BBC News is reporting that the future of DAT is in the balance, after Sabena's internal banking organisation (to which DAT owes €109M) failed to get protection from its creditors, and hence cannot write off DAT's debt... this is apparently a prerequisite of more of DAT's funding.
Here's hoping things turn up in the new year for them.
Ahhhh...here comes the Guvs delight. Well dark African hero, you need to read the small print and look at the big picture. As it looks like, all creditors made an out of court agreement not to demand the payments which in turn gives much more air to breath than you ever had with your ideas. Unfortunately I have to say that your Xmas gift will remain packed and wrapped until further notice!
Like I said ... rabbits out of the hat! <img src="wink.gif" border="0">
I wonder how much corporate arm twisting, government guarantees, promises of juicy government contracts and tax 'incentives' - all of which of course are illegal under EU law - that little effort took?
My money is on the plug being pulled and Freddy van Gaever outflanking the Walloons by taking over DAT for €1 - which gives him the AOC, OL, traffic rights, regional feed, slots etc he needs.
Well Guv, with your last sentence you are approacing closely the gallery where the big picture is waiting for public exposure very shortly. There is only one way in several countries to sweep clean existing dirt, and selling a company does not allow the cleaners for a proper work.
Hmmmm, my money is still on Freddy van Gaever taking over DAT! I understand though that he's a significant shareholder in VEX as well ... hopefully all will be revealed shortly. It needs to be, as VG have said that they are starting on the 1st March - kind of hard to do without an AOC, OL or DOT402! <img src="eek.gif" border="0">
From today's Scotsman. Interesting that the market doesn't think much of the merger plans - and I note as well the incorrect(?) information about Air Holdings buying DAT for €1 - wasn't that thrown out by the Brussels Commercial Court?
[quote]Virgin confirms talks with Sabena successor Martin Flanagan
SIR Richard Branson’s Brussels-based airline Virgin Express is in exclusive talks to merge with Delta Air Transport, the successor to the bankrupt Sabena airline, it was confirmed today.
Virgin Express said it was in talks with the firm - bought last week by a group of Belgian investors from administrators for one euro - aimed at creating a single Belgian airline and reviving the country’s airline industry.
This follows the collapse of Sabena, the former Belgian national flag carrier, on 7 November. Speculation had first surfaced about a potential deal last weekend, with Virgin at that time declining to comment.
The plans are that the two airlines would be integrated under a new brand name, creating a Brussels-based business-oriented carrier serving the main European destinations, while also targeting cost-conscious leisure travellers.
Virgin Express said in a statement: "The objective of the discussions is to explore the benefits of a possible merger of the two companies to create a single Belgian airline that would benefit from the strengths of both companies and aimed at reviving the Belgian airline industry."
The pair are aiming to complete merger talks during the first quarter of 2002, subject to approval by the EC authorities and Virgin Express shareholders.
While talks are ongoing, Virgin and DAT will continue to compete as separate companies.
Virgin and the DAT investors also agreed yesterday to extend their commercial agreement signed on 14 November until 28 March 2003. The previous deal on a code-sharing agreement on some of DAT’s and Virgin’s shared routes lasted until 13 December.
David Hoare, chairman of Virgin Express, said: "We are very excited by the prospect of participation in this venture and hope that our discussions will culminate in the successful creation of a new company early in 2002."
However, the stock market gave the thumbs down to the potential merger. Virgin’s stock, quoted on the Euronext exchange in Brussels, was flat before the news, but subsequently nosedived almost 10 percent to 6.56 in light volume. Virgin Express added that it remains on track "to deliver an almost break-even operating result for year-end". <hr></blockquote>
Seems my forcast of a full merger between VEX and DAT (which was labeled as being totally out of touch by Mr. know-it-all alias The Guvnor only last week) has become almost reality after the announcements of VEX and DAT over the past few days!
Let me give you some more juicy details: DAT and VEX will merge into one single company before february 1st 2002, which will be controlled for 2/3 by Air Holding NV/SA (motherholding of DAT) and for 1/3 by the current VEX shareholders. The new company will immediately be listed on the stock exchange of Brussels thanks to the old VEX listing. According to the press release the new company will get a traditional and recognisable name chosen by a majority of the joint shareholders (thus in fact by DAT's Air Holding). 'Sabena' is preferred by Air holding and Richard Brandson has said he has no objections against it as he understands Sabena is a very powerful name in Europe and Africa, the 2 target markets of the new company.
As in any other Belgian enterprise, their will be 1 union representative per 100 employees, which means that New Sabena, with its estimated 2000 to 2500 employees will get 20 to 25 full time union representatives which -under Belgian labour law- must be paid by the employer BTW.
As to the New Sabena topic- I don't know if Sabena will be relaunched on January 6th, it could be a few days later. Yes, everything is possible in Belgium as Guvnerd keeps on telling us...what a fantastic publicity slogan you gave us there, BTW! It is certainly much more then just a rumor, because during a New Year's party I've heard from several people involved that (part of) the old Sabena cabin and cockpit crew have been invited to sign contracts with New Sabena starting from January 15th. People rejoining (New) Sabena can also transfer their seniority from the old Sabena to the new company.
Seems that if Sir Richard really wants to join New Sabena (and it sure looks like it), he'll have no option but to give up VEX and all that it stands for.
SN crew at DAT...I see already the picture, DAT salary is Oct 2001 - 25%, this is SN - 50% at least. The last instructor meeting heard the facts that NO TRAINING at all will happen in 2002, and the training at DAT is a very extensive and long one. Senority transfer? OOOppppsss just fell off my chair laughing.... What may happen is, that a couple of Airbus rated guys and girls may be offered to operate the still planned Airbus sectors, nothing else. And this will make sense, if the aeroplanes are added, which I still doubt very much. Wonder how the SN crews will face the !!!80!!! hour schedule..... But, since everything appears to be possible in Belgium, also a double work roster for half the money (effectively only 25%!!!) no one can rule out.... Interesting aspects I have to say.
Surprized you ask that, after all you've used the abbreviation in your second last post yourself...
Anyway, VEX is the abbreviation for Virgin Express, a Brussels-based low cost operator (partly) owned by Sir RB. Before Sir RB became the owner, VEX was called EBA-EuroBelgian Airlines, which was created from the remains of bankrupt TEA. VEX used to be a pure charter operator, but after strong competition from Sabena's charter subsidiary Sobelair, VEX had to stop the charters and turned themself into a no frills, low fare airline. VEX managed to secure a deal with Sabena in which they became a kind of subcontractor on one dense shorthaul route (LHR) and on several touristic destinations like Barcelona, Faro and Rome. Over the years VEX became more end more dependant on these Sabena flights; last year for instance those Sabena flights ment more then 40% of the production at VEX, but with the end of Sabena came also an end to the subcontract. VEX now tries to fly several routes on their own, but with very limited financial success (as they admit in a recent press release), so a linkup with New Sabena would -from a shareholders point of view- be a logic thing to do.
I don't know what meeting you have been to, but flat rate (monthly threshold before compensation as it is called in the USA) at DAT is definitely not 80hrs! And anyway, do you know what the flatrate was at Sabena? Certainly not half of that as you claim; nor were our salaries dubble those of DAT....
We might have had better work and pay conditions at Sabena then at DAT, but you don't have to exagerate.