flynas to buy Airbus aircraft worth $8.6 billion

The deal with Airbus, which would replace and expand a fleet of leased A320s, would give flynas one of the largest Middle East low-cost fleets.
Updated 12 January 2017
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flynas to buy Airbus aircraft worth $8.6 billion

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s flynas has struck a deal with Airbus to buy planes worth SR32 billion ($8.6 billion), Kingdom Holding, which owns 34.1 percent of the budget carrier, said on Wednesday.
Airbus finalized a deal to sell more than 60 jets to flynas, industry sources told Reuters on Tuesday, with one adding that the order was expected to cover more than 60 A320neo narrow body planes.
Kingdom Holding, the investment firm owned by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, did not specify how many or which model of aircraft flynas had purchased, but it added that the first batch will be received early in 2018.
The A320neo sale would be Airbus’ first in the Middle East since Qatar Airways refused deliveries in December 2015 and said it would swap its order for a larger version.
Flynas, which launched as Nas Air in 2007 and first turned a profit in 2015, had been negotiating an order for at least 60 narrow body jets with Airbus and rival planemaker Boeing since as early as April 2016.
Flynas Chief Executive Paul Byrne said on April 27 whichever manufacturer it chose would over time become the sole supplier.
The order, which would replace and expand a fleet of leased A320s, would give flynas one of the largest Middle East low-cost fleets after state-owned flydubai, which operate 57 Boeing 737-800s and has more than 100 scheduled for delivery by 2023.
Flynas is facing increasing competition domestically, where it conducts the majority of its operations. Start-up SaudiGulf Airlines and Saudi-owned, Egypt-based Nesma airline were both granted domestic operating licenses in 2016, while state-owned Saudi Arabian Airlines has announced plans for its own budget carrier, Flyadeal, to launch in mid-2017 with a target of 50 jets by 2020.
Qatar Airways-owned Al Maha is waiting for a domestic Saudi operating license. Saudi Arabia wants to expand its aviation and tourism sectors. It plans to encourage non-religious tourism as part of major national reforms aimed at moving the country’s economy away from oil dependence.


EU to respond to any US auto tariff move: report

Updated 23 June 2018
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EU to respond to any US auto tariff move: report

  • Trump threatened to impose 20 percent tariff
  • Shares in carmakers slip on trade war fears

PARIS: The European Union will respond to any US move to raise tariffs on cars made in the bloc, a senior European Commission official said, the latest comments in an escalating trade row.
US President Donald Trump on Friday threatened to impose a 20 percent tariff on all imports of EU-assembled cars, a month after his administration launched an investigation into whether auto imports posed a national security threat.
“If they decide to raise their import tariffs, we’ll have no choice, again, but to react,” EU Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen told French newspaper Le Monde.
“We don’t want to fight (over trade) in public via Twitter. We should end the escalation,” he said in the comments published on Saturday.
The European Autos Stocks Index fell on Friday after Trump’s tariff threat. Shares US carmakers Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. also dropped.
“If these Tariffs and Barriers are not soon broken down and removed, we will be placing a 20% Tariff on all of their cars coming into the US Build them here!” Trump tweeted.
The US Commerce Department has a deadline of February 2019 to investigate whether imports of automobiles and auto parts pose a risk to US national security.
US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Thursday the department aimed to wrap up the probe by late July or August. The Commerce Department plans to hold two days of public comments in July on its investigation of auto imports.
Trump has repeatedly singled out German auto imports to the United States for criticism.
Trump told carmakers at a meeting in the White House on May 11 that he was planning to impose tariffs of 20 or 25 percent on some imported vehicles and sharply criticized Germany’s automotive trade surplus with the United States.
The United States currently imposes a 2.5 percent tariff on imported passenger cars from the EU and a 25 percent tariff on imported pickup trucks. The EU imposes a 10 percent tariff on imported US cars.
The tariff proposal has drawn sharp condemnation from Republican lawmakers and business groups. A group representing major US and foreign automakers has said it is “confident that vehicle imports do not pose a national security risk.”
The US Chamber of Commerce said US auto production had doubled over the past decade, and said tariffs “would deal a staggering blow to the very industry it purports to protect and would threaten to ignite a global trade war.”
German automakers Volkswagen AG, Daimler AG and BMW AG build vehicles at plants in the United States. BMW is one of South Carolina’s largest employers, with more than 9,000 workers in the state.
The United States in 2017 accounted for about 15 percent of worldwide Mercedes-Benz and BMW brand sales. It accounts for 5 percent of Volkswagen’s VW brand sales and 12 percent of its Audi brand sales.