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Mon, Mar 28, 2005 - Page 12 News List

World Business Quick Take


■ Aviation
Tiger to offer US$6 flights

Budget carrier Tiger Airways announced yesterday it is offering one-way fares at US$6 to its entire network of 10 cities in six Southeast Asian countries. The booking period starts today through April 1 and is valid for mid-week travel on Mondays to Thursdays from July 1 until Oct. 29. The carrier, owned by Singapore Airlines (SIA), said that the offer coincided with a celebration of the completion of its "first-phase network expansion." The airline is extending the low fares to all the cities it covers including Singapore, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hatyai, Phuket, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Macau, Padang and Manila. Tiger is the first budget airline to be granted landing rights for Padang, the provincial capital of West Sumatra in Indonesia.

■ Aviation

AirAsia in deal with Airbus

Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia has inked a contract to buy 60 new Airbus aircraft, with an option to purchase another 40 A320 jets as part of its regional expansion, a report said yesterday. With the order and option commitment, AirAsia in a statement to Bernama news agency said it had become the single largest customer for Airbus in the Asia-Pacific region. The airline in December said it would buy 40 Airbus aircraft and exercise an option to buy another 40 A320 jets to maintain its position as Asia's leading budget airline. AirAsia said it decided to increase the Airbus order after the rollout and the success of its Indonesian operations, PTAWAIR International (AWAIR). "Within three months of its operations, AWAIR has carried over 120,000 guests and introduced flights to five domestic destinations in Indonesia," it said.

■ Agriculture

New mad cow case

Japan's Health Ministry confirmed the country's 16th case of mad-cow disease, one day before its Food Safety Commission meets to discuss lifting a ban on US beef imports. A nine-year-old Holstein cow raised in Hokkaido and slaughtered on March 24 tested positive for mad cow, also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said in a statement on its Web site. Japan has screened every cow slaughtered since September 2001 when it found its first mad-cow case, and halted imports of US beef in December 2003 after a cow in Washington state was discovered to be BSE-infected.

■ Retail

Tiffany cited as target

Tiffany & Co, the largest US jewelry retailer, may be a target for a takeover, Barron's reported, citing money manager and shareholder Shawn Krevetz of Esplanade Capital in Boston. The company may fetch US$40 to US$50 a share in a takeover, Krevetz told the weekly business newspaper. He said Coach Inc would be a good match for Tiffany. Andrea Resnick, Coach's vice president of investor relations, told Barron's the company "isn't interested in making acquisitions." Other potential suitors for Tiffany included Europe's LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, the world's biggest luxury goods maker, Barron's said. Mark Aaron, Tiffany's vice president for investor relations, declined to comment to Barron's about "market rumors." Tiffany recently lowered its profit growth targets because of missteps in Japan, which accounted for one-fourth of the company's US$2.2 billion in sales in the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, the newspaper said.

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