by concessionaires, establishing a new body to monitor safety standards.

$ 1 = 0.8269 euros Report by Elisa Anzolin, written by Valentina Za; Edited by Kirsten Donovan

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