Monday, March 9, 2015

Possible Qatari investment in EX-YU airlines

Hope for Adria and Croatia Airlines as Qatar mulls investments

Qatar Airways’ CEO, Akbar Al Baker, has said his airline is looking to invest in foreign carriers, with particular emphasis on the European market, renewing hopes of a possible partnership with either Adria Airways or Croatia Airlines. The announcement came less than two months after the Slovenian President, Borut Pahor, urged the Qatari national carrier to buy a share in Adria Airways, which is up for privatisation this year. Speaking on the sidelines of the International Tourism Fair in Berlin last week, Mr. Al Baker said, “We will look at other acquisitions of airlines but we look at airlines that don't take the resources of Qatar, or attention of Qatar management, to fix issues. We will always go after goldsmiths, not scrap dealers”, Mr. Baker said. He added, “Qatar wants to invest in airlines where it can get synergies, and benefit from joint purchases of aircraft, ground handling and repairs”.

The Slovenian State Secretary at the Ministry for Economic Development and Technology, Ales Cantarutt, said in January, following talks between the Slovenian President and the Emir of Qatar, that “the idea was raised for Qatar to invest in Adria Airways”. Citing Etihad Airways’ 49% stake in Air Serbia, the State Secretary noted, “I don’t see why Qatar Airways would not do the same. We want Qatar Airways to invest in Adria in line with European Union legislation”. EU laws allow foreign investors to own no more than 49% of its carriers. The Slovenian government is seeking to sell up to 91.6% of its shares in Adria. The country’s former President, Danilo Turk, initially proposed for Qatar Airways to invest in the Slovenian carrier back in 2009. A year later, Mr. Al Baker ruled out a possible acquisition following talks with Adria’s management, noting that Qatar will instead focus on organic growth. Adria Airways has not posted its financial results for last year but is believed to have recorded a break even result, while it plans to end 2015 with a profit.

Previously, Qatar Airways’ CEO said, “I am very conservative. We would be interested to buy a going concern that is profitable and doesn’t need our management time. But I’m not interested in an airline that is in financial trouble and needs restructuring. This would mean I use my management resources to rescue somebody else and lose focus on my own business. My priority as a CEO is Qatar Airways, not somebody else”. He added, “Qatar would also consider an airline that has big potential and a solid management structure, but needs a strong partner like us to take an equity share”. Qatar Airways bought a 9.9% stake in International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG), the owner of British Airways and Iberia, in January.

Qatar Airways has also been viewed as a potential investor in Croatia Airlines, which in 2014 turned a profit of 921.000 euros. The carrier is also in its last year of restructuring. Qatar Airways’ CEO has acknowledged his airline was offered stakes in both Olympic and Jat Airways but passed up the opportunity due to the poor state the two fledgling airlines were in. Qatar Airways has a limited presence in the former Yugoslavia with five weekly flights to both Zagreb and Belgrade. In addition to its 49% stake in Air Serbia, Qatar’s fierce rival Eithad is set to sign a strategic partnership agreement with Montenegro Airlines this summer.

61 comments:

  1. This is very interesting. On one hand you have Etihad which has really focused on this region which might sway Qatar towards this area.

    Croatia Airlines has problems but is in profit and is completing its restructuring. OU has been sleeping for the past few years because it was forbidden to expand in any possible way. It also has a problematic Airbus order which could be renegotiated if Qatar was to step in as partner.
    Adria in my opinion is in worse shape than OU. Adria has big insolvency issues during the winter. Some of its employees didn’t get paid for almost a month in November/December. But what Adria has that OU doesn’t are bases outside of Slovenia which to me is a major drawcard.

    We will see. I think both airlines can’t keep up the current status quo and will have to be sold this year. It would be interesting if Qatar came in and we would have real competition in this region. Air Serbia and Etihad would have to up their game even more but I’m interested to see how this deal with Montenegro Airlines will turn out.

    Sorry for the long comment :)

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    1. Well, Qatar is currently holding talks with IndiGo and they already have some shares in IAG. To me it seems that they are not after small carriers.
      They said it openly that they don't intend on investing their capital or manpower and we all know both OU and JP would need both. The only way Qatar might be interested is if either one of them had millions of Euros in profit... which they don't.
      Sure, OU is profitable but it's far from enough in order to finance their growth and fleet expansion programmes. QR is after a major, well-established player, not a regional carrier with potential, some sort of a diamond in the rough,

      If Qatar would go for a smaller European carrier then airBaltic would make more sense. They have a good brand, they are punctual, profitable and more importantly they are not in an alliance. Not to mention that RIX is currently building a new terminal.

      OU and JP need a deal JU got. Someone who is willing to throw millions at them in order to bring them back to life and to make them internationally competitive.

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    2. Actually Indigo denied they were in talks with Qatar.

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    3. Well, that really doesn't mean anything..

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    4. ATW reported this morning that Qatar and Indigo are in discussions....

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    5. who told you that we ( i am purser by adria)didn´t
      get salary for nov/dec...this is not true....
      best regards

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  2. Highly unlikely - unless its YM. Both JP and OU are *A carriers - Qatar is loyal to oneworld... and invested in IAG recently...

