Petertenthije From Netherlands, joined Jul 2001, 3230 posts, RR: 13 Posted (11 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 960 times:
On the website of the NOS (Dutch TV) there is the following article. They summarized it from an article in the british news-paper "Observer"
Reports that Virgin Express is interested in buying parts of Sabena. According to the "Observer" Richard Branson already discussed that with the Belgian government.
Virgin would like to take over a number of European flights. These are the same routes Virgin already flies on. Next to those flights Virgin seems also to be interested in the Africa flights.
It is unclear how serious this is, since Virgin has limited resources as wel. The Belgian government is busily looking for potential take-over candidates. American Airlines is reported to have interest as wel.
DragonRapide From Belgium, joined Sep 2001, 133 posts, RR: 0 Reply 1, posted (11 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 917 times:
The Belgian Minister in charge Rik Daems is presumed to have met Branson last Thursday. However when asked about it, Daems said that press should stop bothering and keep quiet. If the press would go over the names of all potential investors, chances are that discussions stop.
I could imagine VE take over some routes of SN. But why would they be interested in Africa?????????
Ceilidh From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 3, posted (11 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 874 times:
And why would Virgin Atlantic be interested in Africa? VS operate ex LGW, and I can hardly see them wanting to trek their pax over to BRU! Add to that the difficulties that SN have in expatriating funds from the DRC (SN's main African destination), Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda and you'll see it's not so interesting to them after all!
Ceilidh From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 5, posted (11 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 854 times:
Look, which of the two of us has actually seen documents from Sabena listing details of their blocked funds in the DRC, Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda - that they wanted us to try and extract for them using an offshore bank owned by the group I worked for in Burundi? How many years have you actually spent in Africa, so that you know the ins and outs of their currencies and financial situations, including forex restrictions?
And how exactly, please, are VS going to start operating SN's US flights when they are losing SN money already and VS is cutting back on the north Atlantic? I know you're only a student, but you really need to think these things through!
Ceilidh From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 8, posted (11 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 839 times:
Looks like I'm right again, you two!
From today's Gulf News:
The Gulf News
Tuesday, Oct 9, 2001
High-flying British tycoon and owner of Virgin airline, Sir Richard Branson, yesterday said he did not want to buy bealeagured Sabena, but instead wanted to acquire all the routes the Belgian airline had to pull out of.
"We don't want to buy Sabena, but we're trying to step into all the routes Sabena has pulled out of because they've gone bankrupt," Sir Richard told Gulf News. He was here to open the first Virgin Megastore in the Gulf - at Dubai's Deira City Centre.
He denied that he wanted any of the failed Belgian airline's aircraft or personnel, either. "We have no interest in taking any of their staff or other assets at this time, we have sufficient infrastructure in-house."
Sir Richard said he was working with the Belgian Government. "We are in discussion with them. We'll know in two weeks what happens then".
American Airlines and Sir Richard were on Sunday named as two possible saviours of the Belgian airline now flying on the edge of collapse - affected as other airlines are by the steep fall in travelling public after the attacks on U.S.
Commenting on the affect on travel trade, Sir Richard said the worst-hit were trans-Atlantic carriers where travel may have dropped by up to 30 per cent - and could take longer than the 15-18 months it took for the travelling public to come back after the Gulf War.
Though against a state bail-out, Sir Richard was an even stronger opponent of a distorted playing field - created by the $18 billion in aid provided to U.S. airlines by the American Government.
Stressing that Virgin has not asked for state aid, Sir Richard thought that to maintain a level playing field, such aid could be given to trans-Atlantic carriers despite European Union Transport Commissioner, Loyola de Palacio, on Sunday ruling out such bail-outs.
"In most circumstances, governments should not be involved in supporting private airlines or companies. Private capital should be able to stand on its own feet".
"However, some governments are putting a lot of money into their airlines - American Airlines, United Airlines, Continental .... - they've been given $18 billion by America.
"Our load factors are down by as much as them (U.S. airlines). So there should be a balancing of books of carriers flying across the Atlantic.
"It is up to the government to decide. We haven't asked, but the (UK) government told us they'd make sure British trans-Atlantic carriers would not suffer any more than U.S. carriers," Sir Richard said.
He, however, was against providing state aid to short haul airlines.