still plans to invest in acquisitions
Jumbo Hostels opened for business on Thursday, giving customers the chance to check in and sleep in a room that can best be described as cozy. The jet, which was originally produced for Singapore Airlines, was taken out of service in 2002. It is held on a concrete foundation with the landing gear secured in steel cradles. One thing the hostel has going for it is price -- a room starts at SEK350 Swedish kronor (USD$41), which is a lot less than hotel rooms close to major airports. Another feature: customers can get married on the wing of the plane and stay in the plane's more luxurious honeymoon suite situated in the cockpit. Instead of walking down the aisle, lovebirds can take what Jumbo Hostels calls the "wing walk," where they can be joined in bliss at the wing tip. The hostel has someone ready to perform the ceremony.
But in some respects, this hostel remains a plane -- most clients have to share the jet's nine bathrooms and staff wear air steward and stewardess outfits. The only room that has its own bathroom is the honeymoon suite.
Boeing Launches Canada Web Site. The Boeing Company announced the launch of its Boeing in Canada Web site ( www.boeing.ca ). The Web site allows the public to access up-to-date information in English and French about Boeing and its role in Canada’s economy, commercial aviation, national defense and security. The new Web site features Boeing’s commercial and defense products and services as well as the history of the company’s support for the Canadian and global aerospace community. (Source: www.boeing.ca)
Lufthansa still plans to invest in acquisitions to be ahead of the game when the global economic crisis ends, supervisory board Chairman Juergen Weber said. "We will concentrate on Europe for now," he told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in an interview published on January 29, 2009.
Lufthansa is currently taking a breather after an acquisition spree last year, in which it set out plans to buy Brussels Airlines and Austrian Airlines, cutting the number of large independent airlines in Europe. Scandinavian airline SAS is a potential target, while Spain's Iberia could become available in the longer term if its merger talks with British Airways come to nothing.
Demand for flights has eased as companies cut back their spending on business travel. Weber said the crisis was starting to affect non-business travellers, many of whom will cancel holiday plans this year. Around the world, airline passenger numbers are expected to slip 3 percent in 2009, more even than the 2.7 percent decline posted in 2001 after the September 11 hijacked plane attacks frightened travellers away, according to the International Air Transport Association.
"I don't even think a decline of 5 percent can be ruled out. But that would be a horror scenario," Weber said. He said Lufthansa would absorb capacity on routes that other airlines were abandoning. Many airlines have dropped routes from their schedule or reduced the frequency of some flights to ensure they fill their planes. Rival British Airways issued a profit warning on Monday, saying the British pound's weakness against the euro and other non-fuel costs would hurt its profitability this quarter.
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