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Airlines Nose-dive After 9-11 Attacks

November 5, 2001 BBC

Let’s start in the airline industry. There’s a big boost in the start of the week. Dubai-based airline, Emirates Air, has placed a $15 billion order for nearly 60 new aircraft, split between Europe’s airbus consortium and America’s Boeing. It’s the first major new aircraft order since September the 11th.

And the strong profits for another of the low cost airlines, Europe’s biggest budget airline Ryanair saw its pre-taxed profits for the half-year to September rise 30%. Like rival easyJet, Ryanair is looking to take advantage of the gap left by the big airlines like British Airways and Aer Lingus, which are still struggling in the aftermath of September the 11th. And BA brings out its results tomorrow. Concerns really they are not going to be make happy reading. Earlier trading on Monday, share prices slumped 9% on the big downgrade of the group by Merrill Lynch.


November 7, 2001 BBC

Let me tell you more about another crisis in the airline industry is the Belgian airline Sabena, formally has filed for bankruptcy today. If the request is granted, Sabena will become the first major European airline to go bust since the suicide attacks in the United States in September, which pushed the airline industry into crisis. Sabena has debts of $1.8 billion and 12,000 jobs are at risk.

Sabena’s 12,000 staff were furious at the way the company handled its bankruptcy.  Their noisy demonstrations added to the chaos at Brussels airport on Tuesday. The last hope, for at least some of their jobs, could be Virgin Express. Richard Branson’s low cost airline has been talking for months about the possibility of tying up with Sabena’s regional subsidiary DAT. It has around 30 planes, which is how many Virgin Express says it wants to add to its own fleet.

Richard Branson (Virgin Group CEO): Sabena has gone bust. Virgin Express is a rival to Sabena. And what we are now looking at is whether anything will come out of what’s left to Sabena and if something comes out, we might reach an agreement with them or we might compete with them, and we’ll see what happens over the next few days.

 At one stage on Tuesday, Virgin said it had pulled out of talks with Sabena. But as the Belgian carrier announced its bankruptcy, it also said the talks with Virgin Express and others about saving DAT were ongoing.

Fred Chaffart (Sabena Board Chairman): Everything possible is and will be done to confront the current dramatic situation. Plans are being developed with Belgian investors and financial institutions and with Virgin Express to start a smaller, more adequate airline activity, based on our regional airline DAT.

Analysts believe that a new company built around the DAT operations could be a viable business, and that could save up to half of the threatened Sabena jobs. There is also a sense  this sort of radical shake-up in Europe’s airline industry was long overdue. Sabena has made a profit once since 1958. The business world expects better than that. For now though, the promise of a more profitable future for the industry is little comfort to the Sabena workers.

 John Mervin, BBC News.


November 7, 2001 BBC

While airline flight carriers such as Belgium’s Sabena face a bleak future, budget airlines are cashing in. The UK’s easyJet says passenger traffic for October rose 33% from last year. EasyJet and Ryanair, Europe’s biggest budget carrier, have both recorded steadily increasing numbers. That’s even after the September 11th attack. Both airlines have slashed fares on European routes to get travelers back into the sky.


November 9, 2001 BBC

Now there are concerns that some US airlines could be heading for bankruptcy. The nine major airlines could be running out of cash. It is believed they’ve already spent most of the five billion dollars bailout package that the US government handed over after the September 11th attacks. There are now concerns that the industry is in for a major shake-up.


November 12, 2001 BBC

But meanwhile, let’s focus on the airline industry, another casualty there. Canada’s second largest carrier, Canada 3000 has announced that it’s been declared bankrupt. Its board of directors has resigned. The move was widely expected after it abruptly halted operations two days ago.


November 12, 2001 BBC

 Let’s also turn to what’s happening in the corporate sector.  Talks that airlines number 1 and 3 in Japan could be merging, but that’s not confirmed yet.

 That’s right, the reports are that they are in talks. Number 1 carrier is Japan Airlines and number 3 is Japan Air System. Now there, they plan to join forces in autumn 2002. Now if the tie up goes ahead, it would have them create the world’s sixth biggest carrier in the world.


November 15, 2001 BBC

Well, Tanya, we are waiting for a confirmation of reports that Japan Airlines is to cut some 10% of its combined workforce. This after it mergers with domestic carrier Japan Air System next year. This comes together with the release of half-year profit numbers from Japan’s largest airline. Last month, JAL slashed its full year earning outlook to a group loss of $332 million. That’s a sharp contrast to an earlier profit estimate of $208 million. JAL is hoping to strengthen its position with the merger, which will create the world’s sixth largest carrier.

 While there are more job cuts in store for the region’s aviation sector. Australia’s Qantas Airways says it plans to cut around 2,000 jobs. This is because of the sharp decline in the international aviation market since September 11th. The airline’s chief executive Geoff Dixon says the cuts will take place before the end of December. Qantas is also withdrawing all flights to New York and could retire part of its international fleet next year, and there are plans to move a significant number of staff from its international operation to its domestic one. 


