Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Express Freight and Parcels Merger Sees Cargo Airlines Sold Off

TNT Sheds Carriers to Comply with EU Regulations
Shipping News Feature
NETHERLANDS – IRELAND – SPAIN – BELGIUM – Express freight and parcel carrier TNT Express, has signed an agreement to sell its airline operations TNT Airways and Pan Air Líneas Aéreas to Dublin headquartered ASL Aviation Group, conditional on the completion of FedEx’s intended acquisition of TNT, which is expected in the first half of 2016 with the two companies waiting on approval from China. TNT says that the change of ownership and control of the two cargo airline operations will ensure continuity of service delivery as well as compliance with EU airline ownership and control rules.

As part of the agreement, ASL Aviation Group will take over the flights operated by Liége, Belgium based cargo and passenger airline, TNT Airways, and Madrid, Spain headquartered cargo carrier, Pan Air Líneas Aéreas, from the moment the sale is completed. ASL Aviation Group expects the airlines will maintain contracts with partner airlines, contractors and suppliers. In conjunction with the transaction, ASL Aviation Group has entered a multi-year service agreement with TNT to operate flights for the intended FedEx-TNT combination. ASL Aviation Group will continue to serve multiple airline customers. Tex Gunning, Chief Executive Officer of TNT, said:

"I am really happy to report that great progress is being made in planning the integration of FedEx and TNT. In anticipation for closing, we had to find a new owner for TNT’s airlines to comply with aviation regulations. With ASL Aviation Group, we have found an experienced aviation group that can meet the high service standards that we have implemented at TNT over the last two years. I wish to thank all the employees of TNT Airways and Pan Air for their dedication and hard work over the years."

Upon completion of the airline sale, employees of TNT Airways and Pan Air Líneas Aéreas will become part of ASL Aviation Group. ASL Aviation Group will respect the employees’ current terms and conditions of employment and intends to maintain the TNT Airways headquarters in Liège. TNT’s Liège hub (Eurohub) is not part of the airlines sale. It will be maintained as a significant operation for the intended FedEx-TNT combination going forward.

ASL Aviation Group is an established and profitable aviation group, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, providing aviation services globally with seven Air Operators Certificates in Europe, Africa and Asia, two support services companies and various leasing entities. It currently owns and operates a fleet of around 100 aircraft for freight and passenger transport. ASL Aviation Group had revenues of €382 million in 2015. Hugh Flynn, Group Chief Executive of ASL Aviation Group, said:

"We are delighted to agree on this key strategic step in our growth and it underlines our commitment to be the preferred neutral aviation services provider to the intended FedEx-TNT combination once the transaction closes. We look forward to welcoming the teams at TNT Airways and Pan Air to ASL Aviation and having them become a valued part of our group. As a global aviation services provider with operations on 6 continents and a post transaction fleet of more than 130 aircraft, we will continue to use our strength and stability to offer the best possible service to all of our customers.”