Miles & More Members:  Sign Up For Blacklane and Earn 5x More Miles In October

Miles & More Members: Sign Up For Blacklane and Earn 5x More Miles In October

If you are a Miles&More member and would benefit from Blacklane executive car service, then this might be the right time to sign up.

For the rest of October, Miles&More members that sign up with Blacklane will earn 5x more miles per dollar spent than usual.    This can add up quickly especially when you consider a transfer from mid-town Manhattan to JFK can cost upwards of $100.   A few drives and you’ll earn significant award miles.  Click here to go to Blacklane’s sign up page.

Just remember to sign up and use the service before the end of the month.


 

Bombardier and Airbus to Build C-Series Jets in USA

Bombardier and Airbus to Build C-Series Jets in USA

In a shocker of an announcement this evening, Airbus and Bombardier announced that Bombardier’s C-Series will be built in Airbus’ Alabama facility.

In a partnership dubbed ‘C-Series Aircraft Limited Partnership’, a second final assembly line for the C-Series operated by Airbus will compliment the existing production taking place in Quebec.  Airbus will also market the aircraft on behalf of Bombardier.

In their comments, Airbus stated that it is a perfect combination of their global reach and Bombardier’s cutting edge technology for short and medium haul aircraft.     Airbus will have a 50.1% stake in the operation, with Bombardier’s share being approximately 31 percent and Investissement Quebec getting the other 19%.

This comes at an interesting time for Bombardier whose US-based customers (primarily Delta) were  facing stiff 300% tariffs for any Bombardier aircraft that they would purchase as a result of a Boeing complaint filed with Washington DC claiming unfair subsidies for Bombardier from the Canadian government.

With this announcement, it appears that everyone including President Trump and his position as it relates to NAFTA along with Bombardier and Airbus will be able to claim victory from their respective perspectives.

Bombardier and Airbus both denied that politics had anything to do with this, but I find that hard to believe especially when you consider the timing of this announcement and how quickly the partnership was assembled.


SWISS

LUFTHANSA Sets Its Focus On Alitalia But Should Expect Disappointment

LUFTHANSA Sets Its Focus On Alitalia But Should Expect Disappointment

In what was basically a poorly kept secret until just a few days ago when Carsten Spohr suggested that Lufthansa would be interested in Alitalia, Lufthansa today confirmed it has submitted its proposal.

In it, Lufthansa is offering upwards of 500mm Euro to buy  Alitalia out of bankruptcy.   The 500mm offer is asking for all of Alitalia’s aircraft, employees and airport slots around the world.   However, LH said it would have to let 6,000 of the 12,000 Alitalia employees go should it be successful in acquiring the Italian national carrier.

Will it happen?   Most likely not.

Though at first blush the LH offer is compelling and agrees to take on all of Altalia which is something that the Italians want to happen vs. Alitalia being blown up into bits and acquired by multiple suitors, it is expected that the group handling the administration of Alitalia will decline the bid.   That has been made obvious by the fact that a November 5, 2017 deadline set by Rome to find a suitor for Alitalia has been extended to April 30, 2018.   This extension does not inspire confidence that Lufthansa’s bid is being taken seriously.

I believe the proposal will fall on deaf ears in Rome since it suggests that 6000 Alitalia employees will lose their jobs, and with the Italian Gov’t in control of the sale such a deal would be bad politics considering that Italy itself is in a state of flux with its ruling parties and can ill afford to upset their constituency.  The proposal also suggests that short and medium haul routes would be gutted from the timetable.

Speaking of politics, there is no love loss whatsoever between Rome and Berlin thanks to the EU’s (primarily Germany) handling of most things on the continent.   The migrant crisis is front and center in Rome and Italy feels it is being asked (unfairly) to bear the burden of Merkel & Company’s failed experiment, but I digress.   So it would most likely pain Italy and Italians to see Germany of all countries (or an agent of it) come in to try and rescue Alitalia.   As the say goes, “thanks but no thanks”.   Italians are a prideful people and this just doesn’t seem like something they will sign off on.

In addition to the Lufthansa offer, EasyJet has also submitted a bid demonstrating its interest.  However their bid is asking for only parts of Alitalia and as I mentioned earlier, Rome wants this to be an ‘all or none’ deal.   There are also 3 to 4 private equity firms that have expressed interest in Alitalia but their details have not been made very obvious as yet.

While the process of finding a buyer continues, Rome has agreed to throw good money after bad and has announced that it has given Alitalia another 300mm Euro to continue operations.   This after the Italian government floated Alitalia a 600mm Euro loan earlier this year to help finance the debacle.   I’m sure that Italians are pleased that they’ve spent nearly 1 Billion Euro just this year alone to keep the birds in the air.

Apparently there’s no end in sight to this soap opera…..