November 22, 2001 BBC

Europe’s leading low cost airline Ryanair is reportedly stepping up its competition with big carriers by opening operations in Frankfurt. According to the Financial Times, Ryanair will announce today that Frankfurt Hahn Airport is to become its fourth European hub. Having a base in Germany will bring Ryanair into direct competition with Lufthansa, one of Europe’s most powerful flag carriers.


November 22, 2001 BBC

Rescue plans are underway to raise money for cash-strapped Italian airline, Alitalia. The Italian government is set to launch a bond issued for the national flight carrier, which has been hit hard by the airline crisis. The move could contravene European Union rules banning state aid for airlines. But the government owns 53% of Alitalia, and EU laws could allow it to invest in the airline as a shareholder. Alitalia’s new industrial plan, which is expected to include more than 3,000 job cuts, will be presented to the board on Thursday.



Aftermath n. (事件等)结束后的一个时期

Bailout n.  紧急财政援助

Beleaguer v.  围困,困扰

bleak  a. 没有希望的,凄凉的

contravene v.  与……相抵触,违犯(法律等)

demise n.  死亡,终止

evaporate v.  消失,逝去,缩减

hub n. (活动的)中心;中枢

mingle v.  使混合,交往

sluggish a. 缺乏活力的,缓慢的

strapped a. 短缺的,银根很紧的

turf n.  <美俚>地盘;势力范围

unveil v.  向公众透露,揭示

cash in   从……捞到好处,利用

go bust  破产

in store  即将发生,等待着

shake-up 大变动,大改组

shore up 支持,支撑

short-haul 短途运输

step up   增大,增加

take advantage of 利用(时机、他人的无知、弱点等)

 Dubai: 迪拜。阿拉伯联合酋长国的迪拜酋长国首府。

 Europe誷 airbus consortium: 欧洲空中客车工业公司。字面意思为“欧洲的航空联营企业”,指的就是空中客车公司。这是一家有30多年历史的欧洲飞机制造商,它由法、德、英、西四家欧洲的主要宇航公司共同拥有。

 Richard Branson: 理查德·布兰森。英国著名商业集团维珍集团(Virgin Group)的创办者和总裁。维珍集团是英国最著名的大企业集团之一。在全球的25个国家有300家以上的公司,员工超过35000名,1999年的收入超过50亿美元。维珍集团相继创办了本文先后提到的Virgin Express和Virgin Blue航空公司。

 DAT: 德尔塔航空运输公司,Delta Airlines Transport 的简称。该公司是比利时航空公司三个主要的地区子公司之一,主要开展短途运输业务,但在此之前,它的运作只限于飞行,而所有地面上的营运(行李、机票销售、登机手续等)都由比航的另一家子公司操作。

 Deloitte & Touche: 德勤会计公司。世界五大会计事务所之一,该公司在在126个国家内共有59,000名员工。其特长在于国际商务。公司的主要服务项目有会计和审计、税务咨询和税务规划、信息技术咨询、管理咨询以及兼并和收购咨询。

 bankruptcy trustee: 破产管理人。按不少西方国家的法律,当个人或企业申请破产时,破产者的债权人或法庭会指定破产管理人,管理申请破产者的财产,监督财产清算,决定债权人的债务偿还等事务。破产管理人通常由破产律师、会计事务所或熟知这方面法规的人或机构担任。

 Thanksgiving: 指11月22日。

 code-share: 航班代码共享。代码共享,是目前国际上航空公司普遍采取的合作方式,就是在对方实际飞行的航班上挂本方的航空公司代码,旅客在购买一家航空公司的机票后,可以乘坐另一家实行代码共享的航空公司飞机。这样双方就在不增加投入、不增加航权的情况下,增加了航班密度、航线,完善网络,从而使旅客享用更多的方便。

 Lufthansa: 汉莎航空公司,德国最大的航空公司。

 voluntary administration: 自愿托管。自愿托管是当企业出现严重的财务危机时,为挽救企业采取的一种措施。实行自愿托管后,被指定的托管人会制订一套行动方案来帮助企业扭转危机。在自愿托管期间,企业的债权人不能采取任何措施。


11月5日  BBC




11月7日 BBC



理查德·布兰森(维珍集团首席执行官): 比利时航空公司要破产了。目前,维珍捷运航空公司与比航是相互竞争的对手。我们正在观望,看看比航的结果会是什么。如果谈判有了结果,我们可能会同他们达成协议,或者我们还会继续与他们竞争。在以后的几天里,我们就会知道事情如何发展。


弗雷德·查法特(比航董事长): 我们会尽一切努力来应付眼前的剧变。我们正与比利时的投资者、金融机构和维珍捷运公司商讨,准备在我们的地区航空公司德尔塔航空运输公司的基础上重新建立一个比原来小的、更合适的航空公司。




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