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    1. You can easily get out of an alliance. There are no other One world airlines on sale at the moment in Europe.

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  3. If either Adria or Croatia Airlines gets picked up by Qatar, the other will not have much hope left.

    I think Adria is a favorite over Croatia Airlines. Adria seems to be moving forward.

    I wonder how alliances will play into this. Qatar is Oneworld, and since the departure of Malev, there is no Oneworld carrier in East/South/Central Europe. Ljubljana or Zagreb could become a formidable Oneworld hub for this region.

    Either way, Lufthansa is certainly not going to be happy if one of it's children gets taken away by the big, bad MEB3!

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  4. OT: What is the status of Serbia-China codeshare? CEO of Air Serbia was announced to go to China regarding this matter in the first quarter of 2015, did it happen? Thanks

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    1. ^ nothing dude, same as " Beograd na vodi", " fabrika cipova", "rakete za Emirate", etc.

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    2. Agreement has been signed last year and that’s the important takeaway here. Air Serbia can now start to shape long distance network. Shanghai is leading Far East O&D market from Belgrade. China and Japan destinations are currently not being offered as JU/EY codeshare, so it opens up opportunity for Air Serbia to start Shanghai route. With potential codeshare with a Chinese airline to further take ASL passengers beyond Shanghai to other top O&D destinations like Peking, Hong Kong or even Tokyo, Air Serbia PVG route could take a lot of Far East passengers away from Turkish and Aeroflot, with the rest of Asia and Australia traffic served through EY partnership. PEK route could be next in line for ASL.

      On the west side (and overall top intercontinental O&D from BEG by a wide margin) is Toronto. My wild guess is that in 2016 YYZ will be in the range of 25-30k bidirectional O&D. While LH and OS present major competition, healthy regional feed ASL has in the Ex Yu and hopefully codeshare with Air Canada (or WestJet) would make this route a sure win. JFK and ORD combined have far less O&D than YYZ alone.

      Going from two diametrically opposed “paper” routes like PVG and YYZ to efficient and sustainable longhaul operations is going to be a real challenge. It would be much easier to create practical solution built around couple of close destinations (like JFK, ORD and YYZ, or PEK and PVG) if ASL can make that choice.

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  5. We will always go after goldsmiths, not scrap dealers”, Mr. Baker said

    That means nothing to see around Ex Yu region that's available for sale, move on!

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  6. I don't think it will be Croatia Airlines as they are only growing or to say expanding on the Domestic market . And most importantly they don't have a business plan of their own.What they do have is a business plan of the Ceo Mr.Kucko and that's built on personal interests

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    1. Ali Kroacija i tako ima veći potencijal od Adrije.

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    2. Vi uporno krivite Gospodina Kucka a covek nije kriv.
      INN-NS

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    3. Јој дечко на којим си ти дрогама? Молим те ћути јер си тако паметнији.

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    4. Pa sto je kriv vi mi recite.
      INN-NS

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    5. Zato sto je on primarno kriv za pasivnost OU i zato sto covek ne shvata kako funkcionise savremeni avio-saobracaj.

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    6. Nije on nista kriv kriv je onaj sto ga je postavio na tu poziciju i covek koristi samo rodjenu drzavu .
      Cekajte malo sa cime da razvija savremeni aviosaobracaj.
      INN-NS

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    7. Није све у парама што је више него очигледно. Притом Кучко је добио довољно пара од државе пре xрватског приступа Европској унији.

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    8. Naravno da je u parama nemaju pravu flotu za Letnju sezonu.
      INN-NS

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    9. Тај кој је поставио Кучка на ту позицију је то урадио како би овај развио хрватско цивилно ваздухопловство... више је него очигледно да је овај урадио баш супротно, барем што се тиче Кроацијана.

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    10. On da hoce preko leta da uzme jos 2 A319 na leasing ne moze i bilo ko drugi da je na toj poziciji nebi mogao da poboljsa nesto.
      INN-NS

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    11. Јој дечко не дрогирај се и не лупај... имао је човек прилика колико хоћеш и све је зезнуо.

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    12. Vi samo kukate i vecito vam je neko drugi kriv drzava HR nije zaintresovana za CTN :
      Ako ga nekad smene videcete da ce taj Direktor isto nastaviti zato sto nema uslova za sirenje.
      INN-NS

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    13. Боље ми да кукамо него да лупамо као ти... као што хронично одваљујеш да А332 касни због америчких дозвола што је глупост какве нема. Дакле престани да се брукаш и боље ћути.

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    14. Ja znam mnogo vise od vas sto se tice 330 znam i kad pocinju treninzi ;) ako bude sve po planu
      INN-NS

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    15. АХАХАХАХАХХАХ јој дете... аман.

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    16. Treninzi? Pa zar to vec nije zavrseno?

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    17. ^ Ljudi INN-NS stvarno zna vise od vas! Za manje od mesec dana polece prvi A330 i naravno prvi let je za INN. Letovi su naravno vec rasprodati jer ASL uvek ima " jako dobru popunjenost" ( INN-NS, 2014)

      APA citation:

      1) INN-NS.2015. Relationship between Innsbruck formula and ASL. Journal of Aviation and Aeronautics Innsbruck. Edition 4.

