Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Rumours & News
Reload this Page >

DAT/Virgin Express merger in doubt.

Rumours & News Reporting Points that may affect our jobs or lives as professional pilots. Also, items that may be of interest to professional pilots.

DAT/Virgin Express merger in doubt.

Old 15th Jan 2002, 18:14
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 18
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thumbs down DAT/Virgin Express merger in doubt.

Article in The Times today.

TUESDAY JANUARY 15 2002

Airline merger plan in doubt

BY NIC HOPKINS

PLANS to merge Virgin Express, Sir Richard Branson’s Brussels-based airline, with a unit of Sabena, Belgium’s bankrupt national carrier, were teetering on the brink of collapse last night after a group of creditors said they would reject a crucial part of the rescue plan.
Under the merger talks, Sir Richard is proposing to merge Virgin Express with Delta Air Transport (DAT), a Sabena subsidiary responsible for the airline’s still profitable regional operations. However, DAT owes €100 million (60 million)to another subsidiary of the airline, Sabena Interservices Centre (SIC). The merger talks are contingent on creditors of SIC agreeing to write off half that debt and convert the rest into equity in the newly formed company. The creditors have until 12pm today to approve the plan.

A spokesman for a consortium of Belgian investors backing the rescue, said the signs were not encouraging. “We’re very worried that it will not go ahead. The mood among the creditors is very negative; there is much disagreement among them.”

If the bailout fails, DAT will face mounting pressure to repay the €100 million loan. If it is unable to come up with the money, Sabena’s administrators would likely take control of the regional airline.

“The merger talks will end if we can’t reach an agreement with the creditors. It will be a domino effect. Without DAT there is no reason to pursue an arrangement with Virgin,” the spokesman said.

Virgin Express refused to concede that failure by DAT’s backers would end the merger talks. “There are several possibilities, and I’m not going to say what they are. We will see what happens tomorrow,” said Yves Panneels, a spokesman for the airline.

Anyone know what happened at 12pm?
Delboy is offline  
Old 15th Jan 2002, 18:20
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Brussels
Posts: 29
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Post

15 jan 2002, 15.15

Ordeal reported to 1400pm today, still waiting.
Belgian News at noon reported that arrangements were in the good to be made (they called it a 99 percent chance for a go decision) with airplane owners actually agreeing to let the aircraft at a lower price, further agreeing as well to pass some of their eventual future benefits to the japanese shareholders... another belgian story, where we might see again another trick come out of the hat... I just pray the gods that VEX wont fall into a dead trap!!
More to come as soon as I know it.
B.Navez is offline  
Old 15th Jan 2002, 19:09
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Gent, Belgium
Posts: 8
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Post

Just heard on the radio that all creditors have agreed to the BusinessPlan for DAT
Regards,
OBS
Old_Belgian_Student is offline  
Old 16th Jan 2002, 22:18
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Brussels
Posts: 29
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Post

Sorry for the late reply,

indeed all creditors found an agreement but that doesn't mean the end of all worries for DAT, questions still arise. As for a merger between DAT and VEX, Branson's 24,7 million euro isn't into this project yet! (According to belgian newspaper LE SOIR today's edition). For the moment, they are still codesharing togheter on some routes.
B.Navez is offline  
Old 18th Jan 2002, 01:19
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Brussels
Posts: 29
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Post

Hi again,

just to pass the information (is anyone reading it though?), it seems now that Branson is about to put money into DAT trough its airline Virgin Atlantic, but this investment is postponed to the day when VEX and DAT will actually merge...
Dear few readers, good night!
B.Navez is offline  
Old 18th Jan 2002, 04:10
  #6 (permalink)  

 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: UK
Posts: 39
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thumbs up

Don't worry, <img src="confused.gif" border="0"> or do? I'm reading just don't have anything to say on the subject. So why did I anyway? To show 2low2fast that i for one read this subject! Still a bit sceptical on the whole thing though!

How can an airline with so much debt (360mil euro's) and a forecast 50 or so mil. loss in its first year look good to anyone?

Anyway, keep the information coming, Thnx.
No Mode Charlie is offline  
Old 18th Jan 2002, 14:46
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Brussels
Posts: 29
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Post

Well, charlie, thats exactly what I wonder, and all belgian non sabena pilots do the same! Since so many years we are complaining about this gouvernement/political sponsored airline that never had to worry about making profit until a couple of months ago. Many of us actually think that, with such acrelss attitudes, they broke the little belgian market by forcing competitor carriers to lower prices at an acceptable level, trying desperately to compete with this loss-making-no-worries guys. So our fear remains to see this start all over again, and we can already see a bad result of what we were all frightened of: although the demand is there, nobody is planning to start an airline in here to fill the gap while foreign carriers make a drastic increase of their rotations to Brussels. A couple of days ago I saw Lufthansa come in with a A310!!! Soon there might be no airline in belgium at all... <img src="frown.gif" border="0">
B.Navez is offline  
Old 19th Jan 2002, 03:08
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: DFW, Tx - USA
Posts: 182
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Post

2Low2Fast -
Please keep posting updates on the DAT situation as it is of importance here in the USA for AA pax. AA and SN were partners in the "OneWorld" alliance and lots of AA pax flew on SN to BRU rather than AA to LGW. Reaon - they earned frequent flyer miles on SN. AA here in USA are STILL offering tix & bookings on "SN" for March/April and later. If DAT really isn't going to get the long-haul off the ground, then AA pax with "SN" bookings need to know this as soon as possible to make changes to their itineraries.

Is "VG" and "VX" the same thing (Richard Branson money)? Or is VG something else in this DAT situation. AA is actually booking on "VG" for Spring-02.

