Deutsche Lufthansa AG and British Airways Plc shares surged after Sabena SA went bankrupt as investors bet Europe's two largest carriers would benefit from the collapse of the Belgian national airline. \n"This is a very positive step for the industry and makes it more like any normal industry where companies are allowed to fail," said Gerald Khoo, an analyst at BNP Paribas. "The next step would be where airlines are allowed to merge cross-border." \nAs the smaller national carriers fail or reduce their networks, the European industry will be increasingly dominated by its three largest carriers, British Airways, Lufthansa and Air France SA, which will take over long-haul and trans-Atlantic routes, analysts have said. \nLufthansa shares rose 1.26 euros, or 11 percent, while those of British Airways jumped PD0.125, or 8.1 percent, to 166.5 Air France rose 0.30 euros, or 2.4 percent, to 13 euros. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines also rose US$0.75, or 8 percent, to 10.03 euros, though analysts have said it is a likely takeover target. \nSabena became the first major European airline to go out of business as the attacks on the US exacerbated a decline in air travel from the slowing economy. Lufthansa, Europe's No. 2 airline, said it's "drastically" increasing slights to Brussels as a result. \nSwissair Group, which owns 49.5 percent of Sabena, was bailed out by the Swiss government and businesses, and flights will be taken over by Crossair AG. Aer Lingus Plc, the Irish national carrier, has warned it may run out of money early next year. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Alitalia SpA and others are facing losses, cutting jobs and grounding planes. \nEuropean carriers are set to lose a combined 2.5 billion euros (US$2.3 billion) this year as demand on trans-Atlantic routes has fallen more than a third since the Sept. 11 hijackings in the US, the Association of European Airlines has estimated. \nOther beneficiaries might be low-fare airlines, such as Ryanair Holdings Plc, which reported a 43 percent increase in fiscal second-quarter net income Monday, and EasyJet Plc, which on Wednesday reported it carried 33 percent more passengers last month as its route network expanded. \n"What Europe needs is the total consolidation and reorganization of its airlines," EasyJet said in an e-mailed statement. ``That each country expects to boast a national airline, regardless of how much money it loses, is bad for competition and ultimately for consumers." \nLawyers representing Sabena, which has made money twice in its 78-year history, made the bankruptcy filing at Brussels Commercial Court, said Wilfried Remans, a Sabena spokesman. \nSabena ran out of money after it failed to find a partner to replace Swissair. \n"It's good to see them go, as they've been spoiling the market for more efficient airlines for 40 years," said Mike Powell, an analyst at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein in London. \n"Sabena has always struggled to have an efficient cost base and that's hopefully something a new Sabena can get around, particularly if there's private capital involved." Sabena's final flight, from Cotonou, Benin, landed at 11:35am in Brussels. While Zaventem Airport was packed with Sabena workers, there were no disruptions, said Jan Van der Cruysse, a spokesman for Brussels International Airport Co, which operates the airport. \n"This is a very emotional moment for most of them, but operations at the airport are not disrupted today," he said in an interview. "The situation is quite serene and calm." \nBelgian companies and regional governments said today they will put up 200 million euros to create a European commuter airline to take the place of Sabena. \nTwelve investors including Fortis, Belgium's biggest financial-services company, and Dexia SA, the largest municipal lender, will provide 155 million euros. Belgium's three regional governments will contribute the rest. \nPublic Enterprise Minister Rik Daems called the project "a full-fledged private initiative." \nEuropean regulators, who approved emergency aid for Sabena, could kill the new airline if they rule it is too reliant on government money. \nThe new airline will follow the model used last month when Swissair was bailed out by the Swiss government and businesses and Crossair took over two-thirds of its flights. The core will be Delta Air Transport SA, Sabena's profitable short-haul subsidiary, which along with other units was not affected by the bankruptcy declaration. \nSabena's takeoff and landing slots have already been transferred to DAT, which operated 37 percent of Sabena's European flights and has a fleet of 32 aircraft, according to court papers. \nThe Belgian carrier lost 325 million euros in 2000 on revenue of 2.4 billion euros. The carrier, which owns eight of the 80 planes in its fleet, has about 2.5 billion euros of debt. \nSwissair triggered Sabena's downfall last month by skipping a promised contribution of 132 million euros, the first installment of a 430 million-euro recovery package that was to be co-financed by the Belgian government. The Zurich-based carrier filed for protection from creditors a month ago after racking up more than US$10 billion in debts.
‘NO EQUILIBRIUM’: Taiwan’s increased defense spending is a good step, but it needs to do more to have the ability to deter aggression from China, a senior US official said The US plans to sell as many as seven major weapons systems — including mines, cruise missiles and drones — to Taiwan, four people familiar with the discussions said. Pursuing seven sales at once is a rare departure from years of precedent in which US military sales to Taiwan were spaced out and carefully calibrated to minimize tensions with Beijing. However, US President Donald Trump’s administration has this year become more aggressive with China, and the sales would land as relations between Beijing and Washington are at their lowest point in decades over accusations of spying, lingering trade tensions, disputes about the
ON THEIR OWN: The KMT has decided not to participate as a party at this year’s forum, and if any members do go, they would not be representing the party, Alicia Wang said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday announced that it would not send a delegation “as a political party” to this year’s Straits Forum, after a Chinese TV program described the planned visit to the annual meeting as “suing for peace.” The 12th forum is scheduled to open in Xiamen, China, on Saturday. On Tuesday last week, the KMT announced that former legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) would lead the party’s delegation to the forum, with KMT Secretary-General Lee Chien-lung (李乾龍) as deputy head. However, on Thursday last week, China Central Television’s (CCTV) Yangshipin (央視頻) program, hosted by Li Hong (李紅), included a headline
RIVERSIDE CAMP: As rescuers continued their search for a missing man, Taipower said that the floodgates at a hydro plant on the Lishi Creek opened due to a malfunction Three people have been confirmed dead and one was missing after being swept away by a flash flood while camping in Nantou County’s Renai Township (仁愛), police said yesterday. Six people from two families were camping near Lishi Creek (栗栖溪) when the riverbanks were suddenly flooded just after 4am, carrying away four of the campers — including two children — who were asleep in their tents, police said. A man who was among those swept away was able to climb ashore and call for help, police said, adding that another man had gone missing in the turmoil at the campsite.
WORKING OVERTIME? NTU professor Lee Duu-jong denied that he had held a part-time position at a Chinese university or joined China’s Thousand Talents Program A candidate for the post of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST) president yesterday dropped out of the race following a report questioning his links to Chinese academia and government programs. Lee Duu-jong (李篤中), a professor at National Taiwan University’s (NTU) chemical engineering department, was a member of China’s Changjiang Scholars’ Program in 2006 and was on the list of its Thousand Talents Program in 2017, a report by Chinese-language Mirror Media magazine said yesterday. The article said that Lee is suspected of having held a part-time job at the Harbin Institute of Technology in China and was the recipient