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.
- 3 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
- 4 British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Paris attacks: Do not call Charlie Hebdo killers 'terrorists', BBC says
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Asteroid narrowly scrapes past Earth: how to watch the closest space rock for decades as it flies by
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
30,000 reasons why the rhetoric on immigrants claiming benefits can stop now
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...
£25 - 28k + Bonus: Guru Careers: An In-house / Internal Recruiter is needed to...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...