Thank You for any info and please keep posting as time goes by. dAAvid -
AA SLF is offline  
Old 19th Jan 2002, 04:21
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Europe
Posts: 31
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Post

18 january 2002 (from flight international latest)
Virgin Atlantic Group has conditionally offered to invest 24.7 million ($21.7 million) in Sabena successor Delta Air Transport (DAT).

A Virgin spokesman says: "Sir Richard Branson has committed to invest in the holding group of DAT [Airholding]." He confirms that Branson has been directly involved in discussions with the group of investors led by Maurice Lippen and Etienne Davignon as well as merger talks between DAT and Virgin Express.

The spokesman says: "He has been personally involved in the process. He has been over to Brussels a number of times. [Merger] talks are being led by the two principals at Virgin Express - David Hoare and Neil Burrows, executive chairman and CEO, but Richard is clearly involved."

He stresses that Virgin Atlantic is "just one of several potential investors" and that the investment depends on a number of factors but declines to give details.

DAT management stated earlier this week that the airline was investigating the possibilities for a merger with Virgin Express and that more details regarding the merger would be available at the end of January, beginning of February.
janpieter is offline  
Old 19th Jan 2002, 13:52
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Brussels
Posts: 29
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Post

Last precisions, again from the same source, "LE SOIR" newspaper, from friday 18th. Indeed, Branson is up to make the investment into DAT through Virgin Atlantic, but the money isn't supposed to reach DAT's account until the merge with VEX is fully complete... We'll see!
On the other hand, it seems like there is a whole story going on behind this with Virgin atlantic willing to take back slots owned by DAT at EGLL, and DAT pretending to have a long haul potential with Virgin Atlantic, the show goes on...

By the way, the person speaking to me about "VG", is that the belgian project Van Gaever? If yes, then it has nothing to do with VEX...
B.Navez is offline  
Old 19th Jan 2002, 14:49
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 23
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Post

2Low2Fast, yes VG Airlines is the Freddy van Gaever project

BTW isn't DAT going to sue Richard Branson if he withholds its investment? I read something like that on Bloomberg.
lgtjanssen is offline  
Old 19th Jan 2002, 19:50
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: outatown
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Post

I guess nobody knows whats going on.Monday the talks beginn and RB`s Atlantic has denied on Friday and confirmed on Saturday, but with conditions the Datties can not except ,because they need the money from Atlantic desperately.They lose about 1 mio Euros a Day.I can not believe VS will give the money and see it drained in 25 days.

Cheers!
2west is offline  
Old 25th Jan 2002, 03:47
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Europe
Posts: 31
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Post

Just read this in a Belgian newspaper online :. .During the last weeks, Virgin Express achieved. .record results, even better than during the top summer season.. .And also : Richard Branson shall in any case invest in Brussels. If not in a possible merger with DAT (according to Neil Burrows the best sollution for both partners), then in an expansion of Virgin Express).
janpieter is offline  
Old 26th Jan 2002, 06:22
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Posts: 37
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Angel

Pleased to hear things are at last looking up for VEX.. .Will they be needing Pilots in the near future?
Billy the Kid is offline  
Old 26th Jan 2002, 14:44
  #15 (permalink)  
LUM
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Europe
Posts: 58
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Angry

Not really, they actually have too many crews because of the DAT/VEX codeshare. They are getting rid of the contract pilots and freelances. Baseline pilots are encouraged to work part-time.
LUM is offline  
Old 29th Jan 2002, 11:58
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Asia
Posts: 21
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Wink

There aren`t any contract Pilots at VEX.
mirifly is offline  
Old 29th Jan 2002, 14:27
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: hotel around the corner...
Posts: 47
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Unhappy

As I hear from Belgian press, there are some problems in the future merge between DAT and Virgin because of the following facts:. .* Virgin Boeing deals are too expensive compared with the leasing contracts DAT can get on the ex-SN airbus.. .* In case of merge, DAT would have to ground some of their AVRO RJ's, meaning again some DAT pilots getting fired.

As from me: don't let that Virgin even come close to DAT. They came with their low-cost to ruin the Brussles market, they did continue to live with the grace of the SN codeshares they had.. .DAT has always been a good company, flying for Sabena, and mostly profitable. I know they have a lot of costs because right know, they have to do it on their own. Virgin on the other hand is weak as well, and Branson wants to get it's investment back. Well, leave him bleeding to dead with his red fleet...
Flying_Tuur is offline  
Old 29th Jan 2002, 15:53
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 1998
Location: UK
Posts: 468
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Post

mirifly, you may have a word with some of the contract pilots who still work for Virgin Express (VEX) before you give these false statements. If you think that your statement should be seen as rumour, than you may first provide power supply to your brains before jumping into a very delicate situation with absolute unnecessary and useless comments.
FL310 is offline  
Old 30th Jan 2002, 05:35
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 10
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Wink

I have a hard time understanding how a potential merger might work ? 2 options I see :

option 1 : DAT AVRO's + VEX 737's. . they will have to get rid of Avro's. . + pilots. . expensive Boeing leases. . no ex-SN airbus rated pilots will. . join NewCo

option 2 : DAT AVRO's + SN A319's. . VEX pilots dumped . . SN planes & pilots cheap
airDD is offline  
Old 30th Jan 2002, 14:49
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Asia
Posts: 21
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Wink

Well FL310, wouldn`t agree with what you say, there are no contract workers with Airlines in Belgium at all. All changed a long time ago, A 'contract pilot' purely does not exist according to Belgian Law. I suggest you do a bit of studying into the Moniteur Belge or perhaps if your Flemish is better than French, the. .Staatsblaad might be more up your street.

Happy Reading !!!!!!!!!! Speak to you in a year. .when you have got your facts right
mirifly is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.