Swissair buys 49% stake in Sabena
Friday 05 May 1995
In total the loss-making Belgian airline is getting a $353m capital injection, with the government investing $53m and a consortium of Belgian investors putting up the rest.
The deal is subject to clearance by the European Commission, although it was thought unlikely to meet much opposition. One UK airline said: "It is one to watch, but is not necessarily a problem.''
Since Swiss voters rejected proposals to join a European free trade pact in a 1992 referendum, Swissair has been worried about being excluded from the preferential treatment open to other European carriers.
The company has estimated that it risks losing between $88m and $176m a year by being shut out of Europe. Swissair began talking to Sabena after the failure of negotiations on a four-way alliance with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines System and Austrian Airlines.
Swissair is about twice Sabena's size, carrying 8.4 million passengers in 1994, compared with Sabena's 4.3 million. Sabena has a fleet of 39 aircraft, excluding charter and regional planes, while Swissair's fleet totals 62.
Both airlines will retain their separate identities and names. Sabena's board will consist of five Swissair representatives and six members appointed by Belgian shareholders. A chairman will be of Belgian or other EU nationality and be jointly nominated by Swissair and the other shareholders. Swissair will also receive warrants allowing it to increase its Sabena stake at a later date if EU rules permit.
The long-awaited agreement is a gift for cash-strapped Sabena, whose alliance with Air France failed to produce the hoped-for results. Under the deal Swissair will buy the 37.5 per cent owned by a consortium led by Air France.
Swissair said the deal was a perfect fit, with little duplication of routes. The airlines plan to improve their services between Brussels and the three Swiss airports of Zurich, Basel and Geneva. There will also be cost savings on aircraft maintenance, cargo and catering.
Look beyond the usual shows for the best festive telly
Michelle Nijhuis' daughter insists (s)he is, and she learnt a valuable lesson on gender in books
newsFormer soldier taped 33 of the animals to the floor and then stamped on them one by one
Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
Robin Thicke named sexist of the year 2013
Cycle death inquest: Boyfriend hugs driver of 32 tonne tipper truck that killed his girlfriend
Paul Walker death caused by speed alone
Apollo Theatre collapse: Scores injured after ceiling collapses in London's West End
- 1 North Koreans are gasping for the truth: Let's give it to them
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- 4 Burglar steals video tapes of child abuse, hands them into police
- 5 Cycle death inquest: Boyfriend hugs driver of 32 tonne tipper truck that killed his girlfriend
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£Negotiable: Citifocus: High calibre individual with institutional client serv...
£120000 - £150000 per annum: Cornwallis Elt : Programme Manager, Strategy Lead...
£55000 - £120000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: The Financial Services Tran...
£600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: Client based in West London is looking ...