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    18. You can tell whatever you want but i love INN-NS. Keep up kid <3

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    19. Dosta šale, pustite INN-NS da kaže šta hoće! Ima nas koji smo ovde zbog avijacije a ne zbog šale! Rekao je da zna kad počinju treninzi za A330 i ja bih hteo da čujem od njega kada je to.

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    20. Zavrsili pa avioni dolaze svaki cas. Mart je zar ne?

      Gde ces od njega informaciju da trazis? Pa po njemu avion vec cuci na Tesli

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    21. Well 8:24 he is clearly famous for passing on wrong info so now you want to trust him again. Suit yourself lol

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    22. Kako sam cuo trebao bi u prvoj polovini 2016 doci.
      INN-NS

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    23. Hehehe.. počeo mali sam sebi da piše postove podrške.

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    24. Ne znam sto bi sam sebi pisao postove podrske .
      INN-NS

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  7. Mr. Al Baker said, “We will look at other acquisitions of airlines but we look at airlines that don't take the resources of Qatar, or attention of Qatar management, to fix issues. We will always go after goldsmiths, not scrap dealers”, Mr. Baker said.
    Dovoljno je procitati ovo i zakljuciti da nije zaintresovan za JP-OU pre ce uzeti Meridianu i po EU ima mnogo boljih Aviokompanija koje se njima isplate.
    INN-NS

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    1. On the territory where there is no economy, the healthy airlines can not exist, wether it is all about Mr Kucko as a director or any other guy.

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    2. So Serbia is than so reach counzry as Air Serbia is so prosperate airline?

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    3. ...or Ethiopia, or even Turkey for that matter, most of Serbs ignore how that country is totally underdeveloped.

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  8. It seems to me like Qatar has a different approach when buying airlines. Basically what they want is a feeder. They want to do as less as possible. Etihad on the other hand proved that they don't want a feeder. Of course they will shuttle passengers via Abu Dhabi but only those that are going eastwards.

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  9. OT : BH Airlines' A72 flew to MGL (Monchengladbach) this morning. There won't be any JA flights in next couple of days. What is the fate of BON, any info ?

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  10. glupost - nego sta je Er Srbija nego lokalni hub koji puni avione za AD i u drugom smjeru daje Oz diaspori razlog da leti etihad umjesto bilo kog drugog? kao da je to nesto lose...

    etihad ima sasvim drugi outlook. emirates i qatar kupuju avione, etihad kompanije.

    qatar airways nije sluga etihadu, prema tome blago Er Srbiji...jadno ako je akbar spaslac...

    H

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  11. OT: SKP- February
    2014 - 65.223
    2015 - 80.079 or + 22,77%

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  12. Does anybody know how is Qatar doing in the region ( so not only BEG and ZAG)? How is Sofia doing? Bucharest? Budapest? Zagreb with new direct flight is what I am particularly interested? BEG with Sofia tag, has it improved, any signs of hope lol?

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    1. Also could anybody share their personal experience with either flights from the cities listed

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    2. I went with both Qatar and Etihad BEG-BKK-BEG and BEG-NRT-BEG. Qatar was much, much better service. In past couple of weeks Qatar is promoting some very low price to SE Asia. Maybe they are putting some pressure on Etihad in BEG?

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    3. How were the loads?

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    4. BEG-DOH 50%, BEG-AUH 80%, similar on way back

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    5. I flew with Qatar to Kuwait via Sofia, both there and back flights were very decent, I would say 70-75% and this was mid February. Not bad at all.

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    6. What was the ratio for the passenger share ex- Sofia and ex Belgrade?

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    7. So the total load was 75%, but how many pax originated from Bucharest back then since it was february? Also the other guy said the load was 50%, but how many pax where originating from BEG and how many from Ankara or if recently Sofia??
      Gotta be more clear guys ;)

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    8. From BEG load was 50%, after Ankara plane was full..

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    9. good to hear, at what time during the year did you travel?

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    10. The first week of January

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  13. OT: Wizz Air has just announced Ohrid - London Luton twice weekly for summer 2015. It will be operated twice weekly, D3/D7 from June 14th until September 13th.

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    1. Amazing, directly to Ohrid :-) Love it!!!!

      https://wizzair.com/en-GB/about_us/news/wizzen300

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  14. OT: Inspired by Aleksandar Stojanovic Belgrade airport reconstruction proposal. This one would have 20 renovated airbridges (+4 ATR remote stands not shown here), brand new Terminal 1 for Air Serbia and Etihad partners, existing Terminal 2 for other airlines, and multi level enclosed parking. You like?

    http://s9.postimg.org/gdnbfnm1b/BEG.jpg

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    1. Very nice! Glad I am not the only architect.

      Your arrows with information are good. I think I will start using those on my next designs.

      For the curious, here are my past designs:

      Terminal 3 Near Jat Tehnika:
      http://imgur.com/czzRu2E

      Terminal 3 next to Terminal 2:
      http://imgur.com/7kcwxnt

      Extended Terminal 2:
      http://imgur.com/vhiP7